Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Tax Day Tea Party
In Richmond, VA on April 15th there will be a Tax Day Tea Party. It will be held at the Kanawha Plaza, South 8th Street between 6 pm and 7:30 pm.
Cut the exorbitant spending and reduce the tax burden, President Obama, or you will be a one-termer!
Friday, March 27, 2009
A Call to Identify and Profile Elites!
Just who are the so-called "Elites?"
The accusations flow swiftly from Republicans: Conservatives, Libertarians, and other hangers-on. They accuse these Elites of malfeasance against the nation to their own benefit, and to the detriment of the average citizen. They accuse Elites of manipulation of the Congress and the President to favor policies and legislation that will profit the investments and the companies that comprise Elite portfolios. They accuse the Administration of furthering tax policies that favor the Elites. The accuse the Elites of influencing our governance in international affairs to their benefit. On and on the accusations fly that it is the Elites that are harming the nation for their own selfish objectives.
So I ask in all sincerity for those who accuse the Elites of any malfeasance to stand up now and name the names and tell the story of these Elites, who they are and what damage they are doing that we should react to, and what their profiles are.
Perhaps many of us are afraid of stepping up and telling the story of the Elites and their roles in directing the nation. Well, I did so in one of the very first posts on this blog, and, of course, I received no responses. It was a useless exercise then, and I suspect it will be so again, because of fear of retribution from these powerful people. Let others do the dangerous work of resetting our nation onto a better course, if they can. Or, just let the nation go in whatever direction they take us, and hope for the best in our lifetime. What about the nation that we will leave for our children, and our grandchildren? They must count for something in our lives today.
So my question stands. Who are these elites that are pushing and pulling us in directions that we may not agree that we should go? Tell us, please!
Here is my original post on the subject in 2005:
Who are the Elite? For years I have heard the term “Elite” to refer to some group of people that are supposedly of superior intellect and human insight, and who want to have the power to guide or direct our lives into more “rewarding” channels. From an number of bloggers I have read a definition for Elite groups that goes like this: The Elite today are composed of most university professors, the media owners and editors, many Hollywood activists, the current leadership of the Democratic Party, a bunch of columnists and writers of Left bent, and a slog of very wealthy, progressive limousine liberals. No one, however, ever identifies the lot of them by name in a list I’d call “The Elite.”
There must be a reason behind this refusal to name names, and point fingers at the crowd that wants to rule us anonymously from walled and guarded bastions behind the scene. My first idea is fear of reprisal by one of several means, each one of ever greater total impact: 1) lawsuits for defaming the name of some rich family; 2) attack on the list-maker in the media; 3) attack by means of stealthy economic sabotage; and even 4) harassment and physical intimidation by threatening phone calls or actual bodily harm.Those of us that want to know the enemy and try to battle them ( or convert them to reason) are handicapped by the lack of specific intelligence as to just who the enemy is.
When one pops up in the media, they are dealt with, especially the moonbats of the left, and the outspoken pseudo-elite from media. I would hazard a guess that some of the elite are drawn from the communist or Marxist party, the socialist party and the humanist party of today. For the communists and the humanists, I know of their manifestos that set forth their grand and provably-impossible, Utopian ideas for governance. The socialist party statement of principles serves the same purpose.
The interesting point is that most of these people seem to have four common characteristics: 1) foremost, they are well-to-do or wealthy and their ideas for everyone hypocritically do not include sharing their wealth or reducing their large salaries; 2) they thus have time to play “ If I Were King” Utopian games which soothes their huge egos; 3) they have a higher than normal IQ and believe strongly in their intellectual and organizational abilities to do things better; and, 4) they somehow get connected with the radicals that swarm around in dark, stinky tunnels, and believe they are helping someone important to a better way of life, or some other altruistic idea, fostered on them by the radicals. They are deluded, duped and end up buying into the song of the radicals. Or else, in their ego-driven games, they believe that their participation in radical left movements will bring them into political power here in the US. Added: They may well be right!
I would like help in building a list of organizations and individuals that are of this mindset. My starter list is given in the archives under “The Shunning List.”
The Shunning List
The only weapon I have as a private citizen, other than the vote, against the blasphemers of the constitution and laws, the Elite, the America haters, the obstructionists, and the liberal twits is to ignore them. They do not respond to logic, they do not respond to patriotism, they do not respond to ethics, or etiquette, nor do they speak with a straight tongue. When I thought about it, I decided to make a list of those who I felt had earned the right to be ignored; in short, to be Shunned.
Thus was born The Shunning List. What does shunning entail? Act as if that person does not exist. Do not read their words, do not listen to their speeches, do not watch them on TV or in the movies, and do not socialize with them. Further, those who rise to their defense will likewise be shunned (I hope none of my favorite people defend any who are shunned!). I would not interfere with these people, nor constrain their rights as citizens, but I do not have to be assaulted by their thoughts.
How are the people selected for the list of The Shunned? By their words and deeds as seen through my own filter. My filter is that of a Christian believer in God, where love, truth, honesty, conservative thought, and fighting evil are all paramount.Categories of The Shunned: There are a number of broad categories of people I am inclined to shun, but I would seek evidence to confirm my suspicions: Secular Humanists and Liberals, Socialists and Communists (Democrats are always under suspicion for actually being one of these!), the Hollywood Activists, Liberal Professors, Activist Judges, those who hate America worldwide, and terrorists and their organizations.I have no time for such people.
Of course, I cannot achieve a full and complete shunning! I would be foolish not to pay attention to what the internal and external enemies of our country are saying and doing! This isn’t meant to be a “head in the sand” tactic, but rather a selective approach to the shrill cries and demagoguery of the Left, and a constant reminder of where these people stand in the pantheon of nuts. Many of them go to legal extremes to carry their point, or try to, such as the ALCU. But I would avoid supporting them in any way I can, such as not going to their movies, or buying their books or other products. There will always be those trusted bloggers who will analyze the latest rants from the Left and summarize them for the rest of us, so I can avoid much of the drivel directly, unless I have the urge to take the measure of one of these nutcases from time to time.
The reason for this Shunning is simple. If I immerse myself in the evil words and images, and the awful actions and speeches from the Left on a daily basis, it will affect my disposition in a horrible manner. My rage at some of these idiots is fierce and body-wrenching! So, as a self-protection measure, I am pulling back, and simply voting with my Shun list. There is a sense of gratification in adding a new name to the List! There! Take that, you wacko! Lurking in the back of my mind is the thought that maybe others feel the same way. What if they joined me in creating a Super List and actually Shunning the people on it? A grassroots effort would be promoted simply to trivialize and ignore the irrelevant kooks in our society! Inculcating an “Oh, Him!” reaction to the Listed Ones. And letting the world know who is to be listened to about America and who is on The Shunning List. We might soon be able to retire some of these pains in the ass to their Malibu or Cape Cod homes.
Added: This is not easy now in 2009 with the Left in charge of the nation, led by Barack Obama!
A list of names is all I will present for the moment. Later, I plan to use quotes to illustrate why that person is on the list, much as John Hawkins has done. But, go see his site and read the reasons for his list. I am developing a list of organizations as well that deserve our contempt and shunning. Here, however, paying attention to them may be far more important, so the list will serve to alert a few people to the left-driven organizations we must deal with over time.
The Shunning List(This list comes from my reading and TV viewing, but my somewhat aging memory has been greatly aided by John Hawkin's list of the most annoying liberals for 2002, 2003, and 2004, whose blog, Right Wing News, is outstanding!)
Ron Reagan, Jr.
Several names have been removed from the original list as they have died in the meanwhile. R.I.P.
Many authors have railed against the Elites and their practices in the previous few years, including, in no special order:
Mona Charin-Useful Idiots
Bill O'Reilly-Cultural Warriors
Bernard Goldberg-100 People Who are Screwing Up America
David Horowitz-The Politics of Bad Faith
David Horowitz- Unholy Alliance
Jed Babbin-Inside the Asylum
Laura Ingraham-Shut Up and Sing
Keir Alfia and Alan Lipton-A Field Guide to Left-Wing Wackos
David Horowitz- The Professors
Peter Schweizer-Makers and Takers
Grover Norquist-Leave Us Alone
Ann Coulter-Traitors, and many more
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Shudders of the Day: "Spend and Tax" Liberals
Watch out, Guys and Gals, we are well on the road to socialism!
So many shuddering events and statements have surfaced that I am overwhelmed:
Hillary putting blame on the US for the Mexican drug cartels: we use the drugs--Duh!
The latest budget of the Obama administration has over 8,000 earmarks.
Now we are going to create an Obama army, dedicated to him, using taxpayer dollars, under the guise of National Service!
This Administration is seeking authority to close down firms that become a hazard to the economy (in their opinion!). This is totalitarian!
The budget has a provision that puts aside over 600 billion dollars for health care. Our tax dollars are to be banked by the government to pay for the care of low income people. There has to be a better way than a massive government bureaucracy that returns little on the tax dollar.
Now there is a proposal to fund the media by the government! Shades of controlled printing we saw in Russia.
The other media proposition in parallel is aimed at shutting down talk radio, especially rightist stations such as Rush Limbaugh, under the guise of "fairness."
It isn't Obama that writes legislation, it is the Pelosi and Reid staff members that are going wild! They need to be stopped!
Ever heard of "Tax and Spend Democrats"? The new kind of Democrat is: "Spend Now, Tax Later."
Do you find it hard to keep up? That is the plan.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
These are the rules of the Radical Left for sowing dissention. You can see them in action daily if you look sharply for them. Paraphrased from :
Craig Miyamoto, APR, Fellow PRSA
RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don't address the "real" issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)
Watch for them.
Reference The American thinker for more:
September 25, 2008
Barack Obama and Alinsky's Rules for Psychopaths By James Lewis
"... the community organizer ... must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression.' -- Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals
"THERE IS ONLY THE FIGHT --- An analysis of the Alinsky Model."
-- Hillary Clinton, BA Honors Thesis, Wellesley College, 1969.
"(Barack) Obama worked in the organizing tradition of Saul Alinsky, who made Chicago the birthplace of modern community organizing...."
-- The Nation
A psychopath is a person without conscience; someone who constantly breaks the moral rules of the community. Saul Alinsky was a "community organizer" who found a career that fit that personality disorder. In the Orwellian upside-down world of the Left, community organizers disorganize communities. That is the meaning of revolution, to overturn whatever exists today in the raw pursuit of one's own power.
Alinsky boasted about his close alliance with Frank Nitti, Al Capone's second in command in the Chicago Mob during the 1930s. Al Capone's Mob were domestic terrorists, and not for any noble cause either. They poisoned the Chicago politics of their era. Alinsky's close alliance with Frank Nitti tells us something crucially important today. Alinsky was also a lifelong ally of the Stalin-controlled Communist Party, at a time when Stalin was known to have murdered tens of millions of people. He was proud of building a bridge between organized crime and the power hungry Left. That tacit alliance may continue today.
Alinsky's personality fits the definition of a psychopath -- someone who has no guilt or shame toward others. But Alinsky also discovered how to teach psychopathic behavior to college students. That is the key to his success: To persuade hundreds of thousands of ignorant young people that it is much more moral to be immoral. Or, as Bill Ayers famously said, "Bring the Revolution home; kill your parents."
Bill Ayers is now a highly influential professor of education. That is not an accident; it reflects a deliberate program of radical agitation and propaganda through the school systems. If you want to know who brought down American education, Bill Ayers is part of the answer.
A lot of the Boomer Left is marked by psychopathic behavior, in politics and in the rest of life. That is why the actions of the Left are so shocking to many of us.
Alinsky's disciples -- including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- have a warlike political style. They learned politics as war from the Master. Obama is so well-trained in Alinsky tactics that he used to teach workshops on it. That is why Obama can knowingly violate Federal law against usurping the presidential power to negotiate with Iraq before ever getting elected. Actual election to head of state by the voters means nothing, just as it means nothing to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer, who have negotiated with Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood in clear violation of law while serving in Congress.
Teaching hatred for the normal majority is the key to power for radicals. But Alinsky taught that you can't easily hate millions of people. To do that effectively you need a one-person scapegoat to focus all your hatred on. "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." That is the politics of personal destruction, and it doesn't matter if the target is black like Clarence Thomas, or a woman like Sarah Palin, or a severely wounded war veteran like John McCain.
That is why Obama is now instructing his followers to "get in their faces" of those Americans who are not down for his cause. Obama acts like a nice guy, but he is a political warmonger. He's been very clear about that: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." That's the language of gang war.
Today we can see the Left's rage reaction to John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin. The New York Sun quoted one feminist saying "All of my women friends, a week ago Monday, were on the verge of throwing themselves out windows ...People were flipping out. ... Every woman I know was in high hysteria over this. Everyone was just beside themselves with terror that this woman could be our president -- our potential next president."
The "comedienne" Sandra Bernhard suggested that Sarah Palin would be "gang-raped by blacks in Manhattan" if she dared to go there.
A British Leftist writing for Pravda (!) called "Sarah Palin - The Devil in disguise...
Sarah Palin, Mrs. Nobody know-it-all shreiking cow from Alaska, the joke of American politics, plied with a couple of vodkas ... cheap little guttersnipe ... suppose you shut up ... you pith-headed little bimbo from the back of beyond ... So next time suppose you keep your mouth shut and while you're at it, make sure the members of your family keep their legs shut too. ... "
That warlike rage has been systematically whipped up over decades by the Left. That's what college "Women's Studies" does, just as "Black Studies" is deliberately designed to whip up black rage and victimhood. Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis is a case in point.
Alinsky called ordinary Americans "the enemy." Normal people don't declare war on all of society. But Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals that radicals
"...have contemptuously rejected the values and way of life of the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized and corrupt ... They are right ... "
Normal, decent America is the enemy for these people.
Obama and Hillary are lifelong followers of Alinsky. They use his tactics and ideology. That is why American politics became the politics of personal destruction when the Boomer Left came to power.
These claims require proof; but we have been looking straight at the evidence since the first Clinton term. Bill Clinton fits the diagnostic description of psychopathic personality, now relabeled "antisocial personality' in the DSM IV, the official diagnostic manual for psychiatry. Three out of the following seven criteria nails the diagnosis:
1. Failure to conform to social norms ...
2. Deceitfulness ... or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
4. Irritability and aggressiveness ... ;
5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6. Consistent irresponsibility ... ;
7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
I would give Mr. Clinton credit for Numbers 1, 2, 6, and 7, and possibly 3 (impulsivity) and 4 (irritability and aggressiveness). Dick Morris, who advised the Clintons for 20 years, describes dramatic scenes that certainly fit the description. Or Bill's inability to stick with a meeting agenda, impulsively running endless bull sessions at the White House. As for 5, his picking up women opportunistically and in a way that put his career, not to mention his family life and American security, at risk. The Monica affair showed an impulsive, reckless president who got into power by endless lying and conning.
Liberal Democrats used to be normal Americans before the Boomer Left rose to power. Hubert Humphrey and Harry Truman had a strong sense of American morality. They despised the Stalinist Left and fought to keep them out of the Democrat Party. They were sensitive to ordinary shame and guilt, the emotions that make us civilized. When Bob Dole asked "Where is the shame?" in the 1996 presidential election, the answer came out: Not in the modern Democrat Party. People without guilt or shame make merciless power mongers.
Normal people slow down in School Zones where kids might run across the street -- not because they're afraid of getting a speeding ticket but because they can't stand the thought of hurting kids. They don't need to cheat compulsively on wives and husbands to prove how irresistible they are. Normal people have internalized some modesty and humility, and are capable of respect and love for others. A common feature of psychopaths is the inability to feel authentic love and respect for others.
True psychopaths are often charming, seductive, and treacherous. They make natural con artists. Many psychopaths are extremely manipulative -- and what is more manipulative than stirring up hatred among victim groups to empower oneself? That is Jeremiah Wright, the diabolical Father Pfleger, James Meeks, and by his own definition of radicals, Saul Alinsky.
The worst are "malevolent psychopaths" -- people who sadistically hurt others. Hitler and Stalin, Kim Jong Il, Pol Pot, and probably many famous Western intellectuals fit the description of malevolent psychopaths. That is tragic and shocking. Historian Paul Johnson presents compelling evidence for malevolent psychopathy in the life of Jean-Paul Sartre, for example, and many others in his important book Intellectuals. Western intellectuals have been the home team of Leftist radicalism for a century now.
But the single most important point about Alinsky's "community organizing" strategy is that normal people can be trained to act like psychopaths: To become convinced that a "higher morality" allows them to act without conscience. As Alinsky wrote admiringly about V.I. Lenin, well known as a large-scale murder leader:
"Lenin was a pragmatist; ... he said that the Bolsheviks stood for getting power through the ballot box but would reconsider after they got the guns!"
That is a laugh line, believe it or not.
Alinsky called this "pragmatic radicalism." He differed from his Communist friends only in being more practical and less ideological. Alinsky was a radical because it suited his personality, because it was fun, brought him power and influence, and made him feel good. He was very clear in saying that, and he inspired the Boomer Left to follow his lead.
Alinsky dedicated Rules for Radicals:
"... to the very first radical . . . who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom - Lucifer."
If that doesn't send a shiver down your back, you haven't been paying attention.
James Lewis occasionally blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com
on "Barack Obama and Alinsky's Rules for Psychopaths
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
ICCC NY Global Warming Deniers
Posted at American Thinker, this report on the ICCC echos many scientists objections to the current all-court-press to do something about manmade CO2.
The Clear and Cohesive Message of the International Conference on Climate Change
By Marc Sheppard
“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.” -- from the Oregon Petition, signed by over 31,000 scientists
United by that conviction, over 800 scientists, economists, and policy makers arrived in New York City last Sunday to attend the Heartland Institute’s 2nd Annual International Conference on Climate Change. They came to talk a wide range of subjects, from climatology to energy policy, from computer climate models to cap-and-trade, from greenhouse gas (GHG) effects to solar irradiation. But most of all they came to help spread the word that the answer to the question posed by this year’s theme -- Global warming: Was it ever really a crisis? -- is a resounding NO.
The ICCC site, with links to full papers, is:
Labels: Global Warming
Thursday, March 12, 2009
List of Vital Issues for America
Here is my updated list as of march, 2009:
1. Christianity--growing its moral importance to our citizens.
2. Islam--recognizing that we are at both active and passive war with Islam.
3. Conservatism--getting the traditional fiscal and social conservative message to the public.
4. Liberalism--defeating their outrageous propositions to change America, and ensuring they do not have another opportunity in the future.
5. Education--revising our education system to give a better education, and take the federal government out of it. Let the states run education.
6. Science--honest, scientific tracking of climate change; energy breakthroughs; improve the environment, research on nuclear energy.
7. Globalization--bringing more nations back into higher wealth and lower poverty.
8. US Government--reforms in Congress, the Judiciary (SCOTUS in particular), and the Administration.
9. US Financial Stability--reform of the budget, reduction in spending.
10. UN and World Politics--deemphasize the UN in favor of friendly democratic nations.
11. World Poverty--work to end starvation of masses of people.
12. WMD Proliferation--stop it by force; carry a big stick. Give ultimatums to Iran and N. Korea.
13. Natural Resources--conservation of scarce resources is a must.
14. The European Union--partner, ally, or dedicated trade enemy? Walk carefully!
15. China--carry a very big stick. Reduce imports.
16. Social Changes in the US--preserve our effective institutions and traditions from socialistic, and communitarian changes.
17. Security--support the GWOT, keep the Patriot Act, allow all policemen to arrest, hold and deport illegals after a hearing before a local judge.
18. Immigration--cap the flow with strong, complete fences, deport illegals, create an effective guest worker program.
19. Corruption in Government--our legislators, judges, and the administration have gone wild, and must be reined in. It is not accidental that the immigration bill is being reinstated. Return to original intent of the Constitution.
20. Administration-- work to unseat Obama, his bunch of radicals, and all of the leftist Congressmen in 2010 and 2012.
21. Defense--Bolster troop power by two or three additional divisions, and continue major weapon programs, perhaps at a somewhat lower pace.
Labels: Citizenship USA, Islam and Others, Worldview
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Limbaugh said it correctly if you listened and chose not to grab a statement out of context. He wants Obama to fail in his economic and social policies, because they are simply wrong. They are not conservative policies. End of story.
The Obama Sadga (Sad Saga)
Obama intends to sign the Omnibus Bill with its 9,000 earmarks, citing that it is old business. This is BS: it is his signature now that puts the provisions in force, so Obama is condoning once again a huge chunk of earmarks, and a nice chunk of pork and payoffs with our tax money. Funny how he can backtrack on his campaign promises at will, and does so all too frequently. What happened to “transparency of government” for instance? A further sad note: over 40% of the earmarks are from Republicans. We need to do away with earmarks altogether.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Why Progressive Taxes?
In that there are many other ways to reach fiscal stability.
Perhaps I fail to spot the problem here: who says that we need so very much government that we must tax progressively?
It is easy to establish that we need some amount of government to maintain an orderly and lawful society, to provide for the common defense, and to provide the environment for entrepreneural efforts. That there must be some regulation is easy to understand, also.
But, it seems that there is a growth of government functions far beyond what would be ideally needed simply to keep our society perking. Thus, there is a tax revenue demand that is virtually insatiable, what with government taking on the ever-increasing support of the non-payers of taxes, and the bailout of financial and other institutions that in fact should not be bailed out at all, and a drag of earmarks, pork and payoffs that must represent, as a guess, 10% of the tax load now.
So, to feed this monster we envoke class envy, and raise the rates for the high incomers, instead of doing the hard things: cutting back on marginal projects, reducing the size of government, finding greater efficiencies in government, cutting out the earmarks, pork and payoffs, and relying more on market forces to do the adjusting than to government intervention. Just to make it more obvious, lets then cut taxes for the other 95% of the people.
What we need is an austerity program, not a social welfare program.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
A New Conservatism?
From Whence Come the Ideas and Fervor?
I have seen the call for new ideas and new directions for conservatism being made by many spokespersons. What I have seen very little of are presentations of well-thought-out ideas that have both the punch and the basis in conservatism required to capture the imagination of the public.
It is still true in my mind that a tax cut is the bread and butter issue for now, paralleled, obviously, by significant spending cuts somewhere.
But where are the really new ideas that would replace or complement these staid and sound ideas of the past? Tax cuts are an easy sell, normally. Spending cuts are going to be a very hard sell when the opposition is using a snow shovel to toss money into the economy, to save jobs, and mortgages, and cars.
But it is precisely spending that must be brought under control, and if it is attacked by us in the next election cycle, many of our citizens will believe that they will suffer for it (probably rightly) and will opt for shovel-loads of taxpayer money yet again
The old saw of shooting for greater government efficiency to save taxpayer dollars has been used over and over, I would say with very limited success, among many reasons, because government growth overwhelms the savings, the system itself mitigates against contraction of services for needs, the protection by Congress of fiefdoms, the incessant and effective lobbying for this or that program continuation, and what I will term “poor utilization of human resources” in government, just to get around lots of sensitive pieces of the problem.
Entitlements are yet another area that must be handled, including SS and Medicare. They are the largest spending sector, and they have large constituencies as well. The opposition is going to offer low cost or even some free medical care, subsidized by the government. That tends to trump rational suggestions that promise to put these programs on a healthy financial basis over time, but must have many subscribers to pay fees in the meanwhile.
If we look into Education, or Energy, or Defense, or (God help us!) Climate Change, for new ideas, we hit the shovel approach again head first from the opposition, right in the middle of the depression/recession/stagflation or what have you? in 2010.
What I return to is the crying need to identify a significant list of line-item targets for spending reductions and the rationales for them that sell the public practically on the face of what they are now. The magnetic rail line in Nevada comes to mind, and bridges to nowhere that keep cropping up, or saving a rodent or bug in the desert or forest are examples. The identified savings would have to amount to many billions of dollars, while not doing more harm than good.
So, I am hoping for some brilliant men and women to put the new ideas and their justifications up for review real soon now. The complexity of it all is daunting. I envy no President his job, but I do reserve the right to object to what is proposed, particularly in the case of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Triumvirate.