Friday, July 31, 2009
The Peasant Plan
July 31st, 2009 by Mitch Berg
John Edwards, in a line that may well top off his political epitaph one day, famously said that there are “Two Americas”. He was referring to the literal and metaphorical gulf between America’s “Haves” and “Have Nots”. He didn’t note that there are also two Indias, two Phillipines, two Frances and two Argentinas, but Edwards has never been one to let eternal truths of the human condition get in the way of a sound bite.
Conservatives accept these gulfs, recognizing that talent, innate applied intelligence, hard work and just-plain-luck and the lack of them will put people in one America or the other. At the same time, most see a moral obligation to cut down the hurdles and obstacles between the two - especially the (creating more) exits from “Have Not” America.
The left, on the other hand, has always sought to make life in “Have Not” America at least superficially less onerous, all the while making “Have” America a refreshing oasis for those who spend their days dwelling on the plight of the “Have Nots”. Their rationale isn’t much different from the one that royalty accepted in years past; the responsibilities of taking care of ones’ inferiors justified life’s little luxuries, and the big ones as well. In big ways (the USSR’s kommissars shopped at special stores and lived in special housing while the proles waited in line for bread and crammed entire families into studio apartments) and little (count the number of anti-Second-Amendment celebs who’ve used their connections to get themselves and/or their bodyguards concealed carry permits), the left constantly squirrels away perks for their fellow “haves”.
Since the bloom is finally coming off Obama’s electoral rose, it’s time to catalog the Administration’s, and the Democrats’, attempts to make “Have” America a nicer place for those who take care of all of us peasants....
(Read the rest at "Shot In The Dark")
Notice how most of them are all on the same page when it comes to the The 0-Man's press releases, errrrr... "news"?
The economic data (You know, the actual math involved?) says different.
All cops drink.
And... all black men break and enter.
Cool. The national referendum on that is over.
Long as we got it straight.
Btw, the Cerveza should have been Carta Blanca.
That way the Beer Summiters could drink the "white card" in lieu of playing the race card.
Think I'll go stand on my front porch and yell at cops for a while. It's fun, but not very profitable.
But I'm well within my rights....
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Maybe if we were to consider the whole "beer at the White House" (Breaking and entering) thing from Sgt. Crowley's (Prof. Gates) point of view?
You never know, he might feel a little put upon, having someone of another ethnic background automatically assuming he liked to drink (break and enter) because he was Irish (Black)? Maybe even if he is standing in a bar (In the foyer of a house with a broken front door) when he gets the invite?
I mean, especially if he knows in the depths of his very soul and through the personal experience of generations of his ethnic group that there is a history of societal-wide biased belief that the majority of Irishmen (Blacks) abuse alcohol (Break and enter)?
What if the invite was really only an innocent one - the kind of invite that someone might extend to a working acquaintance (Perp) or customer (Taxpayer) while in the course of their job?
But what if then, as Sgt. Crowley (Prof. Gates) has been conditioned to look at such pleasantries as an insult to his heritage and his intelligence, he takes offense at the invitation to “have a beer” (Show some I.D.)?
Are we to then blame Sgt. Crowley (Prof. Gates)?
Of course not – blame the inviter, not the invitee.
From the continuing saga entitled "Bend Over To See How Taxes Work".
The Revenue Circle
I'll bet that it will get to the point that it has with Federal monies for roads: States will have certain laws they must enact and enforce, as well as certain benchmarks or metrics they have to meet, or the Federal dollars (actually the state's dollars to begin with) will be taken away.
Lessee, we are taxed to pay for citizen penalizing "safety" programs (ClickItOrTicket, Traffic Cameras, etc...) that are mandated by Federal law, states collect the revenue from these "programs". Then the Feds raise the number of such mandates, and states have to figure how to make more revenue to fund the mandates, just so they can qualify for more Federal monies, taxes go up to provide more Federal monies... on and on and on....
Monday, July 27, 2009
One of them thar thangs that jus' make ya wanna go "hummm" just occurred to me -- According to the 0-Man, this is supposed to be a "teaching moment" about racism.
So why is it that he invited Crowley over for, of all things, a beer? To talk about racism? Why not a White House dinner? Why not tea? 'cause everbuddy knows the working class can't be trusted to behave at a proper White House din-din. Prolly never seen a salad fork before.
Is it because, you know, Crowley is an Irish name, and hey, you know about those Irish and their alcohol?! Give 'em a little likker and everythang'll be ok. Heck, just 'cause he's Irish don't mean he ain't got sum Injun in him.
What The 0-Man did here is the equivalent of a white President inviting a person of color to the White House to share some watermelon, fried chicken, and listen to some drivin' while black stories. Jolly time.
Unbelievably (or not) oblivious.
Proving the 0-Man's point though, is that Gates does have better taste in beer, preferring Red Stripe or Becks over Crowley's Blue Moon.
Uh, weak wheat beer made by Coors. Almost as bad as ethnic profiling by the 0-Man.
Now, all of us know (or we should) that The 0-Man is 1/2 Irish. But he's in denial of his Irish "roots". That's why he's called the first (2nd?) Black President instead of the 11th partially Irish President.
Plus, it just sounds better.
Now here's a way for him to keep sounding good: Get the facts first... when you're President, that's important.
...Others might press for major constitutional restructuring but I doubt that Americans under normal conditions could agree on the package of radical and "alien" constitutional changes that would be required. They would do so, I think, only during and following a stupendous national crisis and political failure."
From: The Power to Lead by James Macgregor Burns, Presidential Biographer and Member of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Wow. We are really in trouble.
Here's what's happening, folks. (From a web-poster aliased "JustPassinThru")
Everybody needs to brush up on Saul Alinsky.
Destroying what IS is a necessary prerequisite for building their New Utopia. They ARE destroying our structure - BY DESIGN. So that when the people get panicked; and with church and community rendered impotent, they will, Liberals hope, turn to GOVERNMENT.
It's reminiscent of the Three Stooges short, where they were exterminators trying to hype business by planting vermin in an expensive house. - JustPassinThru
Here are some Alinskyisms:
"Radicals must be resilient, adaptable to shifting political circumstances, and sensitive enough to the process of action and reaction to avoid being trapped by their own tactics and forced to travel a road not of their choosing."
"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism."
"An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma to begin with, he does not have a fixed truth -- truth to him is relative and changing; everything to him is relative and changing.... To the extent that he is free from the shackles of dogma, he can respond to the realities of the widely different situations...."
"By 1985, the influence of traditional Christian philosophy in the West was weak and negligible.... Humanly speaking, it was no longer too tall an order to strip large majorities of men and women in the West of those last vestiges that remained to them of Christianity's transcendent God."
"The end is what you want, the means is how you get it. Whenever we think about social change, the question of means and ends arises. The man of action views the issue of means and ends in pragmatic and strategic terms. He has no other problem; he thinks only of his actual resources and the possibilities of various choices of action. He asks of ends only whether they are achievable and worth the cost; of means, only whether they will work. ... The real arena is corrupt and bloody."
"The means-and-ends moralists, constantly obsessed with the ethics of the means used by the Have-Nots against the Haves, should search themselves as to their real political position. In fact, they are passive — but real — allies of the Haves…. The most unethical of all means is the non-use of any means... The standards of judgment must be rooted in the whys and wherefores of life as it is lived, the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be...."
"The third rule of ethics of means and ends is that in war the end justifies almost any means...."
"The seventh rule... is that generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics...."
"The tenth rule... is you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments.... It involves sifting the multiple factors which combine in creating the circumstances at any given time... Who, and how many will support the action?... If weapons are needed, then are appropriate weapons available? Availability of means determines whether you will be underground or above ground; whether you will move quickly or slowly..."
"Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Rhetoric: The president insisted in his news conference last night that "the bill I sign must also slow the growth of health-care costs in the long run."
Reality: Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad asked the man who is the top authority on the subject -- Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf -- if the bills before Congress would "bend the long-term cost curve" in health care.
"No, Mr. Chairman," Elmendorf said, adding, "the legislation significantly expands" health costs.
Rhetoric: Obama said last night his plan "will keep government out of health-care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you're happy with it."
Reality: The Lewin Group, a respected economics-consulting firm, estimates in a new study for The Heritage Foundation that more than 80 million people would lose the coverage they have today if the Obama plan is implemented.
Rhetoric: President Obama has traveled the country extolling the virtues of the Mayo Clinic and other integrated health systems, saying they offer "the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm" and should be a model for the nation.
Reality: The Mayo Clinic and 12 other top health-care-delivery outlets just sent Congress a letter, warning that the bill that already has passed two committees in the House would put them out of business.
If the government creates its own health-insurance plan paying at Medicare rates, as the administration and Congress propose, the organizations say the result will be "unsustainable for even the nation's most efficient, high-quality providers, eventually driving them out of the market."
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Those carefully chosen few privileged to interview him (see the recent Jim Lehrer interview on News Hour which prompted this letter), never call him on it.
The difference between 16 million and 46 million: the millions of people who qualify for but do not take government insurance benefits already offered, the population making more than $50,000 a year who are uninsured, and uninsured non-citizens.
The majority of people (59.3 percent) purchase plans through their employer and forgo direct purchases. Plans provided by private insurers directly to consumers only account for about 8.9 percent of total purchases; a very small percentage of the overall private market.
Over 27 percent of Americans are covered by taxpayer financed public insurance. These Americans are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, State-Child’s Health Insurance Programs, military health care, and sometimes a combination of these options.
Through war, an influx of immigration, and a number of recessions the uninsured rate has stayed relatively constant, moving between 12 and 16 percent since 1987.
Of the 46 million people without insurance 12.4 million were foreign born, of which 9.7 million were non-citizens. According to the Census Bureau, the number of illegal immigrants without insurance is difficult to calculate accurately, but it is believed to be the largest factor contributing to climbing uninsured rates in recent years.
Of the 46 million uninsured, 17.5 million had a household income greater than $50,000 per year in 2007 and 9.1 million had incomes over $75,000. These Americans did not qualify for public insurance, given their incomes, and have elected to stay out of the private insurance market. This correlates with the fact that about 40 percent of all uninsured Americans are between the ages of 25-44.
Ref. Sources of insurance analysis: http://www.freedomworks.org/publications/the-sources-of-insurance-issue-analysis-126
Friday, July 17, 2009
The projected gambling "revenue" that is supposed to prop up the back end of all of the Social Services in Governor Strickland's lazy-man's budget will end up just so much smoke.
As is the norm for most State-run projects (see lottery as funding for education????), it will be full of cost overruns, bad purchasing choices, kick-backs and loopholed contracts.
West Virginia revenue from slot machines is off 7 percent for the current year. And projections for this coming fiscal year are worse.
If a state that is experienced is missing their projections, what will happen to Ohio's rookie projections?
Gov. Strickland's projections for Keno profits for the Ohio Lottery Commission were at $73 million of the budget for the current fiscal year. Now those "revenues" are running off $40 million at a pace that projects to only $33 million.
That's a lotta red ink and a pretty big difference, doncha think?
When the slot machines were first proposed back in March by racetrack owners to “save their businesses”, they estimated the revenue to the state to be $600 million. Now, when Governor Ted wants slots to balance the budget, they're supposed to make $933 million.
Jimi was right: If 6 were 9, well, wishes still ain't horses, after all.
The solution to a healthy budget is a better business environment with better tax structures, NOT A SHELL GAME where the only winners are a couple of outdated gambling ventures and an out-of-state slot machine manufacturer.
That is, unless your whole economic plan is a shell game. Then it makes sense because you are trying to scam the citizenry. Just. One. More. Time.
Instead of helping prop up his lazy man's budget, Gov. Strickland will be looking at an ultra-costly fiasco. The state will count on the $933 million of projected revenue, which will fail to materialize, and at that point they will have another deficit built on those faulty expectations, ending up with even more job cuts, and as they usually do, an end result worse than an honest days work at effective budget cuts and a revamped tax system would have been.
To simplify, here are the steps involved:
1-The assumption (see "projected revenues") that a government program, especially one designed to raise money, is going to be badly run, is a pretty safe one.
2-Being off on projected revenue hurts budget plans. Ohio sees what is happening with other gambling states, and blithely ignores those results when making its own plans. Pretty smart, huh?
3-The problem is that they plan their spending and make the budget based on the false assumption that they are getting $73 million in revenue, when it is actually $33 million. At this point we don't even know if that is gross or net - we don't know the formula they used - although you can wade through the 1000+ pages and presumably find out. It probably changes based on political expediency.
Can we assume, given the record on Keno, that things will be the same with slots? I think so.
The result is a LOSS as the budget is in deficit because, using Keno as the example -- Slots will be worse, they have already spent the $73 million, additional jobs and programs have to be cut, and the cycle of deficit spending goes on and on...
"...That government is best that governs least is an Americanism. When "Silent Cal" Coolidge went home in 1929, the U.S. government was spending 3 percent of gross domestic product.
And today? Obama’s first budget will consume 28 percent of the entire GDP; state and local governments another 15 percent. While there is some overlap, in 2009, government will consume 40 percent of GDP, approaching the peak of World War II.
The deficit for 2009 is $1.8 trillion, 13 percent of the whole economy. Obama is pushing a cap-and-trade bill to cut carbon emissions that will impose huge costs on energy production, spike consumer prices and drive production offshore to China, which is opting out of Kyoto II. The Chinese are not fools.
Obama plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts and take the income tax rate to near 40 percent. Combined state and local income tax rates can run to 10 percent. For the self-employed, payroll taxes add up to 15.2 percent on the first $106,800 for all wages of all workers.
Medicare takes 2.9 percent of all wages above that. Then there are the state sales taxes that can run to 8 percent, property taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes and "sin taxes" on booze, cigarettes and, soon, hot dogs and soft drinks.
Comes now national health insurance from Nancy Pelosi's House. A surtax that runs to 5.4 percent of all earnings of the top 1 percent of Americans, who already pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes, has been sent to the Senate. Included also is an 8 percent tax on the entire payroll of small businesses that fail to provide health insurance for employees.
Other ideas on the table include taxing the health benefits that businesses provide their employees.
The D.C.-based Tax Foundation says New Yorkers could face a combined income tax rate of near 60 percent.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson called George III a tyrant for having "erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people and eat out their substance."
What did George III do with his Stamp Act, Townshend Acts or tea tax to compare with what is being done to this generation of Americans by their own government?
While the most productive are bled, a third of all wage-earners pay no U.S. income tax, and Obama plans to free almost half of all wage-earners of all income taxes. Yet, tens of millions get Medicaid, rent supplements, free education, food stamps, welfare and an annual check from Uncle Sam called an Earned Income Tax Credit, though they never paid a nickel in income taxes.
Coming to America to feast on this cornucopia of freebies is the world. One million to 2 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrive every year. They come with fewer skills and less education than in even the recent past, and consume more tax dollars than they contribute by three to one.
Latina women have more babies north of the border than they do in Mexico and twice as many here as non-immigrant women.
Almost all immigrants qualify for ethnic preferences in hiring and promotions and admissions.
All of this would have astounded the Founding Fathers, who, as they declared in the Constitution – created this country "for ourselves and our posterity."
China saves, invests and grows at 8 percent. America, awash in debt, has a shrinking economy, a huge trade deficit, a gutted industrial base, an unemployment rate surging toward 10 percent and a money supply that's swollen to double its size in a year. The 20th century may have been the American Century. The 21st shows another pattern.
"The United States is declining as a nation and a world power with mostly sighs and shrugs to mark this seismic event," writes Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, in CFR's Foreign Affairs magazine. "Astonishingly, some people do not appear to realize that the situation is all that serious."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This is a great audio interview from the program "Here and Now", on WBUR, Boston public radio
Goldman-Sachs has people throughout our government, and that enabled it, through Henry Paulson and others, to game the system.
They control both the Federal Reserve Bank System and our government oversight programs.
Guess who owns the Chicago Climate Exchange, the firm that will be handling the majority of Trade Cap sales?
Thaaaaaat's right, folks. It's our good old buddy Goldman-Sachs. The people who rigged the rape, errrrr "Bailout".
Yessiree, G-S, the company that right now controls most of our nation's monetary policy, through their former employees that head up the FED and parts of government, and now they are in charge of selling our 21st Century INDULGENCES.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Reduce the size of Government? Reduce the size of Government?
Why oh why would anyone want to reduce the size and influence of the Ultimate Source of Goodness, gifts from which in multiplicities the Holy and Blessed Federal Reserve spews out of its cavernous mouth, drowning us in the wonderful destiny of inherited debt manifested as the Heavenly Manna of Inalienable Rights to Unlimited Social Services and Inflated Dollars?
What, you say you believe in personal responsibility and "savings"????
Oh, I pity you your ancient and naive little provincial view. You are close to heresy.
Repent before The One (Pbuh) issues a fatwa on your ass.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The Teleprompter in Chief™ defies reality, regurgitating well-worn propaganda that flies in the face of reality as revealed in real numbers.
The 0-Man said his $787 billion stimulus bill “has worked as intended” as he pushed back against Republican criticism that his recovery program has failed to rescue the economy.
“It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession”.
…which is a good thing, and probably all the “Stimuless” spending package should been enacted to do; provide a safety net. The rest of the plan is a combination of deferred liberal agendas and political payback.
Meanwhile, unemployment continues to rise, oil prices are falling (which believe it or not is bad), and the stock market has fallen four weeks in a row in anticipation of an extended worldwide recession as global government borrowing digs an ever-deepening crevasse.
Oil prices and the stock market are accepted leading indicators. The 0-Man’s rhetoric has no or predictive value whatsoever. Where are even some of our 2-3 Million New Jobs? - a number The 0-Man pulled from his backside some time ago - why is unemployment above 8% and still rising? If this is not a free fall….
…the bill “was designed to spur demand and get people spending again and cushion those who had borne the brunt of the crisis,” The 0-Man’s said.
Both missions: Unaccomplished.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the media displayed a little scepticism towards The 0-Man’s stimulus plans? If nothing else I would like to see some mainstream journalist note that The 0-Man’s training is in the law, not economics, and that he has no history of managing an economy bigger than an office budget, and that we don’t even know how he did on that.
The 0-Man has already saved (or created?) 600,000 jobs. He says so! I dare you to disprove him, because God knows, Obama can’t prove it.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Lately I've heard a couple people comparing Sarah Palin's current situation to Richard Nixon in '62, when he famously said "... you won't have Nixon to kick around any more...."
This is all said with the point seeming to be that a comeback is in the offing.
Difference being: Tricky Dick was educated, prepared and a diabolical genius. Then the genius part took a vacation and he was left with just the evil.
Palin is nothing but a few memorized catch phrases that she can’t define; but this is combined with the misplaced hopes of someone else’s disappointed constituency, a lot of seriously reaching wishful thinking, and what very well may be an Adderall overdose. All of this is completed (and complicated) by a bunch of hubris sprinkled on top to form a quite probably insane and definitely unstable mix.
We already have one couple in the White House right now who don't know how to act in public (Do they have any competent advisors?). Why would we want to do this again on top of all the rest of our troubles?
Conservatives need to find a serious/real candidate or two and quit messing around with this weird glorification of someone who doesn't deserve consideration.
Any sane person who listened to Sarah Palin's news conference has to say she at least sounded shaken and almost unhinged.
I wonder what McCrazy thinks about this?
Do you think he feels like giving Cheney a free shot at his face?
If not for his incredibly egotistically niave view of the VP selection process, this probably slightly unbalanced person would not have had a sniff at a ticket and would have eventually just faded and floated away on some ice flow....
I still can't get over the fact that McCrazy had KBH available and (even better) CTW possibly available, and he picked Palin.
That will go down as one of the worst political moves... ever.
All you hear from the Neo-cons (a la "Conservatives Lite") is their normal Palin-talk ("Elitists bla bla, Elitists bla bla, Elitists…") as they continue to get in their own way.
I require my leaders - on a national level anyway - to be obviously intelligent, well-versed in every possible facet of policy and ready to stand on the world stage and command respect if not fear.
Who qualifies? The 0-Man doesn’t, Joe Plugs surely doesn’t, McCrazy doesn’t… and yet Neo-cons all over (Yep folks, they haven't gone away.) are glorifying Palin when she is obviously proven to be unqualified and unready for any kind of national exposure or pressure.
Palin was a huge mistake and Neo-cons continue to try to defend it instead of calling it what it is: McCrazy’s foolish conceit.