Views on the News – 8/11/2012
By: David Coughlin
Historically, 75% of undecided voters ultimately go to the challenger, so Mitt Romney will become the next President of the United States in a landslide. This landslide win for Romney, will be largely due to the failure of the Obama economic policies and repudiation of his attempt to move the country toward European socialism. The country began to rise up and get mad approximately 60 days ago:
· It was first noticed when Wisconsin resoundingly defeated the attempt to recall Governor Scott Walker and they took back their government and told the world they were done with unbalanced budgets, out-of-control state employee pensions and high taxes.
· Next it was the California primary election, where the citizens of San Diego and San Jose said no to out-of-control spending and the unfunded budget-breaking pensions.
· Then, last week, the TEA Party rose up in Texas and seized the state and its Senate race as Texas not only said Republican, it said TEA Party Republican.
· Finally, also last week, Chick-fil-A had thousands of Americans provide its biggest sales day in history as customers said they want their country back.
This country was founded upon Judeo-Christian values of free speech and freedom of religion. A TEA Party revolution launched the Revolutionary War and Americans in the colonies stood up against tyranny and those who attempted to change our beliefs. Obama’s European socialism and his high taxes, high unemployment, high gasoline prices and huge debt are being rejected at each turn. Americans are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore, so we see, “Romney in a landslide!”
(“Romney in a landslide” dated August 4, 2012 published by San Diego Union-Tribune at http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/aug/04/romney-in-a-landslide/ )
It’s not like Obama didn’t tell us his plans; it’s not like all the warning signs were not there for all of us to see; so we should not be surprised that he is expanded the scope and reach of the federal government. Barack Obama’s now infamous words, “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” have come true. Remember when he told Joe the Plumber “we just have to spread the wealth around”? America bought it hook line and sinker and now it is becoming crystal clear. Obama’s plan is working and in three and a half years he has taken America in a completely different direction and the results are disastrous. If he isn’t deliberately overwhelming the U.S. economy to create economic crisis, social chaos (class warfare/Occupy Wall Street) and systemic failure, his plan at least is creating the conditions for it. Here are some depressing numbers and facts:
· The unemployment rate is holding steady at over 8%, currently at 8.3.
· There were 45 million people on food stamps in 2011 and that number has expanded in the first half of 2012.
· We now have a 16 trillion dollar national debt.
· Obama passed ObamaCare in the midst of the worst economy in a hundred years.
· Legalize 12 million illegal aliens.
· Redistribute the income.
These points are right out of the playbook of Cloward and Piven. The far left socialists Marxists have been planning this for years and now they are seeing their dreams come to fruition. Not only is our domestic policy being dismantled, but our foreign policy is suffering as well. This administration doesn’t want America to be a leading force in the world. In fact they will do everything in their power to weaken our capabilities and to reach out to enemies who intend to destroy us and our allies. In the middle east, we are seeing countries in chaos. This chaos is being created to build instability in the region. Unease and fear, all of this is in the playbook that is being followed. Israel is tense and has its finger on the trigger pointing at Iran. Syria is crumbling by the day and the Arab Spring has all but turned into a frigid winter. Take heed in Obama’s recent words where he boldly told us the truth. “We tried our plan and it worked” but unfortunately America can’t afford another four years of his plan, so he must fail in November.
(“Obama’s Right: His Plan Worked” by Morgan Brittany dated August 6, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/morganbrittany/2012/08/06/obamas_right_his_plan_worked )
The TEA Party movement morphed from protest signs to campaign signs, since they quickly understood that real political change would only come through the ballot box. Hearing the call, the TEA Party vacated the town squares and hit the streets where it began organizing for the long-term. It was always a grassroots phenomenon, so no territorial shift was required. Since it enjoyed little, or no, support from established GOP county structures, it didn’t need to ask permission from the local GOP leadership, or accept its judgment as authoritative. Today, the local independence of TEA Party organizations remains, but communication between TEA Party organizations has continued to expand, in scope and sophistication. The absence of central planning is a key to its strength. Decentralization gives it operational flexibility, local ownership of decisions, and continuous learning as concepts are formally, and informally, shared between local organizations – it’s a network. Political gurus like Rove, and spin doctors like Carville, are anachronisms in the TEA Party world. In a broad context, the TEA Party is the reaction , underway both within and without the Republican Party, to the progressive take-over of the Democratic Party. The TEA Party aim is to move the GOP away from the passive stance of politicians like former Republican House Minority Leader Robert Michel, former Senator Bob Dole, and current Senator John McCain. The Republican Party must move toward conservative Republicans who realize that the dogma of the progressive left doesn’t recognize compromise as an option.
(“The Morphing of the Tea Party” by Lee Cary dated August 6, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/the_morphing_of_the_tea_party.html )
The Labor Department summarizes the economic condition “Both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate have shown little movement thus far in 2012,” and it should be clear that it is time for a change. The latest jobs report should persuade all those who worry about the President’s economic policies but find him likable that enough is enough, and that policy trumps personality when it comes to deciding who should occupy the White House. Job creation remains anemic, the unemployment rate has ticked up to 8.3%, and the labor force participation rate continues to fall as more and more Americans choose the couch over tramping the streets looking for work. The Labor Department sums it up: Both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate “have shown little movement thus far in 2012.” It should be clear that it is time for a change. The President has gambled the nation’s ability to recover from this recession on policies that include high taxes, more regulation, attacks on businesses and “millionaires and billionaires,” stimulus spending that ends up largely in the pockets of members of public service trade unions and campaign contributors, and huge deficits, gambled and lost. Ideologues, like addicted gamblers, reject experience as a teacher, and when they are gambling with other people’s money, they have little incentive to change, especially if they can count on a winning personality to persuade supporters to overlook the minor matter of oncoming penury. To get our country back on a growth path we have to change course, which means that Mitt Romney has to win. His plans will have to meet two criteria: They must be consistent with the conservative principle that government policy should provide a framework for markets to work, and they must meet some rough standard of fairness, which is much on voters’ minds in this day of increased inequality. Here are a dozen points Romney might consider making:
· Extend the Bush tax cuts for one year.
· Arrange for mortgage forgiveness that will actually increase what banks will retrieve from the mortgage mess, recognize reality on bank books, increase consumer spending, avoid creating even more underwater properties, and give the housing market a boost.
· Impose a moratorium on new regulations not urgently needed to save lives.
· End crony capitalism.
· Break up the big banks.
· End the madness that lets bankers totter off with giant bonuses, paid on profits that later turn out not to have existed.
· Make wealth and success respectable again.
· Treat small businesses as the valuable wealth and job creators that they are.
· Get health care reform right.
· Attack the deficit by combining spending cuts, tax reform, and, if needed, revenue increases that do not stifle incentives to work hard and take risks.
· Move against trading “partners” who live off sales to Americans but restrict access to their own markets.
· Save entitlements.
Romney has a blueprint for change that is consistent with conservative principles that will jumpstart the markets, and voters have a clear choice.
(“Unemploy Obama” by Irwin M. Stelzer dated August 13, 2012 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/unemploy-obama_649300.html )
The causes of this country’s problems are not hard to see, but the solution is easier said than done, which is to return to fiscal responsibility and wean ourselves off all the “freebees.” Americans aren’t obese because evil restauranteers are forcing them to eat fried butter on a stick; we are bulging at the seams because we eat too much and exercise too little. Americans aren’t trapped in upside down mortgages because evil bankers waylaid us and forced us to sign up for a house that was too big and cost too much; we’re living in homes we can’t afford because we wanted them and thought we deserved them even though we didn’t have an income that could support them. Americans aren’t buried in personal debt because credit card companies mailed us credit cards; we carry an average of $14,517 household debt because we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it and couldn’t wait until we could pay for it. America isn’t drowning in national debt because we did anything more difficult to understand than electing people who bought our votes with entitlements we didn’t need and couldn’t afford. The problem isn’t that we don’t know the answers, but instead it’s that we don’t want to face up to the fact that the free ride has to stop if we’re going to get off before we land in Athens. That’s the problem: a dysfunctional government made up of kleptomaniacs writing phony checks on the future and a population addicted to easy money and unfunded entitlements. The solution is so simple; we as a people must kick the entitlement habit. Like any addiction our national addiction to freebees has debilitated us. It has made us dependent on the outside stimulus. Where once families and churches took care of the needy we have been taught for generations that Uncle Sugar will do it, so we have let Uncle Sugar do it. Ever since the government bureaucrats have stepped between the givers and the receivers, welfare hasn’t been well and it isn’t fair. Many of us know people who need help who are denied and people who should be helping themselves who are riding in their Cadillacs to spend their food stamps. After more than 15 trillion dollars and four decades of a war on poverty the percentage of Americans below the poverty line is higher than it was when we started. There are more people on food stamps, more on disability and more that have just dropped out of the work force than ever before, and the only answer Washington seems to have is we haven’t spent enough yet. This is a call for austerity and this will cause major dislocations. When drug addicts quit taking the poison their bodies have come to crave they get sick, but in time, drug addicts recover and once again become normal people able to stand on their own without the chemical prop of a debilitating drug. In time if we as a nation will kick the habit of cheap money and government handouts we will once again learn to stand on our own two feet, hold our head up high, and proudly say, “This is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.” If we don’t, the sun will set on the American dream as we devour ourselves in an orgy of hedonism and self-gratification. The election is coming fast and people will have the courage to vote for a return to fiscal responsibility before we face the coming collapse of the world we have known.
(“Is the Inertia Greater Than the Momentum?” by Robert R. Owens dated August 2, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/48525 )
The lack of jobs in Barack Obama’s economy and an exploding $15 trillion debt are two of the voters’ top concerns this year, but a third issue has shot to the top tier of the public’s priorities, even though it draws relatively little attention in the news, and that is government corruption and Americans are angry about it. The Gallup poll found “reducing federal government corruption” came in second, between “creating jobs” and cutting the budget deficit. This has a lot to do with one of the nation’s costliest political corruption scandals in recent times: The President’s boondoggle-plagued, green energy spending program to develop alternative energy resources. An 18-month congressional investigation into Obama’s $40 billion give-away program shows that it has been a colossal failure, riddled with embarrassing bankruptcies, favored treatment for Obama’s rich cronies and campaign contributors, and political lobbying pressure to approve bad business deals that should have been rejected. An investigation by The Washington Post concluded that Obama’s guaranteed loans, tax credits and grant programs to well-connected supporters was “infused with politics” at virtually every level of the approval process. Obama risks hard earned tax dollars on shaky, often politically-driven energy deals that in many cases were given thumbs down by government auditors whose advice was often overridden by politically-powerful deal-makers at the highest levels of government. The lengthening list of bad business deals Obama and his advisers pushed, promoted and approved has tarred Obama’s green technology program:
· A $535 million federal loan guarantee to the Solyndra solar panel corporation that Obama made the flagship of his efforts to mount a new government-backed industry in alternative energy was based on a restructured contract was written that left taxpayers on the hook to pay off the failed half billion loan. Solyndra went into bankruptcy last summer, as many of its critics warned, 1,100 employees lost their jobs, and the plant was shuttered and chained shut.
· Then there was ECOtality, a firm that was given $126 million to install 14,000 electric car chargers which has since suffered $45 million in losses and told the government that “We may not achieve profitability…in the future.”
· Abound Solar received a $400 million loan guarantee to manufacture photovoltaic panels, but ended up stopping production, laying off 180 workers and filing for bankruptcy proceedings.
· Nevada Geothermal Power won a $98.5 million loan guarantee from Obama, but has since fallen into “financial turmoil” and “material uncertainties exist which cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
· Ener1: After a $118 million stimulus package deal from the administration, the manufacturer of lithium-ion for electric cars filed for bankruptcy last year.
· Amonix, a solar panel firm in North Las Vegas, gave 700 workers pink slips, after receiving a $6 million tax credit and $15.6 million federal grant.
Obama made preposterous claims that these and other green energy projects would create millions of new jobs in the years to come, comparing it to President Kennedy’s space program to put men on the moon. The Republican House Energy Committee passed the “No More Solyndras Act” to begin phasing out the loan program for green energy projects, but don’t hold your breath for any similar action in the Democratic-run Senate.
(“Would You Want Obama Investing Your Money?” by Donald Lambro dated August 3, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/donaldlambro/2012/08/03/would_you_want_obama_investing_your_money )
Romney pointed out the huge disparity between GDP per capita in Israel compared with the Palestinian Authority, and suggested that a difference in “culture” might be partially responsible for the disparity. The Palestinians were predictably upset, and much of the media said Romney had committed a damaging gaffe. Yet, considered apart from concerns over offending Middle Eastern sensibilities, Romney’s remarks are not only accurate, they reflect a much larger truth that matters not just in the Middle East but in this upcoming election. Limitations on Palestinian property rights, continued Israeli control over land and water, and restrictions on both imports and exports have harmed Palestinian economic development. By some estimates, as much as 60% of Palestinian territory is off limits to economic development, so Romney should have taken this into account. This however does not explain why Jordan and Egypt also are dramatically lower also. Israel can hardly be blamed for a lack of economic growth in those countries. In fact, no Arab nation without substantial oil wealth has a GDP per capita greater than half that of Israel. Perhaps Romney could have used a better term than “culture” to describe the combination of attitudes toward markets, the role of government, the welfare state, inequality, and institutions that underpin a nation’s economy, but nit-picking about terminology shouldn’t eclipse the larger truth: If a nation hopes to prosper, it must foster a culture conducive to prosperity. Israel itself had to change in order to spur economic growth, abandoning the old socialist solidarity of the kibbutz for a political culture that encourages entrepreneurship, investment, and risk-taking. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cut taxes, reduced government spending, reformed pensions, and begun privatizing state-owned companies, including El Al, parts of its electric company, and its major banks. The result has been the transformation of Israel into a hub for technological entrepreneurship. The Palestinian Authority has not undertaken similar reforms and government spending continues to consume an inordinate amount of GDP. Taxes, while widely evaded, are high. Both foreign investment and domestic business remain subject to a byzantine regulatory regime. The Authority’s old-fashioned pay-as-you-go public pension program is accumulating enormous future liabilities. Crony capitalism is the norm rather than the exception. The Palestinian Authority’s economic growth has been nearly nonexistent. Don’t call what Romney said a gaffe when he was right, because political and economic culture really does matter.
(“Yes, Culture Does Matter” by Michael D. Tanner dated August 1, 2012 published by CATO Institute at http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/yes-culture-does-matter )
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).