Views on the News – 11/17/2012
By: David Coughlin
She’s young; she’s beautiful; she’s famous around the world; she has built an empire of unparalleled wealth; the press is fixated on her, and many have illegally trespassed on her property, and she’s also an addict; she is America, and her drug is spending. She’s surrounded and enabled by an entourage who benefit from their connection to her. Her money affords her near-limitless access to her vice. She refuses to acknowledge that her addiction is a problem, even as it threatens her very life. Attempts at intervention by those who love her dearly have been rejected. Addiction is pervasive in our country. It is estimated that close to 50 million Americans struggle directly with addictions to tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, porn, drugs, sex, gambling, work, and food — just to name a few. Addicts rarely seek recovery until they hit “rock bottom.” For the average person, this could mean a rush to the ER, an overdrawn bank account, or a night in jail. Conservatives and libertarians in America are still in shock that despite a horrendous record on jobs and very serious questions about the attack in Benghazi, Obama still won re-election, and won decisively. When our spending is understood as an addiction, however, this isn’t shocking at all. Addicts around the world have been unable to kick their habits even in the face of losing their jobs, homes, life savings, and families. In a clear demonstration of denial on election night, the American people declared that our problem isn’t really that bad. We can stop any time. Unless he follows a different fiscal course from the one he has championed for most of his life, economic principles tell us that Barack Obama’s re-election will mean four more years of decline. One can only hope that the pain will finally become great enough to get the attention of America — clearly it wasn’t sufficient this time around. America will recover and become the shining city on a hill that she’s always had the potential to be, or she will fall victim to her compulsion and to those who love her less than they love what she could offer them, and may America find her rock bottom before she perishes.
(“America, Strung Out” by Chris Corrado dated November 13, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/america_strung_out.html )
President Obama has proved he can win re-election without a second-term agenda merely by demonizing his opponent and appealing to voters’ fears instead of our hopes, dreams and aspirations. The man who promised to end the bitter divisions and small-mindedness of American politics, which is a vindictive “blood sport,” mounted a campaign of personal destruction of his own that ignored our troubling economic, social and civil decline. The post-election result is a crippled Presidency without a public mandate or mission to tackle the immense issues that threaten to plunge an ever-weakening economy into a deeper, long-lasting recession. Obama’s campaign has been all about class warfare, dividing the nation between low- to middle-class Americans on one side and upper-income Americans and the business class on the other. Obama’s campaign was all about the art of the attack, not about what he would do for the country over the next four years to lift the economy out of what voters say feels like a recession, and put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. He didn’t talk about any of this because he had no plan to deal with the paramount issues of slow economic growth — beyond more federal “stimulus” spending or raising taxes on upper-income Americans who run small businesses. These are the same ideas that, in his first term, either failed to get America moving again or were rejected by Congress, even when the Democrats were in charge. Medicare is rapidly spiraling into fiscal insolvency, as is Social Security, but Obama didn’t address the issue in his campaign, nor in his first term. Yet unemployment is still skirting 8%, though it’s closer to 15% when you count the under-employed, and shows no signs of falling much below that. This year’s budget deficit just rang up another $1.1 trillion in debt and is expected to climb much higher over the next four years. In the end, little has changed in Washington: Obama’s in the White House for four more years without a mandate to do anything, Congress remains deeply divided, and it’s hard to see any needed policy reforms being enacted that will move this economy forward in the ensuing years, so tighten your seat belts, because we’re in for a very long, bumpy ride.
(“Barack Obama and the Politics of Character Assassination” by Donald Lambro dated November 8, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/donaldlambro/2012/11/09/obamas_reelection_means_four_more_years_of_the_same )
Since the end of World War II two thirds of a century ago, federal spending has been stable at around 20% of GDP as America prospered to become the mightiest economic power in the history of the world with the federal government limited to that level of spending, but President Obama thinks he has a better idea. He wants higher taxes and higher federal spending which is fallacious economics, based on the idea that we can spend ourselves rich. Economic growth and prosperity for working people and the middle class does not stem from increased spending and consumption. It stems from increased production and productivity, and that stems precisely from savings and investment. You can’t consume what you don’t produce. Increased savings means increased investment, which is what creates new jobs and provides workers with the tools to be more productive. The increased demand for labor created by the investment drives wages up to this level of productivity. President Obama’s neo-Marxist concept of raiding the savings and investment of “the rich” to spread the wealth around and thereby increase spending and consumption is precisely inverted economics that will only bring down economic growth, jobs, wages, and incomes of the middle class and the poor. These are precisely the results we have seen in Obama’s first term, with negligible new jobs created over his entire term on net, declining real wages and incomes for the middle class and the poor, and more Americans in poverty than ever before in the more than 50 years that the Census has been keeping track of poverty. That is all only going to get much worse in Obama’s second term, as his policies produce renewed recession, double digit unemployment, collapsing real wages and incomes, and new poverty records. Already enacted into current law to go into effect on January 1st are increases in the top tax rates of nearly every major federal tax. That is because the tax increases of ObamaCare go into effect on that date, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which the President refuses to renew for the nation’s job creators, investors and successful small businesses. As a result, the top two income tax rates will jump nearly 20%, the capital gains tax rate will soar by nearly 60%, the tax on dividends will nearly triple, the Medicare payroll tax rate will skyrocket by 62% for these disfavored taxpayers, and the death tax will rise from the grave with a 57% rate increase. This is all on top of the U.S. corporate tax rate, which under President Obama is now the highest in the world at nearly 40% on average, counting state corporate taxes. Under President Obama there is no relief in sight. Instead he continually barnstorms the country for still more tax increases. His latest is to ruminate about a carbon tax, so ignore his campaign pledges not to raise income taxes on the middle class “in any form.” Any such carbon tax would be another enormous drag on the economy, which is sensitive to high energy prices. What President Obama is proposing is to maintain the failed policies of his first term, which produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression, except to add this panoply of tax rate increases on the very job creators, investors and successful small businesses the economy most needs to create jobs and the long overdue real recovery. Adding to this is the raft of new regulatory costs and burdens the Obama Administration delayed until after the election. That includes new global warming regulations adding trillions in new costs to the economy, even though the emerging economies from China to India to Brazil have indicated they will not participate in decimating their economies with this Western delusion. Also online is the regulatory shutdown of the coal industry, adding further to energy costs. There are also hundreds of new Dodd-Frank regulatory burdens to come online, threatening the business and consumer credit essential to economic recovery. Still more regulatory excess is slated to come from ObamaCare, including the costly employer mandate, which will require employers of 50 or more workers to buy the most expensive, politically correct health insurance for their employees. Finally, the Fed is laying the groundwork for the next financial crisis, with out of control monetary policies creating a ticking inflation time bomb, and the resulting contractionary monetary tightening when the Fed decides the inflation is getting out of hand. The inevitable renewed recession next year from Obama’s policies will mean double digit unemployment, deficits rocketing to new all time, world records over $2 trillion, and still further exploding federal debt… I hope everyone who voted for him enjoys it.
(“The Fiscal Cliff and America’s Coming Recession” by Peter Ferrara dated November 9, 2012 published by Forbes at http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2012/11/09/the-fiscal-cliff-and-americas-coming-recession)
Americans have narrowly voted to reelect a president who will continue policies that will eventually lead to the downfall of the American republic. The economy is a shambles and thanks to the news-suppressing Obama-worshipping media, a huge chunk of the populace seems unaware of just how rotten things are. More than 23 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or gave up seeking work. The workforce participation rate is the lowest in 30 years. Annual household income is down $4,000. A record 47 million people are on food stamps. The national debt is now an astonishing $16.4 trillion and continues to grow. What may happen to the country over the long-term is terrifying:
· Obama’s second term may give the Left undisputed control of the Supreme Court. The First and Second Amendments would be likely targets for a radicalized Supreme Court. Leftists abhor the 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller which recognized the individual right to bear arms. They also froth at the mouth over Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 opinion that struck down restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions on free speech grounds. The administration is likely to seek out test cases to use to reverse these existing precedents. President Obama will also likely continue to attack free speech protections using executive orders and bureaucratic skullduggery. He has already issued 140 executive orders and is fond of making recess appointments for key federal posts — even when Congress is not technically in recess.
· Obama’s appeasement of Islamists will continue and their strength both abroad and within the United States will continue to grow. Islamofascist front groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will continue to operate unhindered. More Fort Hood massacres may occur and the FBI and military won’t be allowed to identify them as acts of Islamic terrorism because to do so would be an admission that Obama’s policy toward the Muslim world is a farce. We now know that al-Qaeda is, far from dead as Obama claimed, in fact resurgent and working with the Muslim Brotherhood to rebuild the old Islamic Caliphate that collapsed with the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
· Over Obama’s second term, deep cuts to the military are expected. The president is on record as pledging to eliminate or reduce to a bare minimum the nation’s inventory of nuclear weapons. Troop strength will continue to fall because like all good American Marxists, Obama doesn’t like using American soldiers to fight wars and defend the country. He prefers using soldiers as social workers to deliver foreign aid to the needy nations of the world.
· With the Obama campaign’s constant race-baiting and class warfare, a sour mood has descended on the land. Exit polls from the election suggest that voters have succumbed to the siren song of envy and really do want to make the so-called rich pay higher taxes. Yet they still stubbornly cling to conservative beliefs, a dislike of big government, and a distrust of both major political parties.
· As more and more companies collapse, taking jobs with them, more super-rich people will renounce their U.S. citizenship in order to be spared the nation’s increasingly oppressive tax rates. Others will move their money abroad. Cheating on taxes will become commonplace as it is in countries with large welfare states such as Britain, France, and Canada.
· Welfare burdens will continue to grow but poverty will not disappear. Throwing money at poverty doesn’t work. Obama’s plan is to increase welfare spending by another $10 trillion and right now it is hard to imagine anyone trying to stop him. It may be impossible to stop Obama from escalating spending on the nonproductive in part because the stigma associated with welfare is rapidly disappearing as government gets involved in nearly every aspect of our lives. Americans like handouts more than ever before. The work ethic is being rapidly overshadowed by the entitlement mentality as Americans grow accustomed to being poked and prodded by Big Brother.
· If present trends continue, racial and ethnic balkanization will grow in Obama’s second term. The President himself has encouraged it. He supports multiculturalism and has said he doesn’t believe there’s anything particularly exceptional about America. If he won’t stand up for America, racial grievance mongers will tear it apart from the inside.
Eventually strife and unrest will take over America. Federal, state, and local governments will suffer credit rating downgrades, lose their ability to borrow money, and be unable to meet their continuing obligations. When members of the public, by this point accustomed to feeding at the public teat, stop receiving the government checks they rely on, there will be an explosion that will rock society to its core. Americans will panic. The same thing has happened all over the world again and again. In order for the America we know and love to survive, a belief in freedom, individual rights, and self-reliance will have to resurface throughout the land and hopefully in another four years of Obama may do just that because Americans will have to fight for their country.
(“What to Expect in the Next Four Years” by Matthew Vadum dated November 9, 2012 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/2012/matthew-vadum/what-to-expect-in-the-next-four-years/ )
It is now an unquestionable reality that the United States is no longer the beacon of freedom and hope for all mankind. As America careens toward not only a fiscal cliff, but a societal one, theories abound as to why, including changing demographics and technology. But the answer is relatively simple: an increasing number of people in the United States, in their pursuit of lives of relative ease, have turned their backs on the basic rules of human behavior as espoused by Judeo-Christian teachings and have instead placed more and more trust in man. The moral fiber of a country, and the religious basis upon which the United States and European nations developed, is being replaced by a misguided faith in people. Although mankind has accomplished great things, the human race has always been overwhelmingly susceptible to its base nature. The historic consequence of repudiating established moral and ethical guidelines is a society that gradually and inevitably becomes devoid of humility, honor, decency and respect for the uniqueness of all mankind. The governing class develops an unrestrained craving for power and self-aggrandizement which ultimately manifests itself in the subjugation of the populace, either by force or the exploitation of the primary human foibles of greed, envy and lust coupled with state control of the means of individual livelihood. In the most recent national election cycle the Democrats and the Obama re-election team, with the complicity of the media, cast aside any pretext of honor and integrity as they, utilizing today’s all-encompassing media world, engaged in the most deceptive and unethical campaign in recent American history. The message being conveyed to an ever larger portion of a willing and susceptible American population is: there are no restraints on personal behavior and it is acceptable, using the auspices of government, to forcefully take from one group and give to another. In order to satisfy the unleashed greed and envy of more and more people and to fulfill unsustainable promises, the governing class must tax, spend and borrow at an ever-increasing rate until they can no longer borrow on the open market or tax a rapidly diminishing producer class. Over the past century, the nations of Europe, by tolerating the ascendancy of man’s ignoble nature, experienced the near-total destruction of a continent and the loss of countless millions of lives in two wars, and the emergence of communism. Too many people look to and rely on government to satisfy their needs and their expectation of an ever-growing standard of living. These needs and expectations can no longer be met as these nations are now bankrupt. They have destroyed their economic base attempting to placate the populace and honor their unsustainable promises. A majority of the American people, as revealed in the most recent national election, whose numbers have consistently increased over the past twenty years, are choosing to follow in the footsteps of European political, economic and moral failings. No amount of conservative messaging or supposed inclusion will counter that human impulse as long as the government, controlled by its current leadership, can tax, print and borrow money while convincing the people all is under control, there are no behavioral boundaries, and as for whatever problems that do exist, they are the fault of the greedy, self-centered and anachronistic political opposition. The United States is now at the point where the last chance to avoid an ignominious fate is for the nation to descend to the depths of experiencing first-hand the early stages of the turmoil and suffering extant in Europe and elsewhere, so perhaps when reality does finally set in, the people will turn to the leadership of their fellow citizens who are still committed to the nation’s founding tenets.
(“A Nation Adrift” by Steve McCann dated November 13, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/11/a_nation_adrift.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).