A chilling spectacle just took place before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Panel Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked, "What is the likelihood of another terrorist-attempted attack on the U.S. homeland in the next three to six months, high or low?"
And one by one, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, CIA Director Leon Panetta and FBI Director Robert Mueller all agreed an attack was "certain."
But log onto the Department of Homeland Security's Web site and all seems fairly calm. The first news item listed says, "Secretary Napolitano Announces More than $23 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Fire Station Construction Grants." And three of the other four news items on the main page tout the ways the department's $56.3 billion fiscal year 2011 budget request would be spent.
You have to look for the fine print and click a couple of times to find out the nation's terror alert condition yellow or "elevated," like during most of the time since 9/11.
But if an attack is "certain" as the U.S. intelligence community tells us (but only after being asked by a senator), then shouldn't there be a bit more urgency than this?
Far from scrambling to stave off sure and impending disaster, this administration is bragging that its ill-advised policies haven't yet done harm.
We shouldn't be releasing anyone in our custody who could end up returning to terrorist activities, but White House counterterrorism chief John O. Brennan was touting "significant improvements to the detainee review process" for Gitmo prisoners in a Monday letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Even if the recidivism rate is zero among the dozens of POWs that have been released, as Brennan reports, we saw on Christmas Day that it only takes one terrorist to kill hundreds. This is exactly what would have happened over the skies near Detroit had a little luck and a lot of guts from passengers not been on our side.
The administration boasts that Undiebomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is now "cooperating" as if they didn't blow the chance for a treasure trove of lifesaving information from him about al-Qaida's structure and future plots by reading him his Miranda rights, getting him a lawyer, and allowing him to clam up less than an hour after being detained.
The president's answer to legitimate unease about homeland security is to ask the concerned to "put aside the schoolyard taunts about who's tough."
Last April, the president visited CIA headquarters to boost morale. "Speaking before some of the very intelligence officers he had publicly accused of complicity in torture," as Bush White House chief speechwriter Marc Thiessen writes in his new book defending the CIA's enhanced interrogation, "Courting Disaster," President Obama admitted to them that under his new policies, "you've got a harder job."
"The president has, by his own admission, forced the CIA to operate with one hand tied behind its back" -- Obama's own analogy -- and "made the agency's job of protecting us from terror harder," adds Thiessen.
At the risk of being accused of a schoolyard taunt, does the certainty of another attack have anything to do with one of America's hands being tied?
Obama Attacks Churches, Charities and Home Values
These are policies that President Obama has advocated in the past, so we shouldn't be surprised to see them in his 2011 budget. Still, it's hard not to be a little shocked. The budget says, at page 40:
Reduce the Itemized Deduction Write-off for Families with Incomes over $250,000.
Currently, if a middle-class family donates a dollar to its favorite charity or spends a dollar on mortgage interest, it gets a 15-cent tax deduction, but a millionaire who does the same enjoys a deduction that is more than twice as generous.
That's because the "millionaire" pays income taxes that are more than twice as high. It isn't "generous" for the government to refrain from taking all of your money. The document continues:
By reducing this disparity and returning the high-income deduction to the same rates that were in place at the end of the Reagan Administration, we will raise $291 billion over the next decade.
This is, of course, Orwellian. The "disparity" is in fact a disparity in tax rates--higher income people pay much more. And the reference to the Reagan administration must have been intended as a cruel joke on taxpayers. The "high-income deduction" will be the same as during the Reagan administration, but the high-income marginal tax rate won't be, so now the deduction will apply to only half the contribution.
It's easy to understand the Obama administration's purpose with regard to churches and private charities, which it regards as competitors of the government. It wants to damage or destroy them by making contributions more expensive. But what about the mortgage interest deduction? The administration purports to be concerned about the decline in home prices that triggered the economic crisis of 2008-2009. But severely reducing the mortgage interest deduction will inevitably depress home prices. And not just the prices of expensive homes, either; as those prices fall, the values of less-expensive houses will decline as well. Is this really what the administration wants? It is hard to escape the conclusion that the Obama administration simply doesn't care about America's economy.
When a Trend Cannot Continue, It Stops
Margaret Thatcher said it best: “The trouble with socialism is that it runs out of other people’s money.” And so it has come to pass in 21st century America – we have been presented with a Federal budget for the fiscal year 2011 that spends $1.6 trillion more than anticipated tax receipts and projects doing the same for the next 10 years. David Sanger's current New York Times article points out this grim reality.
Seventy-five years of social engineering has already left the American taxpayer with $119 trillion of debt. Taxpayers know politicians have legislated them into a corner and believe there are no present solutions other than returning the conservatives to power and hope they can stop the bleeding and start to reduce the deficit and debt. There is no time to waste in applying an economic tourniquet to the body politic – projections indicate that this $119 trillion debt grows at the rate of $8 trillion a year.
Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. Liberals have decided to turn on the populist propaganda and spend the country into economic chaos in an identical way government did in 1936. That strategy threw the country into a deep depression within a deep depression. What is being promoted today can also be deemed to be equally “insane.”
Fortunately, too many Americans – especially those that don’t pay taxes – don’t have jobs. This trend cannot continue. Trends that cannot continue will stop. The question is, how will conservatives stop the bleeding? Our Founders provided the answer. If we could just believe what so many politicians always promise but repeatedly ignore – a return to a smaller government.
There is only one way to seriously shrink the size of government – and that is to privatize entitlements. By letting people invest in the American economy the 15.3 percent of their working life income now confiscated as payroll taxes will not only cut the size of government in half but revive our economy by infusing over $100 billion a month of new capital into the markets.
Politicians purposely ignore “privatization” because it takes money away from their political control and returns it to the control of every American citizen. Politicians and their propaganda ministry keep privatization off the negotiating table and deceive the American people into believing that raising taxes and cutting benefits are the sole methods to solve the dilemma that has created a $119 trillion debt. It isn’t. Privatization was recommend by FDR himself in the 1940s. He wanted the taxes invested in annuities by 1965 for the benefit of individual taxpayers.
Privatization is the solution and we need to pursue it – otherwise we are heading for the problems described in Sanger's New York Times article. The privatization plan contained in RUA is the greatest wealth producing proposal every advanced in a civilized society and is based on free market capitalist principles. Read all about it – you will like it.
Consider the idea that these new deficits and debts leave no room for these new spending proposals, but the individuals who proposed them knew this in January 2009, yet still pursued an agenda that can only be deemed as one to destroy the American capitalist system and its way of life. Unfortunately, we are running out of money.
More new taxes, more new spending
Can someone explain how this is change?
Over the next decade, President Obama plans on increasing taxes by $1.4 trillion, offset by his planned $300 billion in tax cuts. But his spending splurge will increase so much that Mr. Obama will add $5.1 trillion to the national debt over the next five years and $8.5 trillion over 10 years. This will be on top of the $1.4 trillion deficit we ran last year. At the end of these 10 years, the publicly held national debt will nearly double to $18 trillion.
Even Mr. Obama's own estimates put all the other tax-and-spend liberals to shame. And Mr. Obama hasn't even gotten his massive, costly takeover of the health care system and his even more costly cap-and-tax proposal. It is not as if Americans couldn't survive with a smaller amount of government spending - eight years ago, the budget was about half as big as Mr. Obama's proposal.
Next year, despite Mr. Obama's frequent campaign promises not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000, people currently in the 10 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 36 percent personal income tax rates will all face higher tax rates. This is not the first time that Mr. Obama has broken or tried to break this promise, but higher marginal income tax rates will completely obliterate yet another Obama promise.
Yet, with all these new taxes, this coming year's deficit is likely to run to $1.6 trillion, a new record that would surpass the massive record $1.4 trillion set just last year. If you add last year's deficit to what Mr. Obama would like to see happen over the next decade, that $10.1 trillion debt will bankrupt the country. For a family of four, that debt would equal $134,700. Americans need to ask themselves what they could have done for themselves with that much money. How many new firms could have opened and how many more productive jobs would there be in the private sector if the government weren't taking up all these resources?
During the 2008 campaign, then-Sen. Obama attacked the George W. Bush administration during the third presidential debate: "But there is no doubt that we've been living beyond our means and we're going to have to make some adjustments." But Mr. Bush's deficits, even including the relatively high deficits generated largely by a Congress completely controlled by Democrats, averaged well less than $400 billion per year.
Even by the year 2020, Mr. Obama's own estimates indicate that the annual budget deficit will be $1 trillion. If we were living beyond our means when Sen. Obama was running for president, we're now living beyond our means and our children's means and our grandchildren's means and ...
Sen.-elect Scott Brown may be sworn in Thursday: “Sen.-elect Scott Brown, the Republican who won last month’s upset victory in Massachusetts, appears likely to be sworn in tomorrow — a week earlier than originally anticipated. A spokesman for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement that the governor will certify the results of the Jan. 19 special election tomorrow and a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Brown could take his seat as early as tomorrow afternoon.”
GOP's Senate prospects on the rise: "The long-shot bid by Republicans to retake control of the Senate is suddenly in play, as the prospect of high-profile Republican candidates entering the fray has pushed the GOP even or ahead in polling for 10 races. The potential candidacies of former Republican Govs. George E. Pataki in New York and Tommy G. Thompson in Wisconsin are improving the polling fortunes of the party as it pursues seats long in the hands of Democrats, while the anti-government "tea party" movement has provided momentum to Republican challengers in states such as Florida, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. "If the election were held today, the Republicans could come close to winning back the Senate, if not actually win it," said pollster John Zogby."
Obama's foot in mouth disease strikes again: "A careless remark by President Barack Obama about Las Vegas has triggered a furious backlash from Nevada’s cash-strapped gambling city and a key Democratic ally fighting a tough re-election battle in the state. Speaking about the economy at an event in New Hampshire, Mr Obama told Americans: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. “You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college. You prioritise. You make tough choices.” The economy of the world’s most famous gambling and entertainment destination is heavily dependent on tourism and Las Vegans were already incensed by a comment from Mr Obama last year that companies should not use federal bail out money for trips to the city. Tourism and casino officials said the comment hurt the city after companies cancelled meetings in Las Vegas and re-arranged them elsewhere. Mr Obama’s latest remark about Las Vegas prompted a swift and angry retort from Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, who has an uphill battle to win re-election in Nevada"
Media covering for scared Democrats in Illinois: "Lech Walesa, a Nobel Laureate and former leader of the Solidarity trade union in Poland, which helped topple 50 years of Soviet occupation there and end the Cold War, went to Chicago, Ill., last week to endorse a conservative Republican in the gubernatorial primary race but the local media largely ignored him. This near-blackout by the media occurred despite the fact that 1 million people of Polish nationality live in Chicago, making it the city with the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw, Poland, and despite the fact that Walesa himself was the first post-Soviet president of Poland (from 1990 to 1995)."
Iran sends rocket with animal menagerie into space: "Iran announced Wednesday it launched a menagerie of animals — including a mouse, two turtles and worms — into space on a research rocket, a feat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said showed Iran could defeat the West in the battle of technology. Ahmadinejad also unveiled the model of a light booster rocket that is being built and three new, Iranian-built satellites, touted as the latest achievements in the country’s ambitious space program.”
Busted budgets: States desperate for new taxes: "So what will happen if California and Colorado and New York and every other state with fiscal afflictions get the increases they want? History tells us that in a year or so they will each spend 150% of their new taxes, face yet another fiscal emergency, and go looking for more things to tax. Giving more tax money to politicians is like giving a shot of Jose Cuervo to a stumbling blind slobbering drunk. They could tax everything in the country with a pulse and never have enough money.”
New British tax comes a cropper: "I was live on CNBC when the 50 percent top tax rate was announced. Asked for an immediate reaction, I predicted emphatically that the new would raise less money, not more. Now The Times reports that the Treasury has ’significantly reduced’ (as Lord Myners puts it) its estimate of the revenue to be yielded. The increase, which publicly broke Labour’s solemn manifesto pledge not to raise tax rates, has led people to shelter income.”
Will America help the persecuted Copts of Egypt?: "The violent persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt is becoming harder for the free world to ignore. This is true thanks to thousands of Copts who recently expressed their decades of frustration and anguish in street protests across the globe. One moving example took place in West Los Angeles, Calif., last month. With American flags in hand, over a thousand Copts peacefully demonstrated. One boy simply said, ‘It is very dangerous in Egypt that is why we need America to help us.’”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)