Ultra-leftist Barney Frank calls Pharaoh Obama and Lord Geithner's new financial regulation plan too liberal. Who was calling Obama a moderate?
The economy is not recovering; the government is just doing tricks to make the numbers look that way.
"The Euro was introduced in 1999, ten years ago, and was worth about $1. Today it is worth $1.46. Nominated in dollars, it looks as though the U.S. GDP grew from $9.5 trillion to $14 trillion . Nominated in Euros, however, the U.S. GDP is about the same as it was in 1999. Due to population growth, this would mean that the average American should be slightly poorer than he or she was in 1999, aside from any benefits that stem from improved technology."That makes sense. Private sector employment is the same as it was in 1999. GDP in honest terms is the same as it was in 1999. Thanks, government.
Just to drive the point home: 40 percent of US CEOs expect to cut jobs during the next six months. Just like during the Great Depression, the US is leading the world in bad policy that is keeping us mired deeper and longer in recession.
Apparently the FDIC is not "asking" banks for help as one article put it. The FDIC is taking money from banks by force before those banks were legally supposed to pay.
The Heritage Foundation highlights the fiscal danger from Social Security being in the red.
"The 2009 deficit of about $10 billion will be followed by a 2010 deficit of about $9 billion. If there is a strong recovery--which is questionable at best--the program could briefly return to surpluses. But by 2016, deficits will return and continue permanently. A far more likely scenario is that Social Security will run deficits from this point on."America's looming debt crisis, the one I had been putting 10 years out, is here today.
"On top of the $1 trillion-plus deficit predicted for this year to pay for the Obama Administration's programs, taxpayers will have to find still more money to pay Social Security's deficits. It is true that a trust fund exists that has been funded by $2.4 trillion of Social Security surpluses since 1983, but there is no real money in that trust fund.Government has been stealing the Social Security surplus and using it to buy votes. This is the same government that liberals want to give the power of life or death in the form of health care over us.
As the Office of Management and Budget said in 2000, "These balances are available to finance future benefit payments ... only in a bookkeeping sense. They do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits. Instead, they are claims on the Treasury that, when redeemed, will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits, or other expenditures."
Congress has already spent every penny of that money, and all that is left are IOUs that must be repaid by the same taxpayers who paid the extra taxes in the first place. Taxpayers, not the trust fund, will end up covering Social Security's deficits."
"In other words, Congress would have to invest $7.7 trillion today in order to have enough money to pay all of Social Security's promised benefits between 2016 and 2083. This money would be in addition to what Social Security receives during those years from its payroll taxes."Medicare and Medicaid are even worse off.
Do we really need a study to prove that unionizing government employees is bad for the country? As self-evidence at this is, yes we do. We need all the studies like that we can get to penetrate people's consciousness.
Ron Paul on the Daily Show.
Obamacare tablets. Where's the price tag?
Democrat claims Republicans want sick people to die quickly. This is what congressidiots do with our tax dollars.
Inconvenient facts about Romneycare in Massachusetts, which is the model for Obamacare. Don't you just love the stark differences between liberals like Obama and conservatives like Romney?
States considering constitutional amendments to nullify health care mandates. This doesn't take a constitutional amendment. States are sovereign despite what Marshall and Lincoln did. Big government is ripping our country apart.
Mises scholar explains how government regulations led to the skyrocketing cost of health insurance.
"Were it easy for new health-insurance companies to enter into the market, surely we would be seeing a vast increase in them as a response to the record profits of the past few years. On the contrary, the number of health insurance companies has been on a consistent decline because of regulations and barriers to entry."Democrats are masters of the half-truth. Competition is key to bringing down prices, but their plan will stifle competition, not increase it. It is funny (funny sick, not funny haha) how Obama tried to adopt the language of markets, talking about competition, to sell his seizure of our health care sector.
How Congress uses tricks to make its health care bills seem less expensive (yes, $900 billion is less expensive) than they really would be.
I'm not surprised to find out that new drugs, technology and procedures increase life expectancy without contributing significantly to health care costs, but I am surprised that organizations are claiming they contribute significantly to costs.
I'm not surprised that the Kerry/Boxer Senate tax and trade bill is more onerous than the house bill.
Global warming propagandist scientists conspire to peer review each others papers and ignore errors so they can get their propaganda published.
Who needs tax and trade anyway? Obama regulating greenhouse gases without waiting for a bill from Congress.
"But existing law still leaves the executive branch enormous discretionary power--and thus a hammer to hold over Congress's head. A report issued in April by the New York University Law School argues that "if Congress fails to act, President Obama has the power under the Clean Air Act to adopt a cap-and-trade system.""That's what we get from giving the EPA this power and the EPA deciding that CO2, the gas as essential to plant life as oxygen is to animal life, is a pollutant.
WAR ON DRUGS:
There's an international movement to decriminalize drugs. About time. Let's hope the US gets on board, but I'm not holding my breath.
Obama begins review of Afghan policy. Begins? He set the strategy for Afghanistan back in March. He put a new general in command 70 odd days ago. He learned of a request for 40,000 more troops last week. But he only began his review yesterday? It shows how little American lives mean to Obama. Review to last weeks. Obama first heard of this impending request in August. Why is he just starting it now? Our troops have been dying since he got the report.
New Ohio law requires children under eight years old and 4' 9" to ride in a booster seat. You've got to be kidding me. Get the hell out of my car and off the backs of my family, government.
Stanley Kurtz continues to uncover Obama's ties to ACORN.
New York Supreme Court throws out Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS.
Murray Rothbard on capitalism versus statism. Rothbard lays bare the motives of government and the intellectuals who support it and profit from it.
"It was the partial success of this movement that freed the market economy and thereby gave rise to the Industrial Revolution, probably the most decisive and most liberating event of modern times. It was no accident that the Industrial Revolution in England emerged, not in guild-ridden and State-controlled London, but in the new industrial towns and areas that arose in the previously rural and therefore unregulated north of England. The Industrial Revolution could not come to France until the French Revolution freed the economy from the fetters of feudal landlordism and innumerable local restrictions on trade and production. The Industrial Revolution freed the masses of men from their abject poverty and hopelessness — a poverty aggravated by a growing population that could find no employment in the frozen economy of pre-industrial Europe. The Industrial Revolution, the achievement of free-market capitalism, meant a steady and rapid improvement in the living conditions and the quality of life for the broad masses of people, for workers and consumers alike, wherever the impact of the market was felt."Not the usual baloney we hear about the industrial revolution being bad for people.
"In undeveloped and sparsely populated area originally, America did not begin as the leading capitalist country. But after a century of independence it achieved this eminence, and why? Not, as the common myth has it, because of superior natural resources. The resources of Brazil, of Africa, of Asia, are at least as great. The difference came because of the relative freedom in the United States, because it was here that the free-market economy more than in any other country was allowed its head. We began free of a feudal or monopolizing landlord class, and we began with a strongly individualist ideology that permeated much of the population. Obviously, the market in the United States was never completely free or unhampered; but its relatively greater freedom (relative to other countries or centuries) resulted in the enormous release of productive energies, the massive capital equipment, and the unprecedentedly high standard of living that the mass of Americans not only enjoy but take blithely for granted. Living in the lap of a luxury that could not have been dreamed of by the wealthiest emperor of the past, we are all increasingly acting like the man who murdered the goose that laid the golden egg.Tell me about it. Rothbard wrote this in 1972. This quote explains exactly what's behind liberals' ridiculous proclamation that health care is a right:
And so we have a mass of intellectuals who habitually sneer at "materialism" and "material values," who proclaim absurdly that we are living in a "post-scarcity age" that permits an unlimited cornucopia of production without requiring anyone to work or produce, who attack our undue affluence as somehow sinful in a perverse recreation of a new form of Puritanism. The idea that our capital machine is automatic and self-perpetuating, that whatever is done to it or not done for it does not matter because it will go on perpetually — this is the farmer blindly destroying the golden goose. Already we are beginning to suffer from the decay of capital equipment, from the restrictions and taxes and special privileges that have increasingly been imposed on the industrial machine in recent decades."
"Heir to an ample and generous past … the new commonality has been spoiled by the world around it … the new masses find themselves in the presence of a prospect full of possibilities, and furthermore, quite secure, with everything ready to their hands, independent of any previous efforts on their part, just as we find the sun in the heavens…. And these spoiled masses are unintelligent enough to believe that the material and social organization, placed at their disposition like the air, is of the same origin, since apparently it never fails them, and is almost as perfect as the natural scheme of things….Bold mine. And how insightful is this quote?
As they do not see, behind the benefits of civilization, marvels of invention and construction that can only be maintained by great effort and foresight, they imagine that their role is limited to demanding these benefits peremptorily, as if they were natural rights. In the disturbances caused by scarcity of food, the mob goes in search of bread, and the means it employs is generally to wreck the bakeries. This may serve as a symbol of the attitude adopted, on a greater and more complicated scale, by the masses of today towards the civilization by which they are supported."
"Indeed, American liberals — who for decades have been the main heralds and apologists for big government and the welfare state — have increasingly become unhappy at the results of their own efforts. For just as in the days of oriental despotism, state rule cannot endure for long without a corps of intellectuals to spin the arguments and the rationale to gain the support and the sense of legitimacy among the public, and the liberals (the overwhelming majority of American intellectuals) have served since the New Deal as the celebrants of big government and the welfare state. But many liberals are coming to realize that they have been in power, have fashioned American society, for four decades now, and it is clear to them that something has gone radically wrong. After four decades of the welfare state at home and "collective security" abroad, the consequences of New Deal liberalism have clearly seen aggravated breakdowns and conflicts at home and perpetual war and intervention abroad. Lyndon Johnson, with whom liberals became extremely unhappy, correctly referred to Franklin Roosevelt as his "Big Daddy" — and the parentage on all foreign and domestic fronts was quite clear. Richard Nixon is scarcely distinguishable from his predecessor. If many liberals have become strangers and afraid in a world they have made, then perhaps the fault lies precisely in liberalism itself."Amen. Where are the scholars to write with this clarity an honesty today?
"The point of this essay is that the public need not be forced to choose between the alternative of repressive and stifling welfare-warfare state monopoly liberalism on the one hand, or the irrational and nihilistic return to tribal primitivism on the other. The radical alternative is evidently not compatible with a prosperous life and industrial civilization; this much is crystal clear. But less clear is the fact that corporate state liberalism is in the long run also not compatible with an industrial civilization. The one route offers our society a quick suicide; the other a slow and lingering murder."I reject both paths.
New book on Ayn Rand.
In praise of hedge funds and short selling and in fear that hedge funds will soon be regulated.
In praise of buying cheap.
Obama's FCC chairman proclaims himself czar of the internet.
"In his words, "the FCC must be a smart cop on the beat preserving a free and open Internet.""The assault on freedom and free speech never ends. I wonder what the justification for this will be. The fiction created for government's seizure of the airwaves was that the airwaves were owned by everybody. That's a bunch of crap, but it was the fiction promoted. That fiction doesn't work for the internet. Will Obama even bother creating a fiction? Somebody will have to to defend the lawsuit.
Not only should a person falsely convicted by a prosecutor who manufactured evidence be able to sue the prosecutor when his innocence is later proven, the prosecutor should be charged, tried and convicted for the crime of kidnapping and abrogation of rights under color of law.
"In Imbler, the Supreme Court determined that a prosecutor who knowingly uses false testimony and withholds exculpatory evidence is immune from damages, even in cases where his misdeeds result in a wrongful conviction. The Court determined that subjecting prosecutors to the possibility of such suits would affect their judgment in determining what cases to bring."What a crock. This is a transparent case of lawyers protecting lawyers for the sake of making lawyers more powerful.
UPS is attacking FedEx in Congress in an attempt to saddle FedEx with the same unions that drive up UPS's labor costs. This is another case of government creating a problem - giving unions the power of coercion over UPS - and attempting the solve the problem by creating a worse problem - extending the coercion to FedEx. It's also another case of a company trying to use government to harm the competition which can only happen because we've given that power to government. We should take that power back.
This is a great sub-headline: Joe Scarborough stands athwart history yelling, "slow down." That's funny. Needless to say the author is not impressed with Scarborough's support for the status quo, just at a slightly slower pace, he calls conservativism. That's why I call conservatives liberals-lite.
"Yet The Last Best Hope is less a serious manifesto than a breezy bull session. Scarborough argues that rightwingers seeking to recapture Ronald Reagan’s box office mojo need to embrace environmentalism (they should be “going green for God”); acknowledge the permanence of troubled entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare (“everyone is going to have to give until it hurts”); and pursue a humble foreign policy (except when they don’t: “Most Republicans, including myself, were steadfast in their support for the war” in Iraq).Smack.
Hayek pushed a decentralist, libertarian line instead, because he believed that none of us has a monopoly on truth or knowledge and that “to live and work successfully with others requires…an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which… others are allowed to pursue different ends.” In such thoughts is the beginning of a very different political program, one that might go much farther in restoring “America’s promise” than supporting, as Scarborough did when he served in Congress, “increased funding for school lunch programs by 4 percent instead of 6 percent.”"
Great essay written four days after Katrina explains that the natural disaster caused by Katrina was minor compared to the man-made disaster caused by 40 years of the welfare state.
"The reference to Iraq is eerie. The photo that accompanies this article shows National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding on an armored vehicle through trash-strewn streets lined by a rabble of squalid, listless people, one of whom appears to be yelling at them. It looks exactly like a scene from Sadr City in Baghdad."And all the news coverage and liberal criticism since Katrina bought into the same philosophy - government failed to take care of these people as if these people were babies in diapers. Bull. Many people suffering from Katrina, the ones who turned to predation on others and turned the natural disaster into a much greater man-made disaster, failed to take care of themselves because government had undermined their ability to do so for generations. They didn't know how. They were born into welfare so they never developed the social tools to take care of themselves and work together to the benefit of themselves and everybody else.
"There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit - but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals - and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep - on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.Man, this is a great essay that shines a laser on the real fundamental problem exposed by Katrina.
All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters - not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency."
Longer school days do not translate into better educated kids. I think it would make them less educated. Education is a family affair. If parents make education a priority, a child will learn more. The more schools undermine the parent-child relationship by trapping kids in cookie cutter, lowest common denominator schools, the worse kids will do in school.
Yet another political writer misunderstands Obama. Obama is too a radical. But he's also a realist. He knows he can't just dictate we become a communist country. Obama will not allow the process of creative destruction to keep America succeeding. He's following the Cloward-Piven strategy of overburdening our welfare state in an attempt to collapse our economy, hoping for Marxist revolution to follow. Just like Lenin, Obama has to work within the constraints of reality. And just like Lenin, the worse the better for Obama.