Leftist psychopathy on display
They have no human fellow feelings at all. They just pretend they do
Are you old enough to remember the polio-era line: "funny as an iron lung"? After all, what kind of person would find funny the notion of someone fighting to breathe?
Answer: Mika Brzezinski.
Today's Morning Joe played a Letterman clip of a faux-promo for an imaginary TV show called "The Dick Cheney Story." As the title song from the Mary Tyler Moore Show plays merrily in the background, we're treated to images of Cheney wielding a gun, in a wheelchair and undergoing open-heart surgery. The clip closes with video of Cheney fighting to get a breath of air.
Cut to Mika, doubled-over, laughing hysterically, literally to the point of tears.
Saving America From Greedy Politicians
"Sadly, we could end up with a generation of Americans who want to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles."
Without explanation, that quote may seem like the ramp-up to a joke. It might be part of a Jay Leno monolog. Or you could follow it up with the famous Jerry Seinfeld ".not that there's anything wrong with that" line.
But that analysis actually appeared in last Friday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. In an editorial entitled "We've Become A Nation Of Takers, Not Makers," Senior Economics Writer Stephen Moore noted that among a large portion of America's college students and recent graduates, government employment is viewed as superior to private sector enterprise because of the "near lifetime security" that government agencies offer their workers.
"When 23-year-olds aren't willing to take career risks" Moore noted, "we have a real problem on our hands."
To help make the case of our "real problem," Moore noted that there are presently more Americans working for their government than there are Americans working in the private sector construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities industries combined. And when you compile this bit of information with the reality that government agencies don't produce wealth at all - they merely "collect" portions of the wealth that is produced in the private sector as tax revenue and then spend it to produce government services - then, yes, one can see a bit more clearly why Moore concludes that we have moved decisively from a "nation of makers to a nation of takers."
The "takers" and "makers" analysis is powerful, and hopefully makes sense to lots of Americans. One doesn't have to think too deeply to understand that if an insufficient number of us are "making" things and producing economic value, and too many of us are merely "taking" and consuming the insufficient amount of "things" that are made, well, then, eventually a nation runs out of things to "take."
Yet understanding the vicious cycle that keeps our nation on this very destructive path is quite challenging for some. It requires one to understand some very basic things about economics, yes, but also requires one to care enough to understand a few things about our nation's politics - and "politics" and "economics" are two subjects that many Americans find distasteful.
But consider this: many of the politicians that set policy regarding government employment have a personal self-interest in continuing the trend of creating more government employee "takers" - even if to do so is, in the long run, bad for the country. Mayors, County Supervisors, Governors - and yes even our President - can generally count on grass-roots volunteerism, campaign contributions, and votes from large blocks of government employees, as long as they protect and enhance the ranks of government employment and shelter government workers from the ups and downs that the private sector experiences.
President Barack Obama leads the way with this destructive and self-serving politics. He has made it a central theme of his presidency to speak often of the need for "shared sacifice," noting that we all must be willing to "give a little" in order for our nation to fully recover from the "great recession."
Yet when the government of Wisconsin sought to let their state employees "share" in the sacrifice, President Obama intervened and insisted that government employees were being "maligned." In reality, state taxpayers in Wisconsin pay nearly 100% of the costs of government employee retirement pensions, and well over 90% of government employee's healthcare insurance costs. The uproar in that state was never about Wisconsin indiscriminately firing government workers or cutting the workers' benefits, but about the necessity of government employees taking more financial responsibility for their own retirement and healthcare.
But President Obama will have nothing to do with government employees being made to sacrifice. The more lavish their employment, the more they will vote for Mr. Obama and his party. And so our President, instead, maligned the Government officials of Wisconsin that were trying to save their state from insolvency.
A similar situation is unfolding in California. Governor Jerry Brown presides over the absolute worst statewide fiscal mess in the history of our country. He prides himself in "cutting government spending" his first ninety days in office, yet most of the "cuts" came from the elimination of taxpayer funded mobile telephone and vehicle privileges for government workers (most of us in the private sector don't get "free" mobile phones and cars anyway, but this had apparently become the norm for a good many California state employees).
But Governor Brown absolutely must cut state spending further, and to do so requires that he reduce California employee retirement and healthcare benefits. Yet government employee labor unions bankrolled Brown's campaign last year, and they now "own" him. Thus, Governor Brown has chosen to treat his fiscal mess as a "revenue" issue, rather than a "spending" issue, and is now pursuing a "raise taxes on the rich" solution.
Will America reverse course, and move away from being a nation of mere takers? We must first reject the self-serving politicians who are the greatest benefactors of the "taking."
When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But, in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money.
One of the secrets of the growth of the welfare state is that politicians get a lot of mileage out of making promises, without setting aside enough money to fulfill those promises.
When Congress votes for all sorts of benefits, without voting for enough taxes to pay for them, they get the support of those who have been promised the benefits, without getting grief from the taxpayers. It's strictly win-win as far as the welfare-state politicians are concerned. But it is strictly lose-lose, big-time, for the country, as deficits skyrocket.
Anyone who says that we don't have the money to pay what was promised is accused of trying to destroy Social Security, Medicare or Obamacare-- or whatever other unfunded promises have been made. It is like blaming the bank for saying that the check bounced.
It is the same story at the state level as in Washington. The lavish pensions promised to members of public sector unions cannot continue to be paid because the money is just not there. But who are the unions mad at? Those who say that the money is not there.
How far short are the states? It varies from one state to another. It also varies with how large a rate of return the state gets on its investments with the inadequate amount of money that has been set aside to cover its promised pensions.
A front page story on the March 28th issue of Investor's Business Daily showed plainly, with bar graphs, how big Florida's shortfall is under various rates of return on that state's investments. Florida's own estimate of its pension fund's shortfall is based on assuming that they will receive a rate of return of 7.75 percent. But what if it turns out that they don't get that high a return?
A 6 percent rate of return would more than triple the size of Florida's unfunded liability for its employees' pension. The actual rate of return that Florida has received over the past decade has been only 2.6 percent. In other words, by simply assuming a far higher future rate of return on their investments than they have received in the past, Florida politicians can deceive the public as to how deep a hole the state's finances are in.
Political games like this are not confined to Florida. State budgets and federal budgets are not records of facts. They are projections based on assumptions. Just by manipulating a few assumptions, politicians can create a scenario that bears no resemblance to reality.
The "savings" to be made by instituting Obamacare is a product of this kind of manipulation of assumptions. Even when the people who turn out the budget projections do an honest job, they are working with the assumptions given to them by the politicians.
The fact that the end results carry the imprimatur of the Congressional Budget Office-- or of some comparable state agency or reputable private accounting firm-- means absolutely nothing.
When Florida arbitrarily assumes that it is going to get a future rate of return on its pension fund investment that is roughly three times what its past returns have been, that is the same nonsense as when the feds assume that Congress will cut half a billion dollars out of Medicare to finance ObamaCare.
We would probably be better off if there were no Congressional Budget Office to lend its credibility to data based on hopelessly unrealistic assumptions fed to them by politicians.
One of the reasons why a federal "balanced budget" amendment is unlikely to do what many of its advocates claim is that a budget is just a plan for the future. It does not have to bear any resemblance to the realities of either the past or the future.
We do not need reassurances that do not reassure, whether these reassurances are in numbers or in words. No small part of the reason for the economic collapse we have been through is that federally designated rating agencies reassured investors that many mortgage-backed securities were safe, when they were not.
Not only investors, but the whole economy, would have been better off without these reassurances. "Caveat emptor" would be better advice for both investors and voters.
Democrats Not Governing, But Lying in Wait
Do you believe Rep. Paul Ryan when he says we only have a few years left to get our fiscal house in order, or we're going to face European-type austerity? How about the co-chairmen of the bipartisan deficit commission, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who have essentially issued the same warning?
Have you taken a hard look at President Obama's 10-year budget with a view to whether it would marginally address the crisis? Are you aware of the gargantuan deficits it projects -- averaging some $1 trillion per year -- and that this is before considering the Congressional Budget Office's scoring that revealed that its projected cumulative deficits were understated by a staggering $2.3 trillion?
Did you know that entitlements -- mainly Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- are the primary drivers of these deficits but that Obama has yet to come to the table with a genuine entitlement reform proposal? Or that congressional Democrats, for the first time since 1974, did not pass a budget and all of the current wrangling over continuing resolutions and government shutdowns is a direct result of their dereliction?
Can you explain why President Obama, touted as the finest orator in the modern era, didn't exercise leadership over his Democratic lieutenants in Congress to quit playing fiscal Russian roulette? Or why those Democrats proposed just $6 billion in further budget cuts for the remainder of this fiscal year -- and then, only under GOP pressure -- when the budget is $3.8 trillion? Or why they are characterizing the GOP's proposal of $61 billion in cuts (1.6 percent of the budget) as "Draconian"?
You surely know that President Obama has ceaselessly dodged his fiscal responsibilities by blaming his budgets on the $1.3 trillion deficit he "inherited." But how about that he was instrumental in ensuring the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which contributed heavily to that then-extraordinary deficit number, and that even so, the actual number is substantially lower when you factor in the TARP repayments?
Regardless, don't you think it's fair that we hold him accountable for what he's done since he assumed office? Or should we just let him run against President Bush's record again in 2012, blithely pretending he's been an impotent bystander for four years?
Consider Obama's audacity in scapegoating Bush for deficits that he was instrumental in creating and then proposing, as a solution, an $800 billion pork-laden stimulus bill and trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.
You'll remember his boastful promises that if we would just indulge his "stimulus" idea, he would jump-start the economy and ensure that unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. Despite getting his way, he has managed to achieve the worst of both worlds: He'll double the national debt in five years and triple it in 10, yet unemployment is just now -- after two years of hovering between 9 and 10 percent -- dipping below 9 percent.
So Obama came into office during very difficult economic times and, instead of implementing policies to truly stimulate economic growth, further smothered the private sector by ratcheting up government spending and onerous regulations, and he has deliberately compounded our national deficits and debt at a time when we are on the brink of a financial catastrophe. Though his own bipartisan deficit commission told him entitlement reform is imperative, he continues to kick the ball farther down the road without so much as an overture toward a nod of a pretense of a good faith effort to tackle it.
This very week, he and his Democratic colleagues are lying in wait for congressional Republicans to refuse to approve the Democrats' reckless budget for the remainder of the year so they can blame the mean GOP for another government shutdown. They'll pretend they have no role in such a shutdown and hope this fraudulent narrative turns the political tide in their favor -- all while the fiscal crisis remains unattended. They'll doubtlessly employ a similar strategy to ambush Republicans as heartless scrooges when Rep. Ryan unveils his long-term budget and proposes real economic growth and authentic entitlement reform.
When you take politics out of the equation, there is a consensus that we are on a collision course with national financial disaster. When you put politics back into the equation, only one party is trying to do something about it.
But here's the rub. Some Republican congressmen are horrified that if they stick to their guns in the upcoming budget battles, they'll lose the PR war, just as Republicans supposedly did in 1995-96. For reasons I'll address next time, 2011 is not 1995 (we have a nation-threatening emergency, folks), and Republicans must remain strong. Honor your mandate, ladies and gentlemen. We've got your back.
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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)