Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The recent large pivot Leftward of the Democratic party

But why did they move that way?  Because they can.  The American electorate was once economically conservative, so the Democrats matched that to stay in office.  In recent years, however, the rusted-on vote of the minorities gives them a freer hand.   Mitt Romney was a lackluster candidate yet won an amazing 59 percent of the white vote.  It was monolithic minority votes that handed the Presidency to Obama.  So they can now do much more of what they basically want: Control.

“We Democrats believe that our economy can and must grow at an average rate of 5% annually, almost twice as fast as our average annual rate since 1953....We shall bring in added Federal tax revenues by expanding the economy itself.” -- 1960 Democratic Party Platform

“We will continue to use tax policy to maintain steady economic growth by helping through tax reduction to stimulate the economy when it is sluggish.” – 1968 Democratic Party Platform

“We reject ..the big government theory that says we and spend our way to prosperity..We honor business as a noble endeavor.” -- 1992 Democratic Party Platform

“Today's Democratic Party knows that the era of big government is over. Big bureaucracies and Washington solutions are not the real answers to today's challenges. We need a smaller government.” – 1996 Democratic Party Platform

“We have ended the era of big government; it’s time to end the era of old government…Democrats believe in supporting the startups, the small businesses, and the entrepreneurs that are making the New Economy go.” -- 2000 Democratic Party Platform

“We promise to cut taxes for 98% of Americans…We believe the private sector, not government, is the engine of economic growth and job creation.”  -- 2004 Democratic Party Platform

Up until 2000, Democrats routinely used buzzwords like “tax cuts,” “smaller government,” and “growth” in their platforms,” beginning in the John F. Kennedy era, even through Al Gore’s “reinventing, downsize the government” campaign. Though Democrats kept the caveat that it would resort to higher taxes, as it did in 1960, if the “unfolding demands of the new decade” necessitated them, President John F. Kennedy still cut taxes and famously declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

But since 2008, the Democrats have lost their ideological bearings. The Obama Administration and now Democrat presidential contender Hillary Clinton are pursuing a course the polar opposite of the modus operandi of prior Democratic Administrations, when tax cuts were about igniting growth first, redistribution later. But both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama continue to put redistribution and big government first at the expense of growth, and end up getting neither.

Both are about raising taxes when the government routinely fails to deliver a budget. For the first time in six years, both houses of Congress last May adopted concurrent budget resolutions, notes FOX News Channel’s information specialist Stephen Scarola, as the federal government continues to mistake emergency stabilization plans to handle the housing crash as growth plans.

And now, Hillary Clinton proposes a mind-boggling capital gains tax plan that involves a half-dozen rates, a plan which nearly doubles the rate for investments held less than six years.

A flip flop from when Mrs. Clinton said of the capital gains tax rate in the 2008 Democrat presidential debates: “I wouldn’t raise it above the 20% if I raised it at all. I would not raise it above what it was during the Clinton Administration.”

We’ve got a U.S. tax code undermining the economy that sits at 77,000 pages, with all the statutes and regulations factored in, at seven times the length of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.” Americans spend 6.1 billion hours every year attempting to comply with the revenue code, at an all in monetary cost of about $168 billion, estimates the Tax Foundation, about the size of Vietnam's GDP.

It’s a tax code written in an incomprehensible tongue and neurotically fiddled with by politicians doing the paid bidding of rent seekers seeking privileges their competitors don’t get. Entire, multi-billion dollar, unproductive industries are built, and wasted, on either complying with the code, or chasing elected officials who dole out tax privileges.

“We will protect the rights of all taxpayers against oppressive procedures, harassment and invasions of privacy by the Internal Revenue Service,” reads the 1976 Democratic Party platform. “At present, many federal government tax and expenditure programs have a profound but unintended and undesirable impact on jobs and on where people and business locate. Tax policies and other indirect subsidies have promoted deterioration of cities and regions. These policies should be reversed.”

However, now both President Obama and Hillary Clinton are about bigger government, even though the economy grew at less than 2% since 2008 and just 1.5% in the first half of 2015, a virtual standstill.

That first half performance is less than half the average growth the U.S. economy experienced, at just over 3%, from World War II to 2007.

This isn’t just the worst growth rate since World War II. It’s the worst rate of growth since the modern concept of GDP was first developed in 1934. When about half the time from 1950 to 2000, 4% growth was the norm. Most every recession since World War II saw higher economic growth, including the cataclysmic 1981 recession that saw a severe banking collapse when big money center banks, including Citibank (C), faced insolvency due to Latin American debt crisis.

That 3% growth rate would toss off another $600 billion in annual economic growth, estimates show, which would mean more jobs and higher incomes.

Today we’ve got a federal government whose spending annually equates to about 24% of GDP, up from the 19% average from 1950 to 2000. That’s a lot of capital sucked out of the private markets away from job-creating entrepreneurs who could develop the next, hot technology or medical cures, capital for the politicians to use instead to pick and choose how it’s deployed.

Taxpayers continue to pay for federal waste, anywhere from $125 billion to $200 billion, due to duplicative spending, even after the Government Accountability Office, Congress‘ official watchdog, made 440 recommendations since 2009 for cut backs in 180 areas. Less than a third, 29%, of the GAO’s recommendations were fully addressed.

This, as the 2008 Democratic platform said the party would be all about “eliminating waste in existing government programs” and “pay as you go budgeting rules.”



Support the re-election of Canada's PM HARPER

A group of Canadians living in Israel has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper win re-election this October.

“As Canadians, we believe Harper is good for Canada, he is good for the Jewish community, he is good for Israel, and he is good for the world. We want to help him stay in office,” said the leader of the campaign, Dan Illouz, a strategic consultant and CEO of Di Consulting.

The crowdfunding campaign hopes to raise $20,000. The group plans to use the funds to send 10 people to Canada just prior to the election to get out the vote for Harper Canadian Jewish communities.

“One of the greatest Jewish values is to know how to say ‘thank you’ when someone does something good for you. This campaign is here to say thank you to Prime Minister Harper. People all around the world have the opportunity to participate and donate and to help us say thank you,” Illouz said.

Under Harper’s leadership, Canada has been an outspoken supporter of Israel in international bodies such as the United Nations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in June that Israelis believe the Jewish state has “no better friend than Canada.”

Harper, who leads the Conservative Party, faces a tough re-election campaign against Tom Muclair’s New Democratic Party and Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party. The election comes Oct. 19.



Why Socialist Bernie Sanders Is Wrong about Health Care Being a Human Right

People who make up human rights run a risk.  Someone else might follow on by making up a human right to (say) kill all socialists.  Socialists have repeatedly shown that they think they have a right to kill anyone they want to

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." ~Alexis de Tocqueville

Last week, National Nurses United (NNU) hosted a rally to celebrate the anniversary of Medicare. During the rally, NNU took the opportunity to host Independent-Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Sander's speech to the crowd shed further light on his socialist views on the future of healthcare in the United States.

In his speech, Sander's stated that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege of all Americans", which is far from the truth. The debate over whether or not the right to life correlates with the right to health care has been an issue since the late 1800's. The truth of the matter is that while you do have the right to your life (meaning no one has the right to murder you, force you into slavery, dictate the terms of your existence through coercion or forced aggression), this right is what is known to philosophers as a negative right; while the right to purchase and receive health care is a positive right. First, we must define what is a right, before we go any further.

According to the Markkula Institute for Applied Ethics:

" What is a right? A right is a justified claim on others. For example, if I have a right to freedom, then I have a justified claim to be left alone by others. Turned around, I can say that others have a duty or responsibility to leave me alone. If I have a right to an education, then I have a justified claim to be provided with an education by society."

Based on that definition, a negative right is a claim against being interfered with; while a positive right is a claim that requires positive action on the part of someone else. The American system is based on the idea that we have negative rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but not positive claims on others. For example, you have the right to worship as you please without interference (a negative right) but you don't have the right to force someone else to use their labor or money to accommodate you in your worship (a positive right). Philosophy expert Leonard Piekoff, PH.D touched on this issue by showing a more exaggerated example of what people feel they have the right to:

"...the American viewpoint continues, are the rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. That's all. According to the Founding Fathers, we are not born with a right to a trip to Disneyland, or a meal at Mcdonald's, or a kidney dialysis (nor with the 18th-century equivalent of these things). We have certain specific rights [mentioned in the Bill of Rights]—and only these."

Thus the pretense of Sanders' statement is entirely incorrect, since no one owes you luxury cars, food, clothes, or health care. For the sake of driving this point home even further, voters in the upcoming election must realize that it is fundamentally wrong to keep anything that you have not created that others need to survive. Socialized health care is not "compulsory charity" as Democrats and Socialists (if there is any difference between the two anymore) would guilt you into believing. Its taking the financial resources of individuals to give to someone else, and in turn giving many people a poor product they didn't want to have in the first place.

An important concept to consider is that, if Americans are so focused on patient access and protection through medical coverage, who will look out for the best interest of the doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals? After all, medicine is something that many students throughout the nation spend incredibly large amounts of money and many hours committing themselves to getting their degrees and becoming medical services professionals. So the greater question should be whether or not you have a right to dictate the uses of their skills and talents. Medical practices are like any other commodity or service, they come with a very real costs since doctors become doctors not simply because they just want to help people, but because they want to make a profit and a living in the process of doing so. If there isn't a way to make a living and earn a humble profit, doctors and other medical professionals would be going against their own rational self-interest by entering the profession. A looming issue with the expansion of ObamaCare is the drastic shortage in doctors the US is facing. According to a recent report covering this disturbing fact:

"... The analysis finds that exchange plan networks include 42 percent fewer oncology and cardiology specialists; 32 percent fewer mental health and primary care providers; and 24 percent fewer hospitals. Importantly, care provided by out-of-network providers does not count toward the out-of-pocket limits put in place by the ACA."

What this shows is that people are as obligated to give you health care as much as they are obligated to give you their efforts and labor as a form of economic indentured servitude. A free market approach to health care reform is the best way to allocate services and products to patients, but also looks out for health care providers so that they can work to satisfy customers while satisfying their bottom line.

In conclusion, if we all have the right to health care, then using that logic we should all have the right to drive and own a Mercedes.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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