Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spend, spend spend

A large chunk of President Obama’s State if the Union Address was focused on jobs, as it should have been. He acknowledged the American people want the focus of his administration and the new Congress going forward to be on job growth. He emphasized his belief that the way to grow the economy is to compete economically with the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They're investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world's largest private solar research facility, and the world's fastest computer.

Obama also emphasized government investment in green energy jobs, calling for the complete removal of subsidies for oil companies and giving those subsidies to green energy initiatives. This government intervention and manipulation of the market will only result in higher energy costs, loss of jobs due to rising costs and less efficient use of tax payer dollars. You can read more about the move by the Obama Administration to favor green energy over fossil fuels here.
With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I'm asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's.

Obama credited the free enterprise system for driving American innovation, but what we know is that innovation has been stifled by government regulation. In order to reach this goal, Obama will have to acknowledge that red tape does not create jobs and only makes it more difficult for business owners to hire new workers. Obama vowed to take a look at burdensome regulation while keeping close the option to implement what he called necessary legislation to regulate business.
To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people.

Overall, Obama tied government regulation/de-regulation, investment/spending, global competitiveness and green jobs initiatives to the overall economy and jobs picture. With so many calls for "investment" and subsidizing an inefficient green energy/job plan, it is hard to believe Obama is taking his calls to tackle the deficit seriously.



Rep. Michele Bachmann Gives her Response to SOTU

Denying that her speech was in competition with the official GOP response, Rep. Michele Bachmann delivered a brief but upbeat answer to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday. She had clarified to CNN earlier that the Tea Party Express had invited her to speak approximately a month ago and she had had no idea that networks would pick up the speech.

Using a collection of charts to show the troubling trends in the national deficit and U.S. employment percentages, Bachmann criticized Obama's plan for economic recovery -- basically, spend more -- and took on spending levels in general, saying deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush but exploded under President Obama.

Bachmann had a list of specifics on policies Obama could adopt: stop the EPA from a job-killing cap and trade policy, support a balanced budget amendment, turn back some of the 132 regulations imposed in the last two years that could cost at least $100 million, repeal ObamaCare in favor of free market solutions, and adoptan energy policy that increases production and diminishes foreign oil dependence.

She and the president both talked about American innovation, but Bachmann said the way to do that is by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on job creations. They also both mentioned medical malpractice reform (Obama credited the GOP with the policy initiative).

While the president referenced personal success stories of individual Americans, Bachmann drew on the example of Americans fighting against repression with the famous image of soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, displayed on a screen behind her towards the end of the speech.



My State of the Union Address

John Stossel

President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty and gave his report on the state of the union last night. Here's mine:

We're in deep trouble. You know why. Our debt has passed $14 trillion, and yet our current spending plans will make that worse. The U.S. debt will reach Greek levels in just 10 years.

But do not despair. If we make reasonable cuts to what government spends, our economy can grow us out of our debt. Cutting doesn't just make economic sense, it is also the moral thing to do. Henry David Thoreau had it right when he "accepted(ed) the motto ... that government is best which governs least."

So what should we get rid of? We start by closing the Department of Education, which saves $100 billion a year. Education ought to be in the free market. It's insane to take money from states only to launder it through Washington and then return it to states.

Next, we should close the Department of Housing and Urban Development: $41 billion. We had plenty of housing in America before a department was created. Let's get government out of that business.

Then we eliminate the Commerce Department: $9 billion. A government that can't count the votes accurately should not try to negotiate trade. Trade should be free. Free trade creates prosperity. And since trade should be free, we should eliminate all corporate welfare and all subsidies. That means: agriculture subsidies, green energy subsidies, ethanol subsidies and subsidies for public broadcasting. None of these is needed.

I propose selling Amtrak. Taxpayers will save money, and riders will get better service. Why is government in the transportation business? Let's have private companies compete to run the trains.

And we must finally stop one of the biggest assaults on freedom and our pocketbook, the war on drugs. The drug war is really a war on our own people. The ends do not justify the means.

Now the biggest cuts. Republicans propose to cut discretionary nonmilitary spending. Good. But why stop there? That's only 15 percent of our budget. We must cut more. That means cutting Medicare, Social Security and the military.

I know. Medicare and Social Security are popular, but they are unsustainable. We must privatize Social Security and slowly replace Medicare with vouchers.

And that brings me to Obamacare. The only way to cut costs and still have medical innovation is to free the market. So I propose that we repeal Obamacare immediately. Then we must do more: We must repeal all government interference in the medical and insurance industries, including licensing. All that impedes competition.

Now, military spending. Do you recall what candidate Obama said about the war in Iraq? "I will bring this war to an end in 2009. So don't be confused."

But I am confused. We're two years past 2009, but we still have 48,000 troops in Iraq. We must shrink the military's mission to truly national defense. That means pulling our troops out of Germany, Japan, Italy and dozens of other countries. America cannot and should not try to police the entire world. We can't afford it, and it's not right.

Those cuts will put America on the road to solvency. But that's not enough. We also need economic growth. Our growth has stalled because millions of pages of regulations make businesses too fearful to invest. Entrepreneurs don't know what the rules -- or taxes -- will be tomorrow. This discourages hiring.

All destructive laws must go. I again propose the Stossel Rule: For every new law passed, we must repeal two old ones.

We need to progress to an America that cherishes individual freedom. That means a government limited by the Constitution, one that protects our shores and our persons but otherwise stays out of our way. We should take seriously the words of another president, Thomas Jefferson, and embrace "a wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."

That's my State of the Union address.



The Biggest Lie in American Politics

Ben Shapiro

For decades, liberals have used "big business" as a bugaboo. Leftists say corporations are mean, heartless and cruel -- and what's more, they're inherently capitalist and conservative. When the economy tanks, liberals blame right-wing corporations; when the regulatory state fails, liberals claim that corporations have perverted the system.

In reality, corporations aren't conservative. They aren't capitalist. They're after the nearest buck. And when the nearest buck can be obtained simply by playing footsie with the federal government, big business becomes an emissary of the government.

To achieve its ends, the federal government employs two methods: the carrot and the stick. The carrot is special regulation and legislation benefitting certain businesses; the stick is heavy regulation designed to threaten businesses into compliance with federal mandates.

This last week provided proof in spades that big business has become a tool of the state. On Jan. 18, the Federal Communications Commission OK'ed the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. In order to obtain permission for that merger, however, the FCC required that Comcast fulfill certain conditions: NBC and Telemundo will need to add 1,000 hours of local news; Comcast must subsidize low-income Internet access to the tune of $10 per month for 2.5 million low-income households; and most egregiously, Comcast must increase Spanish-language programming.

Comcast, seeking to confirm the $30 billion deal, went along with the regulatory blackmail. And so Comcast became an active part of the liberal program to reach out to Hispanics, the poor, and a news media that desperately needs government interventionism in order to survive.

In the same vein, Republican entrepreneur Donald Trump caved in to Democrats this week in an attempt to protect his business interests. While The Donald is no fan of President Obama -- he says that China is "laughing at our leadership" and that Obama is letting China "get away with murder" -- he willingly forked over a $50,000 check to Rahm Emanuel's Chicago mayoral campaign. No doubt Trump's Chicago real estate holdings had something to do with the contribution.

When the government isn't taking away, it's giving. This week, President Obama conferred knighthood on Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, by appointing him to head his Economic Advisory Panel. In the recent past, Immelt has vacillated between criticism and praise of the Obama administration -- last July, he said that Obama was anti-business, while in December, Immelt praised Obama's outreach to business. Immelt's wild swings between antipathy and peonage to the Obama administration closely mirror the administration's treatment of GE: In general, when GE gets a handout, Immelt is a happy camper.

This relationship has worked beautifully for the government. GE has utterly abandoned its capitalistic, entrepreneurial past. Instead, it has embraced the roller coaster ups-and-downs of government subsidization. Immelt doesn't believe that the main job of government is to keep the hell out of a company's way -- he believes instead that government should become a "partner" in crime. According to Washington Examiner columnist Timothy Carney, GE has spent $65.7 million on lobbying, outpacing its competition by leaps and bounds.

GE and Comcast aren't alone in their desire to cozy up to the federal government. Google, once an entrepreneurial superstar, now links arms with the Obama administration by pushing "net neutrality," a scheme designed to run its competitors out of business via government regulation. Like GE, Google has one of its own inside the Obama administration -- Andrew McLaughlin, Google's former top policy executive, is currently deputy chief technology officer of the Obama administration. He has already been called on the carpet for asking Google to use its power to help out his new White House buddies.

Welcome to today's corporate America, where business takes a back seat to politics. The stock market now swings wildly based on Ben Bernanke's moods; the banking system teeters each time Barney Frank sneezes; titans of American industry scrape and bow for the scraps from Obama's dinner plate. Corporations are no longer capitalist but statist. Next time liberals cite the misdeeds of big business to complain about the ills of capitalism, inform them that big business is more a representative of government than it is of the free market.




Does favoring free enterprise mean favoring “business?”: "The idealistic Left is undoubtedly upset with Obama's new turn, but are these people really naive enough to believe that there is such as thing as a big government that is somehow untainted by the backing of big business? As for the chamber-of-commerce Republicans, can they really be fooled into believing that such moves amount to a new friendliness on the part of Obama to the interests of the private sector?"

Ventura sues TSA over pat-down; Quotes 4th Amendment: "Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, alleging full-body scans and pat-downs at airport checkpoints violate his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Ventura is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to issue an injunction ordering officials to stop subjecting him to 'warrantless and suspicionless' scans and body searches."

Stop the debt limit doomsaying: "Democrats, left-wing advocacy groups, and the mainstream media are salivating over the debt-limit fight as a way to undermine the fiscal credibility of the newly elected Republican House majority. Some Republicans have threatened to vote against raising the debt ceiling if significant spending cuts aren’t passed as well; the Left argues that if they make good on this threat, they will severely damage the fiscal health of the country. This argument, however, overstates the risk of not increasing the debt ceiling and recklessly spreads fear in capital markets."

Three cheers for the House of Lords: "People argue that the Lords is undemocratic, has no mandate, and therefore shouldn’t delay the will of the government. But without the unelected Lords making trouble for the coalition, this would be close to an elected dictatorship."


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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)


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