Thursday, April 22, 2010
Thanks For What?
Rather than protesting the greatest expansion of government in U.S. history, Tea Party attendees should be thanking Big Government for all it's done. At least, that's what President Obama thinks.
As the Associated Press reported Thursday, the president said he was "amused" by the Tea Party faithful gathering in cities across America to protest soaring government spending, ballooning debt and the explosion in taxes that will be needed to pay for it all. "You would think they'd be saying thank you," he said.
And why should they be thankful? As the president himself said on his weekly radio address a week ago, "one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000; that's another promise we kept."
In fact, that wasn't his promise at all. Here's what candidate Obama really said in September of 2008: "Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
Got that? "Not any of your taxes." The claim of no tax hikes on those below $250,000 as a result of the current administration's policies is completely and utterly false.
A report from the House Ways & Means Committee's GOP members notes that, since January 2009, Congress and the president have enacted $670 billion in tax increases. That's $2,100 for each person in America. At least 14 of those tax hikes, the report says, break Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. Roughly $316 billion of the tax hikes — 14 increases in all — hit middle-class families, the report says.
This comes in addition to recent data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office showing U.S. spending and indebtedness growing at an alarming rate. Government spending now totals 25% of GDP, a quarter above its long-term average. By 2035, it will hit 34% of GDP at current trends — a 70% increase in the real size of government in just 25 years.
More spending means more debt. In 2008, total federal publicly held debt was about $8.5 trillion — an amount Uncle Sam took 220 years to accumulate. By 2020, that will soar to $20.3 trillion, a 139% jump. No surprise the Government Accountability Office last week said the U.S. is on "an unsustainable long-term fiscal path."
Obama's Goldman hypocrisy
While President Obama assails the culture of greed and recklessness practiced by the men of Goldman Sachs, his administration is infested with them. The White House can no more disown Government Sachs than Obama can disown Chicago politics.
Obama is headed to Wall Street tomorrow to demand "financial regulatory reform" -- just as the US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil suit against Goldman Sachs for mortgage-related fraud.
Question the timing? Darn tootin'.
As the New York Post reported Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee immediately bought sponsored Internet ads on Google that direct Web surfers who type in "Goldman Sachs SEC" to Obama's fund-raising site.
"It's time to hold the big banks accountable," the DNC message bellows.
Democrats are silent on the $994,795 in Goldman Sachs campaign cash that Obama bagged in the 2008 presidential race. The class-warfare Dems are also mum on all the president's Goldman men sitting in the catbird's seat:
* Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler is Obama's Commodity Futures Trading Commission head. He was confirmed despite heated congressional grilling over his role, as Reuters described it, "as a high-level Treasury official in a 2000 law that exempted the $58 trillion credit default swap market from oversight. The financial instruments have been blamed for amplifying global financial turmoil."
Gensler said he was sorry -- hey, it worked for tax cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner -- and was quickly installed to guard the henhouse.
* Goldman kept White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on a $3,000 monthly retainer while he worked as presidential candidate Bill Clinton's chief fund-raiser, as first reported by Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney. The financial titans threw in another $50,000 to become the Clinton primary campaign's top funder.
Emanuel received nearly $80,000 in campaign contributions from Goldman during his four terms in Congress -- investments that have reaped untold rewards, as Emanuel assumed a leading role championing the trillion-dollar TARP banking bailout law.
* Former Goldman lobbyist Mark Patterson serves under Geithner as his top deputy and overseer of TARP bailout -- $10 billion of which went to Goldman Sachs.
Paul Blumenthal of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based think tank devoted to transparency in government, noted that, while Patterson agreed to recuse himself on any Goldman Sachs-related issues or related policy concerns, it "still creates a serious conflict for Geithner, as Treasury is being partly managed by a former Goldman lobbyist. Geithner is also placed in a tough position considering that his chief of staff is limited in the areas in which he can work (supposedly)."
* National Economic Council head Larry Summers reaped nearly $2.8 million in speaking fees from many of the major financial institutions and government bailout recipients he now polices, including JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Lehman Bros. and Goldman. A single speech to Goldman in April 2008 brought in $135,000.
Summers has prior experience negotiating government-sponsored bailouts that benefit private concerns. In 1995, he spearheaded a $40 billion Mexican peso bailout that bypassed Congress.
Summers personally leaned on the International Monetary Fund to provide nearly $18 billion for the package. Summers' boss, then Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, was former co-chairman of Goldman -- the Mexican government's investment banking firm of choice.
Rubin continues to mentor another of his former employees with regular visits and chats -- Treasury Secretary Geithner, who was head of the New York Federal Reserve in 2008 when it ordered bailed-out AIG not to disclose its sweetheart payments to big banks including, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs.
As Obama harangues Wall Street to clean up its house, all the president's Goldman Sachs men have their feet on the coffee table at his.
Tea Partyers, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Clinton
by Emmett Tyrrell
Not so long ago, there arose on the American political scene something called the Angry Left. It was an indignant group of ritualistic liberals whose appearance the mainstream media apprised us augured well for Democratic victory in 2008, and so it did. The Angry Left turned out the vote for the Prophet Obama. At the time, do you recall any public figure on the right stepping forward and warning against possible violence from the indignados of the Angry Left? Did, say, the Hon. Newt Gingrich step forward at a conservative forum, say The Heritage Foundation, and remind his fellow Americans of the bombings of government buildings, the burning of university libraries, the robbing of banks by angry leftists in years gone by? I cannot recall any such warnings from any conservative eminence.
It is not as though such lawlessness is unknown in American history. Politically motivated bombings, burnings and bank robberies actually have been committed in America by leftists. Some of those leftists are still with us, for instance, Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, who were fugitives from justice for such antics and went on to become friends of the present president of the United States. In fact, lawlessness on the left still is being committed, for instance, at universities, where speakers who offend the left -- the Angry Left or simply the Fastidious Left -- are regularly shouted down or barred from scheduled appearances, as Ann Coulter recently was, at least, in Canada. Yet Newt has remained mum about the danger posed by the Angry Left, and it is not easy for Newt to remain mum.
Now just the other day, ex-President Bill Clinton -- some of us still call him The Groper -- rose up at the Center for American Progress and drew parallels between the tea partyers (call them the Caffeinated Right) and the homicidal maniacs who participated in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. Clinton's charge was typically duplicitous. "This tea party movement can be a healthy thing if they're making us justify every penny of taxes we've raised and every dollar of public money we've spent," Clinton opined. "But when you get mad, sometimes you wind up producing exactly the reverse result of what you say you are for," said the president famous for, among other things, his temper tantrums. He also said, "Before the (Oklahoma) bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever in America," which I guess depends on the meaning of the word "fever." I recall no fever, but then I was not impeached for lying and obstruction of justice.
A long-standing conceit of American liberals has been to lecture conservatives on how to conduct themselves. They are famous for telling us what we can and cannot say. They tell us we cannot call them socialists even when they take over industries and transform the federal budget into a simulacrum of European social democracy. Yet they can call us racists and enemies of the poor when we advance alternatives to such failed policies as affirmative action or welfare. In fact, much of the liberals' stance toward conservatives in our ongoing dialogue with them is an insult. The most recent politician to dabble in race-baiting was not a conservative, but Bill Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries.
What Clinton depicts as a precursor to more bombings modeled on the vile Oklahoma City bombing is nothing more than a civic upheaval inspired by American constitutional liberties. The tea partyers are no cause for alarm. For Clinton to suggest that these generally peaceful and good-natured libertarians are opening the door to domestic terror is Clinton at his reckless worst. In doing so, he has given would-be bombers cover for their evil acts. If more bombings of federal buildings follow, we can thank Clinton for his speech of encouragement. Ironically, federal investigators looking for the perpetrators might begin their investigations with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. No tea partyer I know has their record of violence.
The booms and busts and the economic punditry's terrible grasp of economics : What makes manufacturing an important part of the boom-bust phenomenon is the crucial role that time plays in production. Once an understanding of the relationship of time to production has been grasped the importance of manufacturing as an economic bellwether becomes much clearer
The Australian economy's gloomy outlook : The Australian economy is doing just fine — if you ignore the parlous state of manufacturing. That manufacturing is the key economic indicator is completely lost on our economic commentariat, the sort of people who seriously argue for the existence of a "two-speed economy", which is like an obstetrician telling a women that she is half pregnant
Siemens to use green energy hoax to ripoff taxpayers : Siemens has come up with a wonderful scheme to make billions of dollars. Unfortunately it amounts to conning taxpayers out of their hard earned money by using the government to subsidise the company's renewable energy scam. It the seems the days have gone when Siemens made money by serving the public instead of milking it
Behavioral economics — breakthrough or dead end : Sit is being reported that so-called behavioural economics is playing significant role in shaping President Obama's economic decisions. Unfortunately behavioural economics is a dead end. Moreover, it will actually misdirects and retards economic thinking
The truth about the Bay of Pigs: They Fought Like Tigers : It is 50 years since the Bay of Pigs, Castro stooges are still lying about that tragic event. Humberto Fontova relates what really happened, including the Kennedy administration's treachery and cowardice
Jobs on aisle three: Leftists move to kill Walmart job-creation project : A gang of sensitive, caring and humane leftists have sabotaged a Walmart project that would have created hundreds of jobs in desolated downturn Chicago. These friends of Obama argue that the increased demand for labour would lower real wages! To prevent this outrage they plan to raise wage rates to a job-destroying level
Barack Obama: Enemy within : There's no other way to say it. As goes the war to preserve liberty, national sovereignty, national solvency and American exceptionalism: Intelligence suggests we have an enemy within
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Posted by JR at 8:55 PM