Views on the News – 12/8/2012

By: David Coughlin
People weren’t paying attention when they voted because they are surprised that President Obama is still stridently campaigning instead of doing the real work of governing.  There is no evidence that Obama is willing or able to work with people who disagree with him.  The first term revealed Obama’s idea of bipartisanship: Dissenters are unpatriotic and must surrender and compromise is a one-way street for him.  As polarizing and ineffective as that approach was, he was rewarded with four more years.  He’s willing to risk sending the economy back into recession and killing even more jobs leads me to believe his second term will be far more radical than the first.  His demand that spending cuts and entitlement reform be put off, while Republicans give him the tax hikes and the stimulus he wants, suggests he’s not serious about facing the mountain of debt.  The fear is reinforced with his sudden bid to have sole and permanent authority to raise the debt limit.  As it stands, Congress’ power to set the ceiling serves as a practical check and balance.  Obama has deliberately destroyed the world’s best medical system.  He is deliberately destroying the world’s strongest economy and currency.  He has destroyed the world’s best political system by governing by executive order.  He has started destroying the world’s best military.  I don’t accept the idea that the President is intentionally trying to destroy America, but I do believe his policies are weakening it.  Obama is opting to overreach, recklessly and without purpose to impose his own ideology, but no national good, is the only possible outcome.
(“Obama 2: Even more reckless” by Michael Goodwin dated December 2, 2012 published by New York Post at )
We need to start being honest and have the modern day Democrat Party relabeled as the Social Democrat Party, since the Old Democrat Party has been folded into the new one led by those who support socialist policies, this is not breaking news and it is not meant as a derogatory slur either.  It is understandable that a vast majority of those who consider themselves Democrats may not want to own up to the fact that the Party has evolved in this direction, but they are the same ones in public, on the internet, and in the media who have embraced and called for all that socialism stands for.  Time and again we have heard the drums of class warfare and social welfare programs as well as a sense that individualism is dead and that we need to embrace the central government plan for the good of the country and citizens.  All of these are tenants followed by socialists worldwide.  The major allies of the Democrat Party in the Trade Unions, Socialist Party USA, The Communist Party USA, And the Occupy Movement all have embraced the fact that they follow the tenants of socialism.  Big Government is rooted in Marx’s Ten Planks of Communism and with small steps they are instituting each and every plank here in the United States one small step at a time.  Democrats have embraced the United Nations and the fact that it is moving us ever closer to governing by a central world body with small discrepancies by regions such as the European Union.  There is no shame in admitting the fact that as a Modern Democrat you support Socialistism, since we already have had a soft form of socialism in the United States for many years with Welfare, Social Security, Medicare and the like, but once again it comes back to those who instituted those programs in the first place and how the ever evolving name of those who did went from Liberal, to Progressive, back to Liberal, back again to Progressive but has been rooted in Marx’s socialist ideology from the start.
(“Let’s Be Honest and Call the Modern Democrat Party the Socialist Party” by Robert Rohlfing dated December 4, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at )
Obama is blackmailing the Republican Party in the hopes of preventing a replay of the historic 2010 massacre that was also known as the midterm elections that, thanks to the Tea Party, gave the House back to the Republicans.  He is doing so in the hopes of providing long-term destruction to the viability of the country’s two-party system.  Obama seeks not to simply sideline the competition, but rather to obliterate the opposition’s role in future negotiations.  Congress’s job to ensure that the country pay its bills and does not default for the first time in history, the U.S. credit rating was already downgraded once under the Obama administration in 2011 for the first time in history.  It was Obama’s failure to control the country’s borrowing and spending, pass a budget, and project American confidence, stability, and strength on the world stage that led to the downgrade and resulting higher interest rates on our debt.  The reason why the country has exorbitant bills is because the President and the Democrats have a spending problem that no one is controlling.  Yes, Obama came into office with an outrageously high debt, but what he and his “irresponsible” cohorts opted to do in those first two years of a government completely in the control of Democratic hands was add trillions upon trillions of debt on top of what already existed.  They are showing absolutely no interest in ending their spending spree.  At some point in time, prior to the arrival on the world stage of America’s most famous and spoiled child, it was time to put an end to the government’s use of the credit card, since responsible spending began to marginally exceed reasonable levels, but the “marginally” part ended when Obama sauntered into the White House with his four-million-dollar vacations, chip on his shoulder that makers earn more than takers, disdain for free enterprise, and commitment to transform America into a country of decline.  While he had the help of a citizenry subject to decades of indoctrination from a similarly arrogant yet resentful academic class, events across the pond have been spelling doom to a blind America.  The blind American has evolved into an irresponsible ignoramus as the electorate willingly chose four more years of this ludicrous spending spree that they knowingly are passing on to their descendants.  While Obama is an incompetent President, he has proven to be a wholly skilled manipulator of the human mind and spirit.  Future historians will study this point in American history and struggle to determine how the citizens re-elected the proven ideologue who brainwashed what Pravda labeled an “illiterate” American people.  It will take some time to see if Obama successfully destroys the two-party system while he builds an entitlement class that exceeds 50% of the electorate.  The Republican Party faces an uphill battle to overcome the admonishments of the mainstream/liberal media, demographics that increasingly reflect a populous dependent on government handouts, and biased educators who seem to impact our culture and its values more adeptly than do parents, clergy, and local community leaders.  The American people began their nation with a two-party system that led to the creation of the greatest civilization known to man, yet they have elected as President a man who wishes to destroy what those before him so carefully fostered and cultivated.
(“Obama and Abbas are Destructive to the People They Represent” by Lauri B. Regan dated December 1, 2012 published by American Thinker at )
Ever since the election, most of the talk in the nation has been about the “fiscal cliff,” but no matter what the politicians do about tax rates and the size of the deficit, it won’t have any effect on the roots of our economic trouble since, as long as the federal government’s mammoth size and appetite for wealth are suffocating the economy, growth will remain slow and unemployment high.  Goods and services that we want do not miraculously appear.  They have to be produced.  How much we can produce depends on how well we use the limited resources available to us: land, labor, and capital.  The standard of living depends on how well or how poorly the people use the resources available to them.  In countries where the people are left free to decide on the best uses of their resources, they will prosper.  America of the 19th century was an example.  Government absorbed and directed very little of the resources. It interfered hardly at all with people’s incentives to produce.  On the contrary, in nations where the government absorbs and directs a lot of the resources and interferes widely with people’s incentives, the standard of living will necessarily be lower than otherwise.  Rulers (elected or not) will use land, labor, and capital for their purposes.  The more they do so, the poorer the people will be, because political decisions tend to be short-sighted and if they turn out badly, the loss falls on the taxpayers, not on them.  Growing government means more people working at government jobs, often producing little or no value, except to the politicians and special interest groups.  Growing government means more land used (or often kept from use) according to the wishes of the politicians.  Growing government means that more capital is siphoned away from the competitive process and allocated according to political pull.  Modern “liberals” constantly extol our federal leviathan and want to increase its size and power, but if you go back in time, you find that liberals understood that government was the enemy of prosperity.  French liberals of the 18th century knew that the lavish spending of their monarchs did not stimulate the economy, but merely transferred wealth produced by the farmers, artisans, and businessmen into the maw of the state, where aristocrats and their hangers-on mostly squandered it.  French liberals did not think there was some “multiplier” when Louis XIV built palaces and paid his bureaucrats.  They knew that the state was enriching a few at the expense of the many, and making the whole society poorer.  Unfortunately, later liberals figured out that they could control the state and thereby enjoy power and wealth. That was when they turned from liberals into authoritarians and began an ongoing campaign to hoodwink people into believing that government was their friend and protector. That campaign has been extremely successful.  Millions of Americans have been conditioned to focus solely on the crumbs the state hands them and never to think that they would live better if it weren’t a millstone around the neck of productive people.  The Democrats bank on the majority of the people not comprehending how much damage the government does to their prospects for a more prosperous life, and sadly, very few Republicans are any good at explaining that to them.
(“The Roots of Our Economic Trouble” by George Leef dated December 2, 2012 published by PJ Media at )
A Gallup poll found that more liberals have a positive view of socialism than capitalism, despite 100 years of evidence of its failure wherever it was tried.  If you’re a politician, socialism puts power in your hands while capitalism takes it away. If you want to use the government to control people’s lives, socialism is a wonderful vehicle to do just that while capitalism robs you of that opportunity.  If you would rather live off the dole than to work or alternately, prefer to make money off “who you know” instead of “how good a service you provide,” again socialism works better for you.  Now take into account the fact that there are no pure socialist or capitalist economies left and it becomes very easy to muddy the water and keep people from realizing the obvious economic superiority of capitalism:
·    Socialism benefits the few at the expense of the many:  Socialism is superior to capitalism in one primary way: It offers more security. It’s almost like an extremely expensive insurance policy that dramatically cuts into your quality of life, but insures that if worse comes to worse, you won’t drop below a very minimal lifestyle.
·    Capitalism encourages entrepreneurship while socialism discourages it:  A government in a capitalist economy can quite easily give everyone equality of opportunity with a few basic laws and regulations, but socialism strives to create equality of results.  This should frighten people who value their freedom because, as F.A. Hayek has noted, A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.
·    Capitalism leads to innovation:  The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward has to be to convince people to take it. Capitalism offers big rewards for productive people while socialism offers makers only a parade of bureaucratic leeches who want to take advantage of their “good fortune.”
·    Capitalism produces more economic growth:  A fast growing economy produces more jobs, more wealth and helps everyone.  The rich may take home a larger share of the pie in capitalism, but the poor also benefit from living in a growing, thriving economy.
·    Socialism is too slow to adapt:  Capitalism is extremely good at allocating capital to where it’s most valued.  Socialism is slow and stupid for a variety of reasons.  Since the government is spending someone else’s money, it doesn’t get particularly concerned about losing money.  Political concerns about appearances often trump the effectiveness of a program.
·    Socialism is inherently wasteful: Milton Friedman once said, “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own.”  The market does a considerably better job of allocating resources than the government because there are harsh penalties for failure.
·    Capitalism works in concert with human nature while socialism works against it:  A man will work much harder to take care of himself, his family and his friends than he will to make money for the state, which will then waste most of it before redistributing it to people who aren’t working as hard as the man who earned it in the first place.
Liberals believing that socialism is better than capitalism is an indictment of our failed education system that no longer teaches lessons from the past, or liberals have willfully suspended their ability to handle inconvenient historical proof.
(“7 Reasons Socialism Will Make You Poorer Than Capitalism” by John Hawkins dated December 4, 2012 published by Town Hall at )
The greater Middle East, the mostly Muslim lands stretching from North and West Africa to South Asia, is in the throes of profound change and it’s not just the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath, but rather two other trends are shaping the region’s future: the imminence of a nuclear-armed Iran and the retreat of the United States.  Taken together, these three factors are likely to result in a lot of violence.  The prospects for Arab governments to move quickly and decisively from autocracy to democracy were perhaps never that bright. Neither is it written that these revolutions will inevitably result in Salafist rule.  But the collapse of the corrupt Arab nationalist regimes that were ushered in by the end of European colonialism and the rise of the United States as the region’s dominant outside power is now nearly comprehensive.  Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic of Iran that grabbed power in the wake of the shah has proved remarkably durable, surviving internal faction and dissent as well as external sanctions.  While Iran’s rise to regional dominance has been often foretold and never realized, and the exact state of its nuclear program is opaque, Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have good reason to believe that their time is near.  After the American withdrawal, the Middle East is now, at best, an “economy of force” interest for the United States. The Obama Doctrine has supplanted the Carter Doctrine, under which control of the Persian Gulf region was deemed a vital U.S. interest.  For the foreseeable future, the U.S. military may be too small for regime change or counterinsurgency, if it was ever large enough to do that properly, but it’s still able to hand out a lot of punishment.  Egypt as the beginning to a Middle East solution, “a cornerstone of regional stability and peace,” as Clinton said.  At best, that’s premature, and it may well represent the triumph of hope over the experience of the past weeks.  One step to the west, in Libya and Tunisia, where the Arab Spring first bloomed, the situation is even more chaotic. The post-dictatorial governments in Tunis and Tripoli face challenges from al Qaeda-affliated Salafist groups.  In Algeria, there was good news recently: Makhfi Rabah, also known as Sheikh Abdenacer, a senior leader of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, was killed by Algerian forces.  But that’s also a reminder that Algeria has long been under assault from Islamists.  Meanwhile, the civil war in Syria has claimed 40,000 lives.  Probably 10 times that many are homeless.  The longer the war continues, the uglier the aftermath is likely to be.  It’s been more than a year since President Obama declared that Bashar al-Assad “must go.”  But as long as his forces retain a decisive firepower advantage over their opponents, no one’s going to make him go.  Obama’s let-it-burn approach to Syria has badly damaged U.S. credibility.  One small benefit of the Syrian civil war appears to be that it’s preoccupied Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon, who continues to play a waiting game.  Jordan, too, is experiencing a spike of dissent.  Compared with its neighbors, Iran looks stable and secure; the likelihood of regime change in Tehran seems low.  The Iranians don’t need to be in a nuclear rush, either; much better to pile up supplies of enriched uranium, to work on missiles and a couple of warhead designs, so that the breakout moment, when it comes, rapidly produces a credible deterrent of not one weapon but a dozen or more.  The winds of Arab change complicate life for those who live next door, or, in Israel’s case, in the same house. Israel’s predicament is acute.  The Israelis had, over many decades and with lots of American help, established a crude but durable kind of strategic partnership with the status-quo Arab regimes.  When Barack Obama declared, “the tide of war is receding,” what he meant was that the United States would no longer play the directing role it had previously assumed in the greater Middle East because as the Obama 2014 budget request is certain to reveal, sequestration-level defense budgets are now the ceiling, not the floor.
(“A Recipe for Violence” by Thomas Donnelly dated December 10, 2012 published by The Weekly Standard at )
About The Author David Coughlin:
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).

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