Saturday, September 22, 2012

Romney's 47%

Here’s another tempest in a teapot in the presidential campaign.  You know, the secret video of Romney saying that people getting free money from the government will never vote for him.

Gasp!  He’s right.

And it points out the same message Obama and Romney and Dinesh D'Souza have been trying to tell us all along.  It’s really a matter of semantics.  Political buzzwords are used to cloud the meaning, but it all comes down to this:

Obama believes that government exists to provide an equal quality of life for all, even if it means spending money we don’t have in order to do it.

Romney believes that government exists to preserve the rights we all have to pursue the quality of life we wish to have.

We could have long discussions about what it costs to achieve security (read – freedom from want), but we lose not only money in the form of taxation, but also liberty.

It is only natural in a campaign for one side to look at spending and ask, “Does Romney intend to cut Medicare as part of his plan to trim the size of government?”

Of course, such a question ignores all the wasteful endeavors of big government like grants, pensions and regulations.  Much of what government does is far afield of “social justice,” but you won’t hear liberals talking about that.

And Romney isn’t a real tough guy when it comes to limiting government.  He talks a rather moderate game, surely less strident than Ron Paul.

But Obama keeps promising the crowds that they will get relief from student loans, high mortgages and insurance premiums.  And he’ll throw in a cell phone and Internet bandwidth to boot.

So it really comes down to a candidate who sees government as the provider of relief from all your ills vs. a candidates who wants to dial down government a bit and work us back toward a self-reliant America.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Obama's Middle Class - Vocal and Upset

The timing couldn’t be worse.  The Chicago teachers are striking and Obama’s right hand man and fundraiser-in-chief is forced to side with the people over the union.

Obama had hoped to solve the recession problem in a couple of years when he took office in 2009.  So he sent stimulus cash to the school districts to make up their shortfalls.  The revenue would come back soon, he thought.  But he was wrong.

All that stimulus money did was delay the inevitable.  The public sector was running out of money and would need to cut jobs, wages and benefits. 

More public sector workers are being laid off these days than private industry.  That sounds unfair but it really isn’t.  The private sector made its big adjustments three or four years ago.  And they have been careful not to hire back too many people.

But the public sector has more union representation and are more soft-hearted than real management.  Besides, they keep their kingdoms by spending all their budgets and asking for more each year.

Even so, they eventually have to trim when the money is gone.  And they are trimming.

So, here we have a crass representative of the CTU by the name of Karen Lewis.  She is not going to budge and she has the perfect in-your-face attitude.  Some videos of her in action are viral You Tube clips.  Let’s just say she isn’t much of an example of a professional educator.

And their isn’t much sympathy for the plight of the school teachers in Chicago.  Look at their customers.  Unemployment in Chicago is third worst in the nation and a solid point higher than the national average.  Minorities fare far worse.  And even in the better neighborhoods, people are underemployed.

Did I mention the high property taxes in Cook County…or the sales tax…or the 5% income tax?

And the union turns up their noses at 3% raises, a nice health insurance plan, job protection and legendary vacation days.

Even the folks on welfare have seen cuts in their perks.  Some of the freebees are gone and qualifying takes added paperwork.

It all leads to parents asking the question, “What are the teachers complaining about?”  Good question.

So, Obama perpetuated the problem back in 2009 by sending free money to school districts that simply kept hiring and paying as though there was no recession.  They finally woke up to the problem and now must fight the unions to lower costs.  Karen Lewis is the personification of unions fighting back.  Welcome to Obama’s middle class.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Voldemort Economics

We've all heard of Voodoo Economics.

May I introduce Voldemort Economics.  It consists of dealing with our economic woes without mentioning the real problem.

Obama (and to a lesser extent, Romney) believes that the problem with our economy is confidence.  People are afraid to spend and business owners are afraid to expand.  It's sort of like FDR's tag line: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

But that simply isn't the case.  If that was the real problem we would have returned to normal when George Bush sent every couple $1,200 with instructions to go out and buy something.

As for stimulating business, Obama's trick to allow businesses to accelerate depreciation was a pretty good idea, but it was a one-shot deal that just gives a tax break early.

No, the real problem, the problem that must not be named, is that our money is worthless and we owe boatloads of cash to people who should be our competitors, if not our enemies.

Obama pays a bit of lip-service to bringing our jobs back home, but that is all it is.  Some days he talks of global expansion, but never isolationism.  To impact the balance of trade in our favor would require tariffs and embargoes...and tax breaks and regulation waivers at home.  No one's talking about such efforts.

At some point we will wake up to the fact that Fed manipulations of the interest rate (how much below zero can you go) and their Quantitative Easing are just not working.  They boost the stock markets but do nothing to actually fix the economy.  In fact, they are making it worse.

They have painted us into a corner by creating a dilemma where the thing we need (HIGHER interest to encourage savings) kills the golden goose of growth.  If interest rates go up, inflation will rise and businesses will stop borrowing.  But with the low rates we have today, people are forced to play the market to get any return at all.  That's fundamentally wrong and only proves that our money has no value.

So, watch for either candidate to talk about returning value to our money.  You're more likely to hear them call out, "Voldemort."

And we will continue to put our faith in the stock market, which is based on perception instead of reality.  By no means a firm economic foundation.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Obama accepts the nomination

President Barack Obama signed up for a second term Thursday night by accepting the nomination of the Democrat Party.

His speech was calculated to draw a contrast between his philosophy and that of Mitt Romney.  And it was a very progressive vision.  Essentially, he wanted to perpetuate and enhance the Nanny State and get the millionaires to pay for it.

But the Nanny’s purse is empty and her credit cards are all maxed out.  And taking it all from the millionaires won’t even pay the interest.

Remember the GOP debates?  Remember the young man who asked, “For every dollar I earn, how much do you think that I deserve to keep?”

I suppose the Obama answer is that the young man should keep it all…and get subsidized tuition…and interest-free student loans…and free health care…and if he happens to be here illegally, citizenship.

This is a clear example of the difference between Obama and Romney.  As Obama has already proven, you simply cannot have the dream the Democrats are selling.  Someone has to pay for it.

The GOP makes some wild promises of its own, but at the end of the day Romney realizes that you have to make some serious cuts in spending and some folks are going to miss their entitlements.

Some of the cuts are easy.  You have to stop paying federal employees for sick days they didn’t use.  It’s simple, but the unions will squawk. 

And handing out free cell phones to welfare recipients is nonsense.  They’ve already got smart phones, so these toys are just given to their children to play with.

We’ve got entire departments in Washington that regulate everything from school lunch to CO2 emissions.  Less government means less expense.

Don’t expect Romney to have the big talk with America about doing without some of the perks.  That wouldn’t work.  He’d lose the election.

But come the inauguration, he must begin cutting deep…if we are fortunate enough to take the White House back from the progressives.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The GOP Platform 2012

Here's the actual text from the GOP Platform approved in Tampa this week.  The subject is immigration:
The Rule of Law: Legal Immigration
The greatest asset of the American economy is the American worker. Just as immigrant labor helped build our country in the past, today’s legal immigrants are making vital contributions in every aspect of our national life. Their industry and commitment to American values strengthens our economy, enriches our culture, and enables us to better understand and more effectively compete with the rest of the world. Illegal immigration undermines those benefits and affects U.S. workers. 

In an age of terrorism, drug cartels, human trafficking, and criminal gangs, the presence of millions of unidentified persons in this country poses grave risks to the safety and the sovereignty of the United States. Our highest priority, therefore, is to secure the rule of law both at our borders and at ports of entry.

We recognize that for most of those seeking entry into this country, the lack of respect for the rule of law in their homelands has meant economic exploitation and political oppression by corrupt elites. In this country, the rule of law guarantees equal treatment to every individual, including more than one million immigrants to whom we grant permanent residence every year. That is why we oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it. Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking. 

We support the mandatory use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (S.A.V.E.) program – an internet-based system that verifies the lawful presence of applicants – prior to the granting of any State or federal government entitlements or IRS refunds. We insist upon enforcement at the workplace through verification systems so that jobs can be available to all legal workers. Use of the E-verify program – an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees – must be made mandatory nationwide. State enforcement efforts in the workplace must be welcomed, not attacked. When Americans need jobs, it is absolutely essential that we protect them from illegal labor in the workplace. In addition, it is why we demand tough penalties for those who practice identity theft, deal in fraudulent documents, and traffic in human beings. It is why we support Republican legislation to give the Department of Homeland Security long-term detention authority to keep dangerous but undeportable aliens off our streets, expedite expulsion of criminal aliens, and make gang membership a deportable offense.

The current Administration’s approach to immigration has undermined the rule of law at every turn. It has lessened work-site enforcement – and even allows the illegal aliens it does uncover to walk down the street to the next employer – and challenged legitimate State efforts to keep communities safe, suing them for trying to enforce the law when the federal government refuses to do so. It has created a backdoor amnesty program unrecognized in law, granting worker authorization to illegal aliens, and shown little regard for the life-and-death situations facing the men and women of the border patrol.

Perhaps worst of all, the current Administration has failed to enforce the legal means for workers or employers who want to operate within the law. In contrast, a Republican Administration and Congress will partner with local governments through cooperative enforcement agreements in Section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act to make communities safer for all and will consider, in light of both current needs and historic practice, the utility of a legal and reliable source of foreign labor where needed through a new guest worker program. We will create humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily, while enforcing the law against those who overstay their visas.

State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked. The pending Department of Justice lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah must be dismissed immediately. The double-layered fencing on the border that was enacted by Congress in 2006, but never completed, must finally be built. In order to restore the rule of law, federal funding should be denied to sanctuary cities that violate federal law and endanger their own citizens, and federal funding should be denied to universities that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, in open defiance of federal law.

We are grateful to the thousands of new immigrants, many of them not yet citizens, who are serving in the Armed Forces. Their patriotism should encourage us all to embrace the newcomers legally among us, assist their journey to full citizenship, and help their communities avoid isolation from the mainstream of society. To that end, while we encourage the retention and transmission of heritage tongues, we support English as the nation’s official language, a unifying force essential for the educational and economic advancement of – not only immigrant communities – but also our nation as a whole.

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