October 30, 2008
“The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within…They come from a peculiar type of brainy people, always found in our country, who if they add something to our culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals.”
– Winston Churchill, on Leftists
Earlier this year I read a column in which the writer rejoiced because the word, “socialism,” is no longer a scary bogeyman to Americans. When I Googled the writer and learned he was only 31 and graduated from Columbia, it wasn’t hard to figure out how he got it all wrong.
Since he had clearly been taught our “revised” history — the one that glosses over the 100,000,000-grave killing fields of the communists and makes high drama out of the “sufferings” of the Hollywood blacklisted and the McCarthy hearings — he didn’t have a clue about what actually happened. This pitiful, Ivy-League indoctrinated writer had reached the false conclusion that Americans used to be scared down to their woolies of the big bad commies, but weren’t anymore.
Isn’t it hard to believe that reasonably intelligent parents actually pay big bucks for those fancy degrees in poppycock?
Americans weren’t scared of socialism, silly. They found it viscerally repugnant.
One must never mistake repugnance for fear. The first is based upon reason, the latter upon emotion.
And the reasons for loathing socialism are as clear as the nose on anyone’s face.
No fully-grown human being with a single ounce of self-respect ever wants to be taken care of by others. No person with dignity will tolerate being told what to do, what to think, how to work or how to be an “acceptable” person. No free man or woman will tolerate the loss of liberty in exchange for material comfort.
Many generations of Americans vehemently rejected these notions over and over again, not out of fear, but out of the kind of visceral loathing that makes a normal person wretch, gag and grab for his religion and his guns.
The Lure of the Nanny State
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
– C. S. Lewis
A great many Americans — perhaps even a majority — seem poised to hand over vast amounts of their hard-earned money and their hard-won liberties to the promised “collective redemption” being offered by Barack Obama and his socialist band of “progressives” in Congress. With the votes of nanny-state supporters from all classes among us, their utopian dreams will be put to the test on our own ground and the reach of our federal government will be expanded drastically according to their plans.
But how does this really play out?
Always and everywhere it is tried.
The Socialist’s Lure
One of the simplest realities of life is that the person who pays the bill is the one who makes the decisions. When that person is you, you decide. When the payer is a state collective, the collective decides. And you obey.
This ain’t rocket science. The freedom to decide is the reason all children finally leave the security of the nest and jump to the ground. It’s innate. This will to be free. To decide for oneself.
Consider only these 3 areas of Obama’s collective plan for the redemption of American society:
- Obama wants to use a lot of taxpayer money to offer education to children from birth through college. Free to mommies and daddies. On the taxpayer dollar, rather than on the parents’.
The socialist lure: Give the state your children and the state will relieve you of the burden of educating them and teaching them values and knowledge. Parents, you’re off the hook.
The result: The state then makes all the decisions about what your children will be taught, how they will be brought up, what knowledge is important and what is not.
- Obama wants to bring the federal government’s involvement into healthcare to an unprecedented level.
The socialist lure: Give the state your money and the power to enforce healthcare for all, and the collective state will relieve you of your responsibility to provide this service for yourselves and your children.
The result: The state makes healthcare decisions. Healthcare is then rationed according to need, as decided by the state.
- Obama wants to enshrine positive rights to all citizens that include a guaranteed “living wage” to all regardless of individual work.
The socialist lure: No citizen will be without the means to live a fairly equitable life regardless of individual delinquency or extra effort.
The result: The poor and unfortunate become wards of the state and vastly increase in number. Work incentives plummet.
- Obama wants our politics to be nice, not mean or divisive. He wants unity. He wants us all to get along.
The socialist lure: Peace. Harmony. Goodwill to all. No good guys and bad guys. All will be nice and we will sing Kumbayah in perfect harmony all over the world.
The result: Anyone who dissents, who finds error, who sees things differently will be silenced. This is the only way collectives ever enforce their ideas of “unity.”
Progress? In the memorable words of C. S. Lewis:
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
Freedom and individual responsibility are inseparable.
The choice we are facing in this election is simple. We have freedom only when we accept personal responsibility for ourselves and our children. If we want to divest ourselves from the responsibility to provide for ourselves, then we also forfeit our freedom to make our own decisions.
Great leaders have appeared from time to time to warn free people of the innate deceptiveness of the socialists’ lures. Ronald Reagan saw the evil as clear as day. Reagan’s “ten scariest words in the English language”:
“I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”
Winston Churchill expounded further on leftist ideology:
“Let them quit these gospels of envy, hate and malice. Let them eliminate them from their politics and programmes. Let them abandon the utter fallacy, the grotesque, erroneous fatal blunder of believing that by limiting the enterprise of man, by riveting the shackles of a false equality…they will increase the well-being of the world.”
John McCain is a leader in the same mold as Reagan and Churchill when it comes to seeing the innate evil within the Marxist lure and its deceptive threat to real peace and any prosperity worth having. But of these three — Reagan, Churchill and McCain — McCain is the only one who has seen firsthand, from the inside, how it is that collective regimes may appear fair and just and unified.
McCain learned the hard way that socialist fairness is a carefully choreographed illusion, that socialist justice is a capricious commodity doled out on a whim by dictators with hard-core boots and clubs.
Unity? Unity is obtained through coercive means and by taking children very early into indoctrination as model, happy future workers for the collective “good.”
So, Obama got his ideas by palling around with radical communist revolutionaries of the 60s. Obama chose these radicals as mentors and friends. Obama’s own parents were from the same mold as well. Happy socialists all.
John McCain spent a good deal of his adult life with radical socialists too. Five and a half years to be precise. Only McCain got his education on the merits of communism from inside one of their “utopian” cells under force.
Perhaps never before have Americans had such an easy choice for our next President. Here’s hoping we’ve raised more freedom-loving patriots than fools.
Or Obama’s victory celebration may turn out to be the biggest April’s Fools Day we could have ever imagined.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She blogs at commonsenseregained.com.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/the_repugnance_of_socialism.html at October 31, 2008 – 05:32:39 PM EDT
October 29, 2008
Negative Liberties and Obama Newspeak
By Bruce Walker
The 2001 audio tape of Barack Obama describing the Constitution as a document of “negative liberties” reveals an utterly Orwellian Obama. How can liberty be anything other than negative? Liberty is the absence of external control. Only in our age of collective thinking and untidy language could such a thing as “positive liberty” be conceived. The state power to coerce is not liberty.
Notions like “positive liberty” are part of the web of thought control by language manipulation which Orwell described in 1984. If Obama cannot think of “positive liberty” as a contradiction in terms, then he simply cannot think. The conscious surrender of language to the needs of the party creates a self-made prison from which escape is, quite literally, inconceivable. These unguarded remarks by Obama display a mind trapped in a reality in which words are phantoms.
Obama could have spoken about the limited value of liberty. Government does some things which reduce our private rights and yet which increase the common good. Politics is all about where the boundary between broad notions of promoting the general welfare by state coercion and preserving liberty should be. Politicians on the Left have often argued that liberty should be reined in more tightly so that “the people” can live better. But implying that more state power somehow increases liberty is beyond mere Leftism. It is entry into that dead realm of Newspeak in which language is pureed into nonsense, and then nonsense is presented as argument.
Obama could also have spoken about the private duty of charity, that moral imperative which makes the virtue of liberty pure. Charity, though, is private. True charity is always a free act. That does not make the moral duty of charity any less, but it means that it is a function of liberty. But it seems as if Obama’s mind cannot grasp this sort of distinction.
This is the newness of Obama in our history. Leftists like George McGovern and Jimmy Carter lived real lives. Both served in the military. Both seemed to have been genuinely religious. Both worked in private business. Both came from states that were conservative, and so they had to defend their political philosophies. Barack Obama, by contrast, has lived a life of utter sameness. There are no bumps or rough edges or hints of individuality at all.
It is not just his life, so marinated in rote theory, that makes Obama unique. He is an early prototype of a new creature in our lives: Orwell’s children, if you will. These are the people who can honestly believe that September 11th was an “inside job” or that the CIA invented crack cocaine to hurt blacks. This is the generation which has grown up with no intellectual or cultural system of checks and balances.
Iron and dull control of education, destruction of the nuclear family, disappearance of religion in public life, degradation of art and entertainment into tasteless mush, and, most of all, the politicization of everything in life — these forces have created a new sort of human being, a person who lacks from life any tools of discernment or devices to describe life outside of the realm of collectivist political rhetoric.
There is something about Obama, many of us sense, which is different from any other politician. Socialism is inadequate to explain Obama. He is both more and less than that. The Left with all its odd menagerie of causes and claims is not enough either. Obama is part of that but part of something more disturbing. He is someone who can say “negative liberties” unaware that he is saying nothing at all.
Bruce Walker is the author of Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and the recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
McCain and his supporters have only a single battle cry for the last week, but it could be powerful:
If Obama is elected, the Democrats will have not only the Presidency, but almost certainly massive, veto-proof majorities in both Houses of Congress as well. They will be able to do anything they want. Absolutely anything.
Are you comfortable with that, America? Do you know and trust Barack Obama well enough to give him power on a level never before possessed by any previous US President?
- Massively raise taxes on all productive people, including and especially the middle class, solely for the purpose of redistributing Americans’ wealth (anyone who doubted Obama’s identity as a radical redistributionist has been disabused of that illusion after Obama’s just-discovered 2001 radio talk);
- By Presidential decree, eliminate every single state restriction on abortion, including late term abortion, “partial birth” abortion, parental notification for minors, and the right of physicians to refuse to perform abortions for reasons of conscience;
- Drive talk radio off the air, thereby grossly reducing free expression and eliminating one of the most important private sphere checks on government power;
- Appoint activist United States Supreme Court Judges, who, like the judges Obama supports in Massachusetts and California, will impose homosexual marriage on the entire country, against the will of the people in virtually every state;
- Permanently alter the socio-economic, cultural, and political makeup of our country, by leaving our border to the south open, halting ongoing federal efforts to encourage return of illegals to their countries of origin, and, worst of all, granting fast-track citizenship to illegals; and
- Intensify the ongoing use of our public education system as a tool for the indoctrination, rather than education, of our children; and
- Project a world-wide image of timidity and self-doubt that will only encourage our enemies, as Joe Biden said, to “test” our weak president, thereby increasing the probability of attacks on America and our allies, all of which makes war more, not less, likely under an Obama Presidency.
The above is, of course, only a partial list of the consequences of the One-Party State that Obama’s election would create.
It is gut check time.
Obama’s persistent inability to cross, and stay above, the 50% threshold in the polls strongly suggests that he still engenders great unease among large segments of the populace.
A glance at but one recent poll suggests the probable resonance of the argument that giving Obama total power would be a bad idea:
IBD/TIPP on October 27 has the race tightening, with Obama at 47%, a mere 2.8 points up on McCain. Despite this narrowing of the gap, IBD/TIPP shows Obama continuing to take a larger share than he should among certain demographics:
Conservatives, astoundingly, are giving Obama 20%. Take a look, conservatives, at your concerns — redistributionist taxes, abortion, and homosexual marriage, to name a few — and ask whether you want to give Obama complete control.
IBD/TIPP has Obama dividing Catholics evenly with McCain at 44%. McCain needs to remind Catholics about Obama’s now unarguable socialism, and Obama’s stands on abortion and traditional marriage, and ask them whether they want to give the man unchecked control.
IBD/TIPP also has Obama taking 36% of the Protestant vote, almost surely indicating that Obama has fooled too large a share of evangelicals, by all reason and history a core conservative demographic.
It could only help McCain, to force conservatives, Catholics and evangelicals to squarely face the fact that an Obama victory means total control by Obama and adoption of his entire agenda.
The country is angry and confused in general, and frightened about the economy in specific. Obama and his gang of radical supporters have outspent McCain four or five to one, and, to boot, have enjoyed the unalloyed adoration of the mainstream media.
Under these circumstances, Obama should be approaching 60% in the polls; yet he hovers below the absolute majority in many.
This bespeaks a well-grounded fear of, and uncertainty about, him, a fear and uncertainty not likely to be dispelled in the last week.
For the next ten days, McCain, Palin and their supporters need to relentlessly repeat the question:
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/time_for_a_gut_check_america.html at October 28, 2008 – 05:26:04 PM EDT
October 27, 2008
By Ned Barnett
I confess. Senator Obama’s two tax promises: to limit tax increases to only those making over $250,000 a year, and to not raise taxes on 95% of “working Americans,” intrigued me. As a hard-working small business owner, over the past ten years I’ve earned from $50,000 to $100,000 per year. If Senator Obama is shooting straight with us, under his presidency I could look forward to paying no additional Federal taxes — I might even get a break — and as I struggle to support a family and pay for two boys in college, a reliable tax freeze is nearly as welcome as further tax cuts.
However, Senator Obama’s dual claims seemed implausible, especially when it came to my Federal income taxes. Those implausible promises made me look at what I’d been paying before President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, as well as what I paid after those tax cuts became law. I chose the 2000 tax tables as my baseline — they reflect the tax rates that Senator Obama will restore by letting the “Bush Tax Cuts” lapse. I wanted to see what that meant from my tax bill.
I’ve worked as the state level media and strategy director on three Presidential election campaigns — I know how “promises” work — so I analyzed Senator Obama’s promises by looking for loopholes.
The first loophole was easy to find: Senator Obama doesn’t “count” allowing the Bush tax cuts to lapse as a tax increase. Unless the cuts are re-enacted, rates will automatically return to the 2000 level. Senator Obama claims that letting a tax cut lapse — allowing the rates to return to a higher levels — is not actually a “tax increase.” It’s just the lapsing of a tax cut.
See the difference?
Neither do I.
When those cuts lapse, my taxes are going up — a lot — but by parsing words, Senator Obama justifies his claim that he won’t actively raise taxes on 95 percent of working Americans, even while he’s passively allowing tax rates to go up for 100% of Americans who actually pay Federal income taxes.
Making this personal, my Federal Income Tax will increase by $3,824 when those tax cuts lapse. That not-insignificant sum would cover a couple of house payments or help my two boys through another month or two of college.
No matter what Senator Obama calls it, requiring us to pay more taxes amounts to a tax increase. This got me wondering what other Americans will have to pay when the tax cuts lapse.
For a married family, filing jointly and earning $75,000 a year, this increase will be $3,074. For those making just $50,000, this increase will be $1,512. Despite Senator Obama’s claim, even struggling American families making just $25,000 a year will see a tax increase — they’ll pay $715 more in 2010 than they did in 2007. Across the board, when the tax cuts lapse, working Americans will see significant increases in their taxes, even if their household income is as low as $25,000. See the tables at the end of this article.
Check this for yourself. Go to http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/ and pull up the 1040 instructions for 2000 and 2007 and go to the tax tables. Based on your 2007 income, check your taxes rates for 2000 and 2007, and apply them to your taxable income for 2007. In 2000 — Senator Obama’s benchmark year — you would have paid significantly more taxes for the income you earned in 2007. The Bush Tax Cuts, which Senator Obama has said he will allow to lapse, saved you money, and without those cuts, your taxes will go back up to the 2000 level. Senator Obama doesn’t call it a “tax increase,” but your taxes under “President” Obama will increase — significantly.
Senator Obama is willfully deceiving you and me when he says that no one making under $250,000 will see an increase in their taxes. If I were keeping score, I’d call that Tax Lie #1.
The next loophole involves the payroll tax that you pay to support the Social Security system. Currently, there is an inflation-adjusted cap, and according to the non-profit Tax Foundation, in 2006 — the most recent year for which tax data is available — only the first $94,700 of an unmarried individual’s earnings were subject to the 12.4 percent payroll tax. However, Senator Obama has proposed lifting that cap, adding an additional 12.4 percent tax on every dollar earned above that cap — and in spite of his promise, impacting all those who earn between $94,700 and $249,999.
By doing this, he plans to raise an additional $1 trillion dollars (another $662.50 out of my pocket — and how much out of yours?) to help fund Social Security. Half of this tax would be paid by employees and half by employers — but employers will either cut the payroll or pass along this tax to their customers through higher prices. Either way, some individual will pay the price for the employer’s share of the tax increase.
However, when challenged to explain how he could eliminate the cap AND not raise taxes on Americans earning under $250,000, Senator Obama suggested on his website that he “might” create a “donut” — an exemption from this payroll tax for wages between $94,700 and $250,000. But that donut would mean he couldn’t raise anywhere near that $1 trillion dollars for Social Security. When this was pointed out, Senator Obama’s “donut plan” was quietly removed from his website.
This “explanation” sounds like another one of those loopholes. If I were keeping score, I’d call this Tax Lie #2.
(updated) Senator Obama has also said that he will raise capital gains taxes from 15 percent to 20 percent. He says he’s aiming at “fat cats” who make above $250,000. However, while only 1 percent of Americans make a quarter-million dollars, roughly 50 percent of all Americans own stock – and while investments that are through IRAs, 401Ks and in pension plans are not subject to capital gains, those stocks in personal portfolios are subject to capital gains, no matter what the owner’s income is. However, according to the US Congress’s Joint Economic Committee Study, “Recent data released by the Federal Reserve shows that nearly half of all U.S. households are stockholders. In the last decade alone, the number of stockholders has jumped by over fifty percent.” This is clear – a significant number of all Americans who earn well under $250,000 a year will feel this rise in their capital gains taxes.
Under “President” Obama, if you sell off stock and earn a $100,000 gain — perhaps to help put your children through college — instead of paying $15,000 in capital gains taxes today, you’ll pay $20,000 under Obama’s plan. That’s a full one-third more, and it applies no matter how much you earn.
No question — for about 50 percent of all Americans, this is Tax Lie #3.
Finally, Senator Obama has promised to raise taxes on businesses — and to raise taxes a lot on oil companies. I still remember Econ-101 — and I own a small business. From both theory and practice, I know what businesses do when taxes are raised. Corporations don’t “pay” taxes — they collect taxes from customers and pass them along to the government. When you buy a hot dog from a 7/11, you can see the clerk add the sales tax, but when a corporation’s own taxes go up, you don’t see it — its automatic — but they do the same thing. They build this tax into their product’s price. Senator Obama knows this. He knows that even people who earn less than $250,000 will pay higher prices — those pass-through taxes — when corporate taxes go up.
No question: this is Tax Lie #4.
There’s not a politician alive who hasn’t be caught telling some minor truth-bender. However, when it comes to raising taxes, there are no small lies. When George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips — no new taxes” proved false, he lost the support of his base — and ultimately lost his re-election bid.
This year, however, we don’t have to wait for the proof: Senator Obama has already promised to raise taxes, and we can believe him. However, while making that promise, he’s also lied, in at least four significant ways, about who will pay those taxes. If Senator Obama becomes President Obama, when the tax man comes calling, we will all pay the price. And that’s the truth.
Tax Rates – and the Obama Increase – $50,000/year Taxable Income
|2000 Tax Tables
||2003 Tax Tables
||2004 Tax Tables
||2010 Tax Tables – (Bush Tax Cuts have Expired)
||Increase with Obama Tax Increase*
|Tax: Married – Filing Joint
|Tax: Married – Filing Separate
|Tax: Head of Household
Tax Rates – and the Obama Increase – $75,000/year Taxable Income
|2000 Tax Tables
||2003 Tax Tables
||2004 Tax Tables
||2010 Tax Tables – (Bush Tax Cuts have Expired)
||Increase with Obama Tax Increase*
|Tax: Married – Filing Joint
|Tax: Married – Filing Separate
|Tax: Head of Household
Tax Rates – and the Obama Increase – $100,000/year Taxable Income
|2000 Tax Tables
||2003 Tax Tables
||2004 Tax Tables
||2010 Tax Tables – (Bush Tax Cuts have Expired)
||Increase with Obama Tax Increase*
|Tax: Married – Filing Joint
|Tax: Married – Filing Separate
|Tax: Head of Household
* When “President” Obama allows President Bush’s tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 to expire, this will amount to a de facto tax increase –
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/senator_obamas_four_tax_increa.html at October 27, 2008 – 07:42:23 PM EDT
“It’s smoking gun time, folks. Whether the posse, as in the electorate, will, 1) ever get a whiff of what’s coming out the barrel–namely, Marxist cant–or, 2) will care even if they do remains to be seen.
In this 2001 radio interview with then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, we hear this man who may be president discuss what he, coming at it from the hard, hard Left, perceives to be the shortcomings of the US Constitution–namely, its supposed failure to provide for redistribution of wealth. Obama puts it this way:
…the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf….
One of the, I think, tragedies of the Civil Rights Movement was because the Civil Rights Movement became so court-focused, I think, that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing acitivities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change….
Who, but an outright Marxist could consider an absence of “redistributive change” in America to be a “tragedy”? Eight days out from Election Day, we finally know what Obama means by (Redistributive) Hope and Change (for the Masses). Will America now vote itself into a Workers Paradise?
“But political zig-zags show no such moderation as some seem to assume. Lenin zig-zagged and so did Hitler. Zig-zags may show no more than that someone is playing the public for fools.
“Some people who see the fraud in what Obama is saying are amazed that others do not. But Obama knows what con men have long known, that their job is not to convince skeptics but to enable the gullible to continue to believe what they want to believe. He does that very well.”
When it comes to the supression of news, Andy McCarthy says it all (once more, with feeling) at NRO in an article about how the Los Angeles Times is refusing to release a videotape of a 2003 farewell party in Chicago at which Barack Obama not only sat through an Israel-bashing program but also gave a warm testimonial on behalf of the guest of honor Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat. This is the same Rashid Khalidi Obama now dismisses as someone he just “knows”–a la William Ayers, now, infamously, “just a guy in the neighborhood.” (When asked about his relationship with Khalidi in a Florida synagogue this year, Obama said: “I do know him because he talked at the University of Chicago and he is Palestinian, and I do know him and I have had conversations with him. He is not one of my advisers, he is not one of my foreign policy people, his kids went to the lab school where my kids go as well.”)
The press, meanwhile, finds Sarah Palin’s wardrobe far more newsworthy. Oh, and did I mention William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn were at the Khalidi Bash as well? In the scrum for Page 1 space, the Chicago Nexus of Anti-American Radicalism loses to Sarah Palin’s Fall Boots every time.
Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor … who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.”
JERUSALEM – “The board of a nonprofit organization on which Sen. Barack Obama served as a paid director alongside a confessed domestic terrorist granted funding to a controversial Arab group that mourns the establishment of Israel as a “catastrophe” and supports intense immigration reform, including providing drivers licenses and education to illegal aliens.
The co-founder of the Arab group in question, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, also has held a fundraiser for Obama. Khalidi is a harsh critic of Israel, has made statements supportive of Palestinian terror and reportedly has worked on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was involved in anti-Western terrorism and was labeled by the State Department as a terror group.”
It says a lot.
Some are predicting violent reactions on November 5 if Obama doesn’t win the election.
I explain the heavy-handed “Progressive” worldview at http://home.mchsi.com/~heartlife
Our McCain yard signs, in addition to tens of thousands nationwide, are being vandalized by Lead Pipe Leftists who often damage vehicles adorned with McCain stickers at a rate that far exceeds the opposition. The assault by the Left on Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber exposes their nihilism.
America needs to understand the following:
Obama’s Progressive worldview.
Obama’s aggressive Chicago political machinations.
Obama is a serial campaigner who has no experience with making a significant contribution to communities, with reform, with business or with legislation.
Obama’s significant involvement with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN).
Obama’s affiliation with the Marxists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.
Obama’s twenty years affiliated with the separatist, America hating Jeremiah Wright.
This worldview gives rise to:
The anti-American violence in the 1960’s and early 1970’s which was never condemned by the Left and inadequately condemned by the Right.
Efforts to shut down talk radio.
Judges who make law instead of interpret law.
Unwillingness to to reverse the bloody holocaust of unborn children (50 million murders since Roe Wade). In fact, it will only increase with Obama’s first day in office as “He has promised [hear and see him making this promise in the video below] that ”the first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (known as FOCA). This proposed legislation would create a federally guaranteed ”fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy…FOCA would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry-protections against being forced to participate in the practice of abortion or else lose their jobs. The pro-abortion National Organization for Women has proclaimed with approval that FOCA would ”sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies.”
May we have a President who can unite all Americans in humility, freedom, security, prosperity, limited government and our transcendent common purpose.
…It’ll Ruin the Tax Code as Well
What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earnings spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes? Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago. We may soon enough know the answer.
Barack Obama is offering voters strong incentives to support higher taxes and bigger government. This could be the magic income-redistribution formula Democrats have long sought…
Other nations have tried the ideology of fairness in the place of incentives and found that reward without work is a recipe for decline. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher took on the unions and slashed taxes to restore growth and jobs in Great Britain. In Germany a few years ago, Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder defied his party’s dogma and loosened labor’s grip on the economy to end stagnation. And more recently in France, Nicolas Sarkozy was swept to power on a platform of restoring flexibility to the economy.
The sequence is always the same. High-tax, big-spending policies force the economy to lose momentum. Then growth in government spending outstrips revenues. Fiscal and trade deficits soar. Public debt, excessive taxation and unemployment follow. The central bank tries to solve the problem by printing money. International competitiveness is lost and the currency depreciates. The system stagnates. And then a frightened electorate returns conservatives to power.
Barack Obama couches all of his talk in the language of ‘fairness;’ of trying to make sure that everyone gets ‘a slice of the pie.’ But in employing the rhetoric of redistribution, class warfare, and yes, socialism, Obama ignores how progressive the tax code already is. It’s often said that when you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul’s support. In trying to push the fairness needle further, Obama is attempting to lock that rule in as a foundation of tax policy.
As the Tax Foundation points out, the tax code already redistributes $1 trillion from the top 40 percent of earners to the lowest 60 percent. How much is enough for President Obama? And what happens if we discover, as France, Germany, the U.K., and much of Europe did, that you will destroy the economy and ruin government finances if you allow the bottom half of earners to vote themselves whatever benefits they want, at the expense of the minority.
Our Next President and the Perfect Economic Storm
Obama could help markets by changing his tune on tax hikes and protectionism.
“The response to those calls will be shaped to an unusual degree by the next president, given the big spending, high tax, regulatory agenda of the Democratic majorities in Congress. Presidents, with occasional exceptions, accommodate a Congress controlled by their party (George W. Bush) and only triangulate to the center when the opposition controls it (Bill Clinton).
The next few years will determine whether currently contemplated policy changes round off what their proponents view as the rough edges of the Reagan revolution and capitalism, or are a bridge to more radical re-engineering of the economy. If the latter, the eventual economic costs of permanently lower living standards — 30% lower at European levels of taxes, spending and regulation — would be far greater than those caused by even a severe recession.
The current situation was created by a perfect storm of mutually reinforcing trends and policy mistakes: loose monetary policy (years of negative real interest rates in a growing economy); socially engineered housing policy (the Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, HUD’s no-money-down mortgages); the rapid growth of leverage, opaque and technically deficient derivatives, and the shadow banking system; fragmented regulation, lax diligence, poor governance, fraud; and an oil price shock. The result: a housing bubble bursting into recession.”
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
With the rise to enduring power of president Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933, a new type of Republican emerged in reaction to FDR’s attractive and overawing power – the-me-too Republican. Until the election of president Reagan five decades later, these me-too Republicans supported, rather than opposed, Democratic Party policies, but claimed they would administer them better. Of course this led to a half-century of Democratic dominance of American government and politics.
FDR himself cruelly mocked this pathetic breed of spineless, protect-your-career-at-any-cost, Republican politicians: “Let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion which says, ‘of course we believe all these things, we believe in Social Security, we believe in work for the unemployed, we believe in saving homes – cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things. But we do not like the way the president’s administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them; we will do them better, and best of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything.'”
Now, on the cusp of what some think will be a major Obama victory, we are beginning to see emerge what I will call “me-too conservatives” – initially amongst conservative commentators (politicians to follow). I have in mind, among others: Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, Chris Buckley, David Frum and Kathleen Parker.
Of course, they are not quite saying they are giving up conservatism for whatever it is Barack Obama would bring. They are initially focusing on style or, in the newly arrived cliche: temperament – a term made famous, interestingly, to describe FDR as possessing a second-class intellect but a first-class temperament.
The hopelessly enthralled David Brooks wrote recently: “[Obama] doesn’t seem to need the audience’s love. But they need his. The audiences hunger for his affection, while he is calm, appreciative and didactic. He doesn’t have F.D.R.’s joyful nature or Reagan’s happy outlook, but he is analytical. … His family is bourgeois. His instinct is to flee the revolutionary gesture in favor of the six-point plan.” That is, amusingly, almost exactly what Vladimir Lenin’s admirers, such as John Reed in “Ten Days That Shook The World,” used to say in contrasting Lenin’s style’ to the more fiery Leon Trotsky. (Note: I am making a style, not a substance point here.)
But they all cast their admiration for Mr. Obama in contrast to Sarah Palin – who they mischaracterize through a process of intellectual and historic dishonesty tempered by cultural snobbery and fear.
For example, Miss Noonan charges that Mrs. Palin’s: “political decisions seem untethered to a political philosophy. She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation: “palling around with terrorists … But it’s unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite … she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn’t, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower. She could re-inspire and re-inspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn’t seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.” Oh my.
Has Miss Noonan been napping up there on Mount Olympus through the last several generations of American politics? She accuses Mrs. Palin of not engaging America in a Socratic dialogue, of using phrases untethered to a political philosophy. Exactly what philosophy are the slogans “Change” and “Hope” tethered to? American presidential campaigns, with very few exceptions, have been little more than slogans shouted in the hope of exciting a crowd. The much admired Obama campaign has been the greatest exemplar of style over substance. However, it is Miss Noonan’s completely unsupported sneer at Mrs. Palin’s mental capacities that is most revealing.
I think that Miss Noonan may have unconsciously touched on what is really going on here when she accuses Mrs. Palin – who is attracting crowds as big if not bigger than any Reagan ever drew – of being a “follower … not a leader.” Miss Noonan’s unconscious fear may be that it will be precisely Mrs. Palin (and others like her) who will be among the leaders of the about to be re-born conservative movement. I suspect that the conservative movement we start re-building on the ashes of November 4th (even if Mr. McCain wins) will have little use for over-written, over-delicate commentary.
The new movement will be plain spoken and social networked up from the internetted streets, suburbs and small towns of America. It certainly will not listen very attentively to those conservatives who idolatrize Mr. Obama and collaborate in heralding his arrival. They may call their commentary “honesty.” I would call it – at the minimum – blindness.
The new conservative movement will be facing a political opponent that will soon reveal itself to be both multiculturalists and Euro-socialist. We will be engaged in a struggle to the political death for the soul of the country. As I did at the beginning of and throughout the Buckley/Goldwater/Reagan/Gingrich conservative movement, I will try to lend my hand. I will certainly do what I can to make it a big-tent conservative movement. But just as in every great cause, one question has to be answered correctly: Whose side are you on, comrade?
Tony Blankley is a syndicated columnist.
“Whatever the shortcomings of John McCain and Sarah Palin, they are people whose values are the values of this nation, whose loyalty and dedication to this country’s fundamental institutions are beyond question because they have not spent decades working with people who hate America. Nor are they people whose judgments have been proved wrong consistently during decades of Beltway “experience.””
Obama’s Betrayed Message
Friday, October 17, 2008
WASHINGTON — Let me get this straight. A couple of agitated yahoos in a rally of thousands yell something offensive and incendiary, and John McCain and Sarah Palin are not just guilty by association — with total strangers, mind you — but worse: guilty according to The New York Times of “race-baiting and xenophobia.”
But should you bring up Barack Obama’s real associations — 20 years with Jeremiah Wright, working on two foundations and distributing money with William Ayers, citing the raving Michael Pfleger as one who helps him keep his moral compass (Chicago Sun-Times, April 2004) and the long-standing relationship with the left-wing vote-fraud specialist ACORN — you have crossed the line into illegitimate guilt by association. Moreover, it is tinged with racism.
The fact that, when John McCain actually heard one of those nasty things said about Obama, he incurred the boos of his own crowd by insisting that Obama is “a decent person that you do not have to be scared (of) as president” makes no difference. It surely did not stop John Lewis from comparing McCain to George Wallace.
The search for McCain’s racial offenses is untiring and often unhinged. Remember McCain’s Berlin/celebrity ad that showed a shot of Paris Hilton? An appalling attempt to exploit white hostility at the idea of black men “becoming sexually involved with white women,” fulminated New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. He took to TV to denounce McCain’s exhumation of that most vile prejudice, pointing out McCain’s gratuitous insertion in the ad of “two phallic symbols,” the Washington Monument and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Except that Herbert was entirely delusional. There was no Washington Monument. There was no Leaning Tower. Just photographs seen in every newspaper in the world of Barack Obama’s Berlin rally in the setting he himself had chosen, Berlin’s Victory Column.
Herbert is not the only fevered one. On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Jonathan Alter of Newsweek fell over themselves agreeing that the “political salience” of the Republican attack on ACORN is, yes, its unstated appeal to racial prejudice.
This about an organization that is being accused of voter registration fraud in about a dozen states. In Nevada, the investigating secretary of state is a Democrat. Is he playing the race card too?
What makes the charges against McCain especially revolting is that he has been scrupulous in eschewing the race card. He has gone far beyond what is right and necessary, refusing even to make an issue of Obama’s deep, self-declared connection with the race-baiting Jeremiah Wright.
In the name of racial rectitude, McCain has denied himself the use of that perfectly legitimate issue. It is simply Orwellian for him to be now so widely vilified as a stoker of racism. What makes it doubly Orwellian is that these charges are being made on behalf of the one presidential candidate who has repeatedly, and indeed quite brilliantly, deployed the race card.
How brilliantly? The reason Bill Clinton is sulking in his tent is because he feels that Obama surrogates succeeded in painting him as a racist. Clinton has many sins, but from his student days to his post-presidency, his commitment and sincerity in advancing the cause of African-Americans have been undeniable. If the man Toni Morrison called the first black president can be turned into a closet racist, then anyone can.
And Obama has shown no hesitation in doing so to McCain. Just weeks ago, in Springfield, Mo., and elsewhere, he warned darkly that George Bush and John McCain were going to try to frighten you by saying that, among other scary things, Obama has “a funny name” and “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.”
McCain has never said that, nor anything like that. When asked at the time to produce one instance of McCain deploying race, the Obama campaign could not. Yet here was Obama firing a pre-emptive charge of racism against a man who had not indulged in it. An extraordinary rhetorical feat, and a dishonorable one.
What makes this all the more dismaying is that it comes from Barack Obama, who has consistently presented himself as a healer, a man of a new generation above and beyond race, the man who would turn the page on the guilt-tripping grievance politics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
I once believed him.
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