Jon N. Hall - Although it takes a little longer than bombing, one sure way to destroy a nation is from within. Just ruin a nation’s people, and you can walk right in and take over. …
Obama One Year Ago: Americans Are Not Better Off (and for darn sure today, we are not better off than 4 years ago!)
by Dana Loesch8 Sep 2012 – What a difference a year makes. The President defiantly told the country before his DNC speech that we were “better off” since he’s taken office, a complete about-face from what he admitted just one year ago when he told various media outlets that Americans were not, in fact, better off than they were four years ago when he took office.
- The debt of the United States has grown to a startling $16 trillion dollars — the largest total in our nation’s history.
- As the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reported, the Obama Administration has racked up 4 straight trillion-dollar plus annual budget deficits. 
- Unemployment has remained over 8% for 43 straight months — a first since the Great Depression. The real unemployment rate — taking into account those who have stopped looking or who are working part-time and want more work — is almost 15%.
- More than 23 million Americans are out of work or underemployed.
- Because of this troubled economy, the number of Americans receiving food stamp assistance — more than 46 million in all — is at a record high, according to the government. 
- The United States has slid from 3rd in ease of starting a new business to 13th in the world, trailing unlikely competitors like Rwanda and Macedonia.
September 21, 2012 Carol Brown
While our embassies burned, Americans died, and violent protests against America continue around the globe including an attack on another Ambassador, our president jetted off to Las Vegas for a fundraiser, and on the heels of that one, had another hosted by Beyonce and Jay-Z where, by the way, no cameras or mics were allowed. (Apparently Obama doesn’t want to tarnish his man-of-the-little-people image what with the floor to ceiling display of champagne bottles priced at $800 per bottle), gave interviews with entertainment magazines and posed for a photo spread, went on the David Letterman show, told Prime Minister Netanyahu he was too busy to meet with him, and idiotically blamed the Middle East violence on some two-bit “film-maker” whom he described as a “shadowy character.”
Anyone – anyone! – please tell me why this man-child should be allowed four more years as President of the United States.
With all we know about him, one needn’t make a long list to understand the gravity of the situation. Because knowing even just one thing – his communist upbringing, his associations with dubious characters, his Islamic sympathies, and so on – is enough to consign him forever to his role as a community organizer. At best.
Be gone, Mr. President. The day cannot come soon enough when you leave the White House and let us begin the task of picking up the shattered pieces of this country that you have strewn across the floor.
Opulent Obama Parties with Rich and Famous
September 22, 2012 Mr. Obama definitely gets around — especially Manhattan parties, basketball courts, golf courses, fundraisers, and campaign rallies filled with the young and the dumb. More
A word about about 2nd amendment rights, crime, Chicago, and O…
It’s all part and parcel:
- The 9 Most Terrifying Words September 22, 2012 Ronald Reagan said the 9 most terrifying words in the English language were: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Barack is offering 9 even more frightening words …
- Rick Perry Nailed Obama’s Strategy September 22, 2012 Governor Rick Perry may have turned out to be a disappointment as a candidate, but let’s give him credit for this …
- Dems in hock to SEIU-owned bank September 22, 2012 The union’s long reach has gotten a lot longer. …
- Rep.Sherman: 12 million illegals ‘need documents’ to be able to unionize [VIDEO] - a startling revelation huh.
- Watch That Last Step, It’s a Doozy
Daren Jonescu - What are the real, practical mechanisms whereby socialists have co-opted most of the Western world over the past hundred years without awakening the majority of the population? …
- Forward to What, Democrats? By Jonah GoldbergWednesday, September 12, 2012
September 21, 2012 Bruce Johnson
Another declaration of Obama’s want for redistribution of wealth is a National Public Radio interview conducted in 2001. Not only does he reveal his desire for wealth redistribution conducted by the government, he suggests the Judicial branch be the agent.
But the interview went further, and Obama revealed more. The “senior lecturer” expressed that our current system of government was negative in nature and that it deals more with what the government can’t do to you rather than what the government should do for you.
Mr. Obama, that is the idea. Even JFK made reference to this cornerstone of our system when he made his famous “ask not” speech.
This is pure unadulterated evidence, from Obama’s lips, that he diametrically opposed to the concept of limited government coupled with individual initiative.
Listen to the audio of this radio interview. His comments from 1998, now receiving so much attention, pale in comparison to these revelations. Video.
The Dangers of Spreading the Wealth
Brad Lips - With four years’ experience, we can see the consequences of a philosophy that prizes arbitrary notions of fairness over pragmatic concerns about what works.
Obama’s Redistribution: What Did his mentor Frank Marshall Davis Say? – Prof. Paul Kengor
By Thomas Sowell Wednesday, September 12, 2012 (see also by Sowell: Fallacy Of Redistribution Has Grave Economic Impact )
2012 Obama: No I can’t.
The Cloward-Piven way (and a food stamp graph for your reference)
September 18, 2012 Bruce Johnson
If the Cloward and Piven agenda were being implemented, would it look any different?
In all likelihood, they would be delighted with the massive deficits and the “spillage” that is the lax implementation of government entitlements.
A 1966 Article by Columbia Professors Cloward and Piven was a hot topic for awhile, but has since fell from attention. But isn’t now the time to reconsider exactly how this administration is steering people into record government program participation?
Some quotes from the 1966 article that reveal the mission. Increase the entitlement roles, redistribute wealth, guarantee income, and reduce qualifications for participating in these programs. Use organizing, demonstrating and a “climate of militancy”.
“…a political crisis would result that could lead to legislation for a guaranteed annual income”
“Advocacy must be supplemented by organized demonstrations to create a climate of militancy that will overcome the invidious and immobilizing attitudes which many potential recipients hold toward being “on welfare.”" — Occupy and ACORN
“The ultimate aim of this strategy is a new program for direct income distribution.”
“We tend to overlook the force of crisis in precipitating legislative reform, partly because we lack a theoretical framework by which to understand the impact of major disruptions.”
“By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.”
This explains the Occupy Movement, and the tacit approval of the Obama Administration.
This explains the gutting of the Clinton era Welfare requirements by the Obama administration.
This explains the lack of diligence by administrators in determining who exactly qualifies for Disability. Encouraging people to get on unemployment, then when your 99 weeks are up, go to disability. We won’t check if you meet the requirements.
This explains why there is a concerted effort to get as many people as possible on Food Stamps, and the lack of oversight diligence here as well.
“The Social Security Administration improperly awarded disability benefits in more than 25 percent of cases examined between 2006 and 2010, according to a new Senate report — potentially costing taxpayers millions of dollars.” Article
“The 136-page report focuses on questionable benefits rulings made by administrative law judges, including one in Oklahoma who was found to have awarded more than $1.6 billion in lifetime benefits in just three years. Judge Howard O’Bryan, in Oklahoma City, approved roughly 90 percent of more than 5,400 cases from 2007 to 2009 — most of them held “on-the-record” without hearings, according to the minority report.”
The “Grand Assumption” that administrators are against waste is disproven by the lax implementation of these programs. Spillage seems to be the intent here.
Cloward and Piven would be delighted with this Community Organizer. Forward!
On Sept. 4, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made a startling assertion saying that Obama circumvented the law when he summarily waived the work requirements in the welfare law. Perhaps not as shocking, few news outlets seem interested in the story. by Warner Todd Huston9 Sep 2012
September 20, 2012 By James Simpson
The United States of America is the world’s marketplace. Without the worldwide trade generated by American demand, the international marketplace will fail. Today we are witnessing an undeniable demonstration of this fact as world markets reel in response to our domestic financial crisis. This lesson must be burnt into our collective conscience. Our nation is the last repository of free-market economic principles, and a fundamental change in our government toward socialism will spell worldwide economic disaster from which we may never recover.
Yet this is exactly the endgame of the American radical left — increasingly indistinguishable from today’s Democratic Party — and offers the only internally consistent explanation for their historic obsession with divisive policy. From their early support of Hitler to their central role in the current financial crisis, the left’s contribution to domestic and foreign policy at federal, state, and local levels can be described only as wantonly destructive. Their takeover of schools and popular culture has been equally toxic. Their environmental radicalism has spawned the energy crisis while offering no viable alternatives. It defies logic.
But there is logic, a deadly logic, and in the ’60s, two radicals gave it a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. As explained in a prior article, the goal was to create a groundswell of demands for public services to overwhelm government, create crisis, and usher in a widespread call for fundamental economic reform at the federal level, with socialism the ultimate goal.
Democrats embrace the rhetoric of “compassion,” but look past the rhetoric to the results. This country is polarized as never before because of their relentless agitation for extremist positions on every issue and the outrageous tactics they use to promote those positions. But while radical Saul Alinsky’s tactics guide today’s Democrat electoral game plan, the Cloward-Piven Strategy describes the overarching goal of almost every left-wing organization/movement/ideal today.
How Do They Survive?
These organizations rarely produce anything of value, yet they are extremely adept at not only surviving but flourishing. Many receive their financial backbone from prominent philanthropies. They also receive subsidies and tax breaks with the help of friends in federal, state, and local government. This fact is unknown to most voters, who would be outraged if they fully understood how their tax dollars are being spent.
Our mass media is mostly to blame for the current state of affairs. The left’s strategies could not survive the light of day. Radicals require a sympathetic media to deliver their message in an acceptable fashion and actively suppress inconvenient facts that reveal these organizations’ true character and agenda.
It is a tangled web of radical interconnections, with the ultimate goal being an end to our constitutional framework, the fall of our Republic, and its replacement with a radical vision of socialist utopia — finally removing the last major roadblock to world socialism.
These radical individuals are highly motivated, in many cases intelligent and talented, and sometimes even driven by what they would describe as altruistic motives. Yet the impacts of socialist central planning are inarguably destructive.
Marx may have had some interesting insights on history, but despite his ponderous three-volume Das Kapital, he was no economist. Instead, Kapital provided the intellectual excuse for Marx’s anarchistic Communist Manifesto.
And the severe verdict of history on his perverted vision is without equal: over 100 million people murdered by their own governments in times of peace, more than all the wars of history combined. The rest face abject poverty, mass starvation, economic and environmental ruin, all overseen by smothering, indescribably brutal governments — a gray, barren existence for all but the apparatchiks.
So why are so many Westerners infatuated with this demented vision?
The high-minded types are driven by a galling sense of superiority. They are addicted to their own egos. They know better and can defy the verdict of history because people as smart as they are weren’t around when Russia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Ethiopia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo, Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. went Red.
Living well in affluent, capitalist America, it is all theoretical, so they can indulge their fantasies while promoting this destructive agenda with impunity. For these people, ignorance is quite the blessing, for if they soberly analyzed their ego-driven beliefs, they would be embarrassed.
If you examine their pasts closely, you learn that most of these people also came from upper-class backgrounds. Ph.D. chemistry professor George Wiley, the black radical who led Cloward’s and Piven’s National Welfare Rights Organization, was a well-to-do son of a Rhode Island family.
Wade Rathke, the NWRO veteran who started ACORN, was from a similarly well-to-do background, although he dropped out of Williams College.
Obama’s radical friend Bill Ayers’ family was very wealthy. Looking at his arrest photos, and listening to his smug self-righteousness, you really get the impression that he was little more than an arrogant, spoiled brat, with a titanic sense of entitlement that allowed him to rationalize mass murder.
This is a familiar story throughout the American left and indeed with many of the most infamous communist leaders around the world. For example, Communist China’s first leader, Mao Zedong, the inspiration for Ayers and many other radicals, was the son of the wealthiest man in his home town.
According to the incredible biography Mao: the Unknown Story, he was lazy and arrogant, and he refused to work, despite his father’s repeated attempts to find him suitable employment. He finally saw an opportunity for real advancement working for the Soviets. During the Long March, he was carried by porters.
As young idealists, many of these people are initially snared into this ideology by the exaggerated sense of self-importance that is often a characteristic of youth. But we all have to live, and as they grow up, they discover that the radical profession can be a pretty lucrative racket. Despite their high-minded rhetoric about saving the poor and oppressed, communists and socialists are what I call entrepreneurial parasites.
Consider what they demand of us: sacrifice of all worldly goods to the state; penurious, barren lifstyles; slavish observance of their dictates; and full-time commitment to the well-being of the state, while our jobs, careers, industries, the environment, even our lives are threatened. But how do they live?
Obama’s pal Ayers, who describes himself as a “small ‘c’ communist,” lives in a lavish home, in the upscale Hyde Park neighborhood, with a six-figure (or more) income. It is easy to see how, given the open spigot of money his organizations receive from the various non-profit funds he’s ingratiated himself to. Bill Ayers’ father, Tom, had been CEO of Commonwealth Edison, so Ayers fils is used to money, and later developments in his career point to a hand up from Daddy.
Barack moved to Hyde Park, too, within easy walking distance of Ayers. It is difficult to find anyone in the American Marxist elite who doesn’t fully enjoy the fruits of capitalism in his or her personal life. In fact, Obama’s early career seems to have been centered on dispensing foundation money as a means to secure his career in politics. Here is a perfect example.
Obama’s work on the boards of Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge during the 1990s has been widely publicized, but during that period, Obama also worked for four other foundations: the Joyce Foundation, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership for a Quality Education — run by John Ayers, Bill’s brother — and the Chicago Public Education Fund, whose board also included failed bank magnate Penny Pritzker, later finance director of Obama’s 2008 campaign. During that period, Obama shared a small office with Bill Ayers, Mike Klonsky, and Mike’s wife, Susan (both prominent movement communists). The mass media has never reported on any of this.
This taste for wealth is not limited to American socialists. Every socialist dictator from Stalin to Saddam has lived in opulent surroundings with multiple estates, scores of servants, and every kind of luxury and indulgence available to him.
Marxist austerity is meant only for the rest of us.
See, for example, Gorbachev’s dacha in Foros, Crimea — a testament to communist modesty if ever there were one. Same with all the leaders of communist countries. Indeed, Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov was murdered for his extensive reporting on the opulent, decadent lifestyles of Bulgarian Communist leaders. It’s a good racket, if you don’t mind blood.
While socialist leaders live in lavish style, in every country where socialist policies are imposed, they measurably worsen the lives of everyday citizens in direct proportion to their scope. Even countries with vast natural resources, like Russia, founder because their economies are constructed on the fatally flawed economic principles of socialism.
Despite this, they still manage to live on, in many cases hanging by mere threads for years.
The dirty little secret of socialism is that it cannot survive without capitalism. Capitalist countries provide the resources necessary for these socialist governments to continue. In addition to providing a market for their goods, Western nations keep socialist countries afloat through grants and loans from the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other governmental institutions, as well as huge investments by private companies.
Even China, widely misunderstood as the next free market, practices market economics only one-way, in international trade, while maintaining iron-fisted central planning internally. The country could not maintain its current level of economic growth without the markets provided by the United States and other Western countries.
Finally, there is a vast network of American enterprises, owned covertly by foreign dictators, whose true purpose is to provide underground income for these leaders and their socialist governments, while offering convenient cover for industrial and military spies. This fact is rarely mentioned and largely unknown.
At its core, socialism can only be parasitic. It cannot survive without its capitalist host. Therefore, if the United States becomes a socialist country, worldwide capital will soon dry up. Remaining market economies around the world will succumb either to their own internal socialist movements or to direct military threat from abroad. Without the protective umbrella of American military might, they will have no other choice.
Without the markets and resources capitalist economies provide, the many socialist countries that have survived on our largesse until now will find their income stream shut off. The world will plunge into an unprecedented, cataclysmic depression. This depression will be of indeterminate length because the wherewithal for recovery — a large capitalist economy — will no longer exist. With a world controlled by parasites, the host will die.
At this point, even the parasites will be in danger. The socialists’ internationalist agenda truly is a Conspiracy of the Lemmings. It is not merely a criminal conspiracy; it is criminally insane.
Barack Hussein Obama has become the standard-bearer to bring this agenda to fruition here. The socialist economic agenda he has publicly articulated is enough in the current financial crisis to plunge our economy into deep recession. The disarmament agenda he has publicly articulated is enough to strip us of the meager defenses we currently have against a rogue missile attack, and Iran has already telegraphed plans to launch such an attack.
We are seeing this agenda being played out before our very eyes today. I will repeat what I have said many times before: 2012 will be the most important election in U.S. history, because it will decide our fate as a nation. Please take to heart Breitbart’s parting words:
This is my war cry for 2012. You need to join me in this war against the institutional left. This is not your mother’s Democratic Party. John Podesta, George Soros, this is not your mother’s Democratic Party either… I don’t care who the candidate is, and I haven’t since the beginning… Ask not what the candidate can do for you; ask what you can do for the candidate. And that’s what the Tea Party is. We are there to confront them on behalf of our candidate. I will march behind whoever our candidate is because if we don’t, we lose. There are two paths… one is America and the other one is Occupy… Anyone that’s willing to stand next to me to fight the progressive Left, I will be in that bunker. And if you’re not in that bunker because you’re not satisfied with this candidate, more than shame on you, you’re on the other side!
(Editor’s note: This is an updated and expanded version of an article originally published elsewhere in 2008, a follow-on to the September 2008 American Thinker article “Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis.”)
September 17, 2012 By Monty Pelerin
For the last thirty-plus years, each election has been described by pundits as “the most important election in history.” Finally this claim is no longer hyperbole.
Elections can be important, but they should not be “game-changers.” For the first time in my life, we face an election that truly lives up to its exaggerated billings. This election likely is the most important one in American history.
An Inflection Point
The United States of America is at an inflection point where this election will determine whether we continue to veer off-course or return to a conventional path. The issue is whether we reinvent this country in ways that have failed everywhere else in both place and time, or return to the traditions that have made America the envy of the world.
The key figure in this election is one Barack Obama. What he represents and insists on imposing is a revolution in values, markets and what has been known as the American way of life. His opponent, Mitt Romney, hardly seems ideological enough to combat the direct assault on liberty.
Romney seems to be a good and decent man, one that you might admire as a competent and fair boss. He does not convey the same commitment and intensity as his opponent. His apparent competency would certainly be welcome, but it is hardly sufficient. Even some Soviet bureaucrats were competent in accomplishing unproductive tasks. Competency in pursuit of wrong goals can be a liability rather than an asset.
The bases of the two parties are not equal in intensity. Many opponents of the president believe this election to be like those of the past. There are Obama-detesters who have come to stronger positions generally via two routes – 1) the man is incompetent and made things worse; or, 2) he is out to destroy what was America. This anti-Obama feeling is stronger than it was four years ago, although does not come close to matching the core of Democrat dependency voters. These voters view each election in terms of life and death (or living well versus living). This intense core far outnumbers the Obama-detesters.
It is difficult to adequately express the importance of this election without sounding overly political or alarmist. David Solway achieves such a balance in his description of what is at stake:
The United States of America is now something alarmingly close to what we might describe as the rogue regime of Obamerica. The “end,” in the acceptation of “purpose,” of this strange new nation appears to be the reversal or erasure of its Republican heritage and its replacement by what Barry Rubin calls a stealth-leftist anti-American substitute. The projected “end” of Obamerica would seem to be nothing less than the material end of America as we have known it throughout its storied history. Its free-market economy is currently in tatters, its competitive edge and productivity blunted by a meretricious “stimulus” and by redistributionist economics, its Triple A credit rating downgraded amid concerns about the government’s budget deficit and rising debt burden, and its unemployment numbers beyond acceptable. Racial and ethnic divisions have been exacerbated by the president’s incendiary rhetoric. Owing to Obama’s policies, America’s network of reliable alliances is in disarray as the program of appeasement and rapprochement with its adversaries grows ever more emphatic. At the same time the power and authority of the erstwhile “leader of the free world” has started demonstrably to wane. And if Obama has his way and is re-elected, he will enjoy, as he confided to former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, even more “flexibility” to pursue his ends.
The looming choice for the U.S. on November 6 of this year is stark and unforgiving. The re-election of Barack Obama will mean the “end,” in its terminal sense, of the America of yore, of the constitutional republic on which the West has grudgingly depended for its defense and prosperity and whose citizens were once the envy of an ungrateful world. An unprecedented experiment in free market economics and individual liberty will have fallen victim to an unscrupulous agenda that intends its demise. Only the end of Obamerica can prevent the nation’s decline. History is about to be made – or unmade. A victory for Obamerica can come only at the expense of America itself, and a heretofore undefeated nation will go down to the first and greatest – and quite possibly lasting – defeat in the chronicle of its tenure.
It is truly frightening that one election can have such importance to a country.
Elections Were Never Intended To Be Life-Changing
The Founders never intended elections to be so important. The Constitution was designed to keep government small and unobtrusive. The role of government was limited in a fashion to ensure against its increasing power and importance. Government’s primary purpose was to provide defense nationally and protect property rights domestically. These services were public functions on the assumption that they could be provided more efficiently jointly than privately.
The Leviathan that government became was never intended. Its size, power and responsibilities contradict anything intended by the Constitution. If the Founders could see what was spawned, they likely would conclude that living under King George was not so bad. “Taxation without representation” seems better than the taxation with representation, at least the representation that we evolved into.
No election was ever intended to have the potential to change the framework of this country. Individuality and freedom were intended to be beyond politics and majority rule.
From its beginning, the Constitution came under attack because it prevented political figures from imposing their views on others. That proscription was responsible for the enormous success of the country. Power-hungry politicians and rent-seeking voters eventually eroded the protections contained in the Constitution.
The current election is a framework changer. Barack Obama’s opportunity was not created by Mr. Obama, although he is pursuing it more aggressively and openly than any predecessor. Two hundred years of political meddling have emasculated the Constitution and provided him the opportunity to do so.
The New Consequences of Elections
Elections, designed to be rather meaningless events, suddenly have become the most important things in many people’s lives. The dependency class in particular has a vested interest in elections. For dependents, it is the means to improve their standard of living (at the expense of others). This constituency has no “skin in the game” so always votes itself more. Both political parties have pursued this group, ensuring its increase in size and electoral importance. Today it represents almost 50% of the electorate. The late Milton Friedman pointed to this number as representing the tipping point whereby a democratic society could not survive.
Barack Obama represents an existential threat to the way of life of the American people. If he gets reelected, what we know as America will be forever changed. Electing Mitt Romney likely would delay this outcome, but even Ronald Reagan merely slowed the decline temporarily. Mitt Romney may be a good man but he does not seem to be another Reagan.
If Obama is defeated, and I expect he will be, Romney’s economic policies will have a better chance of producing an economic recovery. Obama’s economic policy amounted to nothing but the hot air of hope and change coupled with payoffs to political friends. But an economic recovery (if one is even possible) does not end the real problem facing this country.
The underlying and seemingly unsolvable problem is the emasculation of the Constitution. That enabled the Rule of Man to trump the Rule of Law. That is the underlying cause of our economic problems. Government has become too large, too powerful and too intrusive. Sadly, history shows that lawmakers never relinquish power willingly. Indeed, today many believe government should be even more powerful to deal with the problems of a modern society.
Fortunately Barack Obama is an incompetent ideologue or his election would be ensured. Hopefully he will be defeated and the close escape from what would represent the end of the American way of life will shock people back to their senses. To understand how close we are to the end of America, realize that this election is too close to call, despite the most incompetent president in my lifetime. Jimmy Carter’s domestic and foreign policy appear competent compared to The One’s.
Ridding the country of Barack Obama is dodging one bullet in a fierce firefight. If elected, Mitt Romney could implement the same future envisioned by Obama. I don’t expect him to veer off in this direction, but that misses the important point. No man should have this power and authority. Thus, every election from here on is potentially our last election as true Americans.
Barack Obama is a symptom of the problem. Ridding ourselves of Obama does not rid the country of the problem. Elections were never intended to be life-changing events.
Unless government can be re-caged, we will always be one election away from disaster. Defeating Barack Obama only pushes the problem off one election. At some point the American people will choose incorrectly and their way of life will be gone. At some point both parties may envision the same dismal course for the country, leaving no choice.
Unconstrained democracy always destroys itself.
Socialism, by Any Other Name, Is Still Socialism (American Thinker)
The Fall of the House of Obama (American Thinker)
The ‘Security Leak Administration’ and the Deaths in Libya (American Thinker)Obama’s Second Term Transformation Plans (American Thinker)
July 20, 2012 By Bruce A. Riggs
Election 2012 is shaping up to be the most clearly defined clash of political ideologies since FDR’s New Deal. The heart of the matter is the long-overdue awakening of a slumbering majority of constitutional traditionalists. This awakening has been triggered by a surge of authoritarian socialism, or more accurately, cultural Marxism advocated by a radical Obama administration to fashion a “fundamentally transformed” America.
If the 2008 election was about dumping free-market capitalism and America’s constitutional liberties for a nascent Marxist police state, probably not too many people understood the issue. The 2012 election will be about ratifying or rescinding that choice, hopefully, without ambiguity. What’s at stake is the preservation of America’s unique ethos of creative individual liberty or a continuation of our accelerating descent into a coercive statist regime derivative of Marx.
Given Marxism’s deadly history, it’s stunning to realize that an increasingly aggressive constituency for such a dismally failed experiment exists, albeit traveling lightly concealed in its various postmodernist disguises. It’s even more astonishing when you realize what an ill-conceived piece of nonsense the Marx-Engels Communist Manifesto actually is.
Under the circumstances, a brief look at the Manifesto and the two men, Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895), who wrote it, seems worthwhile in the context of November’s epochal election. As Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.“
Despite a legacy of some two hundred million (and counting) deaths in his name, Marx remains the godfather of the left. Such perverse idolatry is perhaps symptomatic of the left’s pathological lust for power to reshape the world into a “heaven on earth.” Mass genocides in the name of “social justice” could come only from a seriously warped ideology.
To know Marx is to know the contemporary left as well. Both rest on duplicity, hypocrisy, and nihilism.
Ostensibly, Marx was filled with compassion for the proletariat and dedicated himself to its liberation from bourgeois exploitation. Tellingly, however, Marx’s relationship with the proletariat was sterile and distant: “[Marx] was totally and incorrigibly deskbound … and so far as we know [he] never set foot in a mill, factory, mine or other industrial workplace in the whole of his life” (1).
It’s argued here that Marx’s obsession with fomenting revolution can be seen not as a matter of compassion for the proletariat, but as a self-aggrandizing nihilism. Marx was fixated on revolution and the power he might inherit from it. The proletariat was a nascent force which could be marshaled to avenge Marx’s personal grievances against a “world” in which he was a misfit.
For neither Lenin nor Marx was the revolution the answer to the question: what can be done for the proletariat? Rather the proletariat was the answer to the question: what can be done for the revolution? (2)
At age twenty-five, German-born Marx, a recent Ph.D., was denied a coveted teaching post at Bonn University by Prussian authorities. Soon after, Marx was exiled to Paris for his subsequently seditious writings as an erstwhile journalist. In the (1848) revolutionary climate of the times, Prussian authorities had little patience with radicals such as the young Marx had become during his time at university.
In Paris Marx met Engels, a fellow German exile, who shared Marx’s passion for revolution. The two soon collaborated on the writing of the now-infamous Communist Manifesto. Engels also became Marx’s enabler, even to the extent of financially supporting him and his family until Marx’s death some four decades later.
Of the two men, only Engels’ heart seems to have been in the right place insofar as the proletariat was concerned.
Over his entire life, Marx proved incapable of earning a living on his own. Marx’s unwillingness to work forced his wife and six children to live in penury despite Engels’ limited support. Three of those children died in early childhood, and two others committed suicide as young adults. The once-beautiful and aristocratic Jenny, Marx’s wife, eventually died a haggard and broken woman.
Marx even rejected his mother when she, at last, refused to send him more money. He did not trouble himself to attend his father’s funeral and shunned his adult siblings who had no material wealth to give him. Marx likewise refused to acknowledge paternity of a son born to him by his unpaid servant-housemaid. Marx persuaded his long-suffering enabler Engels to claim paternity (3). Such was Engels’ misplaced commitment to free Marx to finish Capital — which a procrastinating Marx never did. That burden also fell to Engels after Marx’s death.
The Communist Manifesto
Though the writing of Capital consumed most of Marx’s adult life, its worldly impact has been minor compared to The Communist Manifesto, a twelve-thousand word pamphletwritten years earlier and completed in a matter of weeks. Written when Marx was twenty-nine and Engels twenty-seven, the Manifesto reflects a malign mix of idealistic fervor, disambiguation, and implausible assumptions for which the world has paid dearly.
The Manifesto rests on Marx’s simplistic postulate that West European society then consisted of two mutually antagonistic classes of people: an exploited proletariat and the bourgeoisie as a venal class of selfish manufacturers and industrialists. Marx’s over-simplified duality — a hallmark of leftist ideology — was based not on his witness, but on his arbitrary dialectic construct, the resolution of which, according to Marx, called for not a rational Hegelian synthesis, but violent revolution.
Nihilistic humors have always been present in the radical character. The revolutionary will … involves a passion for destruction[.] But how could a responsible intellect ignore the destructive implications of such an attitude? (4)
Marx disingenuously asserted that a benevolent “dictatorship of the proletariat” would coalesce from the revolutionary ruins, function as if populated by saints for an indeterminate period, and eventually just “wither away,” as Engels lamely offered. Leaving what in its wake neither Marx nor Engels ever explained. “Marx did not go into depth in terms of what this [dictatorship] would look like, presumably because he didn’t know either[.]“
“This Marxist interpretation of history, with its final utopian-apocalyptic vision, has been criticized in the noncommunist world as historically inaccurate, scientifically untenable and logically absurd.” Indeed.
And there’s no reason for anyone to expect that any dictatorship would be benevolent. If Marx did not bother to understand this, his disciple Lenin certainly did:
Dictatorship is power directly based on violence and is constrained by no law. The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is power acquired and kept by means of violence … power unconstrained by any laws. (5)
Muravchik cites anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (1817-1876), one of Marx’s revolutionary contemporaries:
With remarkable prescience, [Bakunin] argued that only tyranny would result from the political revolution that Marx advocated: ‘The so-called people’s state will be nothing other than the quite despotic administration of the masses of the people by a new and very [restricted] aristocracy[.]‘ (6)
Marx and His Demon
Marx was unquestionably brilliant, but that fact doesn’t certify wisdom or even rational behavior. Both Marx and his father Heinrich recognized a “demon” of ambition that drove Karl. In a March 2, 1837 letter to his son, the elder Marx wrote “And since [your] heart is obviously animated and governed by a demon not granted to all men, is that demon heavenly or Faustian?”
One answer came from Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), an Italian revolutionary and a contemporary of Marx, who once described him as “a destructive spirit whose heart was filled with hatred rather than love of mankind … [and whose] overriding characteristic is boundless ambition and thirst for power[.]“
From a contemporary perspective, it would seem that Marx’s “demon of ambition” was the manifestation of a narcissistic personality.
Marx was notorious for his rages at meetings attended by actual socialist proletarians, who were “anxious to transform society but moderate about the practical steps to this end [and they] did not share Marx’s apocalyptic visions” (7). Marx was contemptuous of such actual proletarians, whom he and Engels would refer to as “ignorant curs” and “jackasses” (8).
[Men] with actual experience of factory conditions tended to be anti-violence [and were] skeptical about the apocalyptic revolution [Marx] claimed was not only necessary but inevitable. Some of Marx’s most venomous assaults were directed against men of this type. (9)
“The aggression resulting from thwarted narcissism is gratified when projected onto a devalued minority[.]“
Such insights into Marx’s character suggest that the self-obsessed Marx’s focus on the proletariat was a matter of projection rather than compassion, which he obviously lacked.
Authoritarian collectivism (née Marxism) endures as much as a secular religious faith as it does as a dismally failed socio-economic system. “Consider the millions of people who were killed by Stalin and Mao: although these tyrants paid lip service to rationality, communism was little more than a political religion” (10). The “church” of this gnostic faith thrives embedded in our schools, universities, news media, and the communications and entertainment industries, which sermonize and proselytize relentlessly to mostly captive audiences.
For the past fifty years, collectivist forces (“missionaries”) have been at work in America under the rubric of Critical Theory. America has been subversively conditioned into becoming another USSR lacking only a slick Svengali to charm the masses into acceptance. We now have an Obama presidency which has begun to smell of imperialism, if not nascent dictatorship.
It is imperative that the 2012 election be the start of a committed return to rationalism and the constitutional guarantees of individual liberty on which America was founded. Our constitutional protections from bullying government now are under assault. Tyranny waits in the wings.
In paraphrase of the closing words of Marx’s Manifesto: Conservatives of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but the coming chains of a Fundamentally Transformed America!
1. Johnson, Paul, Intellectuals ,Harper Perennial, 1990, 60
2. Muravchik, Joshua, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, Encounter, San Fran., 2002, 114
3. Johnson, Ibid., 80
4. Horowitz, David H., The Politics of Bad Faith, The Free Press, NY, 1998, 29
5. Revel, Jean-Francois, Last Exit to Utopia, Encounter Books, NY, 2000, 106
6. Muravchik, Ibid., 87
7. Johnson, Ibid., 60
8. Muravchik, Ibid., 76
9. Johnson, Ibid., 61
10. Harris, Sam, The End of Faith, Norton, NY, 2004, 79.
And a dastardly means to this end:
September 19, 2012 By J.T. Hatter
Barack Hussein Obama has always run his political campaigns to exploit racial, economic, religious, and political divisions. After nearly four years of Obama, the nation is furiously divided, and the political scene is positively treacherous. Everyone expects this campaign to be the ugliest and dirtiest in our nation’s history. It is certainly shaping up that way.
The most poisonous aspect of this race is the Democratic Party political tactic of racial slander. The Democrats can’t campaign on Obama’s stellar accomplishments as president, and they can’t attack Romney’s qualifications. Most Americans agree with Romney’s policies. So the progressives are playing the race card.
To the Democrats and the mainstream media, this is war. They now have the political power to advance their leftist ideology and they will stop at nothing to keep it. The progressives aren’t merely playing the race card. They are deploying the entire deck in a scorched-earth policy. If you oppose the Democrats, then you are a racist.
Republicans and conservatives are now regularly smeared as racists. Their history of being the party and ideology that freed the slaves, overturned the Jim Crow laws, and fought for racial equality is being deliberately distorted. The progressive left is waging their race hate campaign against the American people as a whole — not just against the Republicans. The Democratic Party/mainstream media narrative is that virtually all Americans are racist, except for the enlightened ones who make their home in the Democratic Party.
America’s Race Card Media
The mainstream news media are reveling in their role as race hounds for the Democratic Party. Chris Matthews of NBC leads the pack of race howlers. In a recent Morning Joe show, Matthews viciously attacked Reince Preibus and accused candidate Romney of playing the race card. Matthews reviled the Republican for using the term “work requirements” when discussing welfare reform. That’s racist, you know. On his Hardball show on MSNBC, Matthews regularly accuses Romney of leading a racist campaign. He hears Republicans “dog-whistling” racial code words all the time — in practically every speech or announcement. He recently set up Cynthia Tucker, an über-liberal Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist, to declare of the Romney campaign that “[t]his is the Southern Strategy writ large. This is all about appealing to racially resentful whites.”
I’ve got news for Matthews and Tucker. There aren’t enough “racially resentful whites” to matter. They represent the tiniest fraction of the American population. Then why are the Democrats and their media stooges woofing so loudly on these racialist hate themes? They continue to play on rapidly disappearing “white guilt” over slavery, which ended a century and a half ago, and racism, which will never end, according to liberals.
The critical voting demographic for Obama is the white male professional. They are the target. How many of these people will flee to the embrace of the Democrats for fear of being labeled as racist, and to secure the badge of racial enlightenment? Enough to matter, perhaps. That’s what the Democrats are counting on. Their underlying strategy is to neutralize this demographic since they can’t possibly win it.
The Racial Stink Brush
Americans as a people are fairly free from racial prejudice. This is certainly true when Americans are compared to people living in the rest of the world. But you would never know that, and certainly wouldn’t believe it, if all your information came from American television.
There are few real racists in our country, relatively speaking. They are considered wackos, out of mainstream thought and belief. We Americans believe that all men are created equal. We Christians are commanded to love one another as brothers. The only way we can reunite this nation is through brotherly love.
And that is exactly why the Democrats are raising the specter of racism in this political race. The only way they can gain political power is through exploiting social division. Right now the Democrats and the mainstream media are vigorously conducting a broad-spectrum campaign of racial division across America.
The current mainstream media propaganda sound bite lineup is as follows:
- Voter ID and poll-watching equal suppression of minority votes. Shades of Jim Crow.
- Racist code words uttered by Republicans will be regularly discovered and interpreted by the media.
- Racist remarks and actions by Democrats do not exist. And those that do will be ignored.
- Attacking President Obama is racist by definition.
- Supporting or voting for Romney is racist by definition.
This list will grow as we approach November 6. The mainstream media will repeat these racist political attack themes over and over again. Repeat the lie often enough, and people will believe it.
The media is also carefully parsing every word of every statement made by Republicans. The mainstream media are desperately searching for racial slips, inferences, and “code words” they can amplify and wield. Just ask George Allen how this works. Allen lost the 2000 Virginia Senate race to Democrat political newcomer Jim Webb by only 10,000 votes — after an intense media campaign brushing him with racist stink paint. The racist slander worked, and the media won the race for the Democrats.
The mainstream media will discover racist intent even if they have to fabricate it, as NBC did when it edited the George Zimmerman 911 recording in order to make him appear to be the racist killer of an innocent black boy. Think about that. NBC was willing to misrepresent the facts to make the Hispanic man (initially represented as white) appear racially motivated to kill a black man. No innocence until proven guilty. NBC convicted Zimmerman in the digital courtroom in which it is judge, jury, and executioner. Why did NBC violate Zimmerman in this way? To stir up racial division to enhance the leftist political paradigm.
The media has been doing this for a long time. Remember the Tawana Brawley rape that never happened — the one that launched Al Shapton’s political career? How about the Duke lacrosse rape that also never happened? False accusations of rape against nine white men and a charge of murder against a Hispanic man. What the media are doing now is not merely a “tragic rush to accuse.” It is a deliberate political strategy. Think what the mainstream media are willing to do for Obama.
The Ethics and Morality of Race Slander
The political racial attacks are being coordinated between the Democratic Party and the mainstream media. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida congresswoman, accused the Republicans on television of wanting to “literally [sic] drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally and very transparently block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican candidates.”
This is pure political deception. It is an outright lie. Wasserman Schultz neglected to mention that it was the Democratic Party that wrote and enforced the Jim Crow laws in the first place. It must have slipped her memory that it was the Republican Party that did away with those and other laws that discriminated against black people.
At a recent campaign rally in Danville, VA, Vice President Joe Biden said, with a newfound Southern twang, that if Republicans won the election, “they gawn’ to put y’all back in chains.” The vice president of the United States was telling black people that if the Republicans win the election, slavery will return. What a scurrilous remark. How low can you get?
According to the Daily Caller, Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold, national campaign manager for the liberal super-PAC CREDO, told supporters in Aurora, CO that calling Republicans racist was a more effective tactic than criticizing their policies.
Americans will pay the price for the racial hatred being incited by the Democrats and their media shills. The price will be steep and paid in blood. In playing the race card, the Democrats show that they have no moral scruples whatsoever. To the progressive, the end always justifies the means. It is a dishonor and a sin to bear false witness against your neighbor. But this is the political party that booed God out of the DNC party platform three times before the chair ignored the majority and allowed the Almighty to return. And this was done cynically to avert political fallout and a possible loss of votes in November. Even God is a political calculation for Democrats.
There are no moral or ethical constraints on the Democrats or their progressive ilk in the media. Race-baiting is a strategy they believe will work for them. We can expect a hellish campaign in the run up to November 6. If you plan to vote for Romney, be prepared. The Democrats will call you a racist. And they won’t think twice about doing it.
- Why did Obama use the N-word to describe his grandfather? By Dinesh D’Souza (Producer of the now acclaimed documentary 2016) September 11, 2012 FoxNews.com – In one of the most remarkable passages in Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, ” he uses the terms “collaborator,” “Uncle Tom,” and “House nigger” to describe someone he detests. That someone, it turns out, is his own grandfather! We have a striking phenomenon here: the first African American president using the N-word, and to refer to his own grandfather! Ordinarily this would be occasion for massive comment and analysis, but if there has been any, I am not aware of it…
By Michael Goodwin September 10, 2012 New York Post
The system is rigged. America is unjust. Opportunity is dead. You didn’t build that.
Dammit, where’s mine?
Oh, and Republicans are the people who rigged the system. They’re trying to take away your rights to vote, to health care, to education, to housing. They hate women, gays and immigrants. They don’t pay their fair share and they’re un-American.
Barack Obama lights candles, Mitt Romney spreads darkness, and Usama bin Laden is dead.
There, I saved you the time of watching the Democratic convention. For three grating days, demands for more government spending were coupled with sweeping character assassinations of Romney. The GOP is not just wrong; it is immoral.
Don’t agree? You’re not patriotic.
It turns out that the party that left God out of its platform has a religious zeal for its leader. “We believe in Barack Obama,” Sen. John Kerry thundered, to uproarious applause.
Something shocking is happening to the Democratic Party. Its committed adherents are whipping themselves into a frenzy of grievance that justifies seeing their fellow Americans as both evil and a free-cash machine.
Folks, we’ve entered Dear Leader territory.
The wild, outlandish claims that America is corrupt, Republicans are super-villains and Obama is a super-hero were made by every speaker over three raucous nights. A president, a first lady, a former president, a sitting vice president, top members of Congress, labor leaders, celebrities, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, blacks, whites, Latinos — all stayed on the scorched-earth message softened only by homilies to Obama.
Something shocking is happening to the Democratic Party. Its committed adherents are whipping themselves into a frenzy of grievance that justifies seeing their fellow Americans as both evil and a free-cash machine.
Obama did not singlehandedly create this mad orgy, but he lit the match and shows the way. On this, he is a true leader, a transformative one. His invocation of FDR is not unwarranted, even as his channeling of Lincoln’s pain smacked of cheesy self-reverence.
When he says voters “will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation,” he understates the fact. The two paths are a twain that shall never meet.
His rhetorical skills, uncompromising ambition and 1,000-watt smile were on full display last night, unfortunately in service to a vision that would surely bankrupt America.
Instead of a guarantee of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, our culture would be reshaped by a growing collectivist power, vested in the state, that would command ever more resources and control. The claim of “leveling the playing field” is, in reality, a plan to control the outcome.
As famously promised, the financial crisis has not been wasted. The recession lingers for many families. Unemployment remains stuck at a destructive level. The deficit soars — we borrow nearly $3 billion a day, $20 billion a week, $1 trillion a year.
These are serious problems to most mortals, but for him, they are rich opportunities to expand the reach of Washington. The soaring debt is not soaring enough, so more treasure must be thrown into the bonfire of his vanities. It is a fire consuming the future under the guise of fairness.
This is not mere class warfare. That’s just a tactic. The goal, as it always has been for his kind throughout history, is to accumulate power that the elite can wield without accountability or checks and balances.
Give the man his due. We have not seen his like in our times. His charisma and political skills are unmatched. If only they were admirably used.
Obama promised to unite the country and, his lie exposed, is now determined to win re-election by any means necessary. He may succeed.
Beware, America. The wraps have come off.
Obama is unbound and the delegates in the convention hall went home in full revolutionary spirit. They don’t want to unite America. They want to conquer it.
Barack Obama did build that.
IBD: Tue, Sep 11 2012 00:00:00 EA12_ISSUES
Election 2012: Even after President Obama’s long-winded acceptance speech, Americans still don’t know what he plans to do if he gets another term. That’s only because he doesn’t want you to know.
Speaking at the Democratic National Convention, Obama opened by saying Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan aren’t offering details because “they don’t want you to know their plan.” But he went on to tell voters nothing of his own plan for a second term other than that it will be “bold, persistent experimentation.”
The president mentioned “climate change” but didn’t say what he would do about it. He talked about reforming immigration and taxation, but breathed not a word about how he would do that.
He also vowed to stimulate the moribund economy through “investments in education.” But other than calling for more Pell grants, he was short on specifics (and never explained how spending even more on education would suddenly motivate private-sector hiring).
That left even old media types scratching their heads. During a panel discussion in Charlotte, CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer blurted out: “What is his agenda?!”
Nobody seems to know. It remains a mystery — by design. Obama won’t say because it’s twice as radical. And the Obama camp is recasting the president as a moderate raised “just like you” with middle-American values.
If it revealed the true radical nature of his personal background and his agenda for a second term — when, as Obama told the Russians, he’ll have more “flexibility” — only the most hard-core left would vote for him.
But we can give readers a good idea of what he’s got up his sleeve. His overall agenda, unspoken as it is, focuses on downsizing America. He wants to scale back the private economy, reduce oil consumption, cut U.S. nuclear weapons, roll back the military, and shrink America’s footprint in the world.
This much we know. How he would go about accomplishing it is less clear.
But from the policies he’s already started, and from the much-overlooked agenda he laid out in his 2006 autobiography, one can flesh out the details of his promised “bold, persistent experimentation.”
Policies and programs voters can expect from a second Obama administration, which would aggressively expand executive powers, include:
• A “speculation tax” on Wall Street covering all investment transactions.
• A higher capital gains tax rate.
• A reinstated estate tax.
• Release of high-risk Taliban leaders from Gitmo, resettling them in Afghanistan.
• Amnesty for illegal immigrants.
• A single-payer health care system.
• Nationalized U.S. education system, including federal control of curriculum and federalized standards.
• Ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, so the U.S. can’t test its aging warheads.
• Unilateral cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
• A carbon tax on utilities.
• A special windfall profits tax on oil companies to subsidize renewable energy projects.
• Decriminalization of marijuana.
• Expunging criminal records of many felons.
• Socializing the private credit-scoring system used by banks, insurers and employers.
• Socializing lending to small businesses.
• Higher taxes, including a value-added tax, on the middle class for new transfer payments for the poor.
• Suing towns to force public-housing integration of the suburbs.
• Bolstering the Community Reinvestment Act.
• Packing the the Supreme Court with leftists.
• Stricter gun control.
• Minimum living wage.
• Universal 401(k) for the poor.
• Wage insurance.
With his centrist-sounding speech, Obama put politics above ideological ambition and incumbency above candor. But make no mistake: He’s still a radical with a very radical agenda left only partly accomplished.
IBD: Mon, Sep 10 2012 00:00:00 EA16_ISSUES
His Agenda: President Obama’s convention speech got rough reviews, and rightly so. He offered little but tired bromides and recycled promises. But critics overlooked one promise that will guarantee an even bleaker future.
There was plenty to dislike in Obama’s speech. The language was flat, his delivery languid. The speech was stuffed with standard Obama chestnuts about the smallness of politics, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and how cynicism is our worst enemy.
Instead of stirring rhetoric filled with hope and promise, Obama pledged that under his leadership, “our path is harder” and “our road is longer.”
Seriously? After four years of the worst economic recovery since the Depression, falling incomes, lower-paying jobs, increased hopelessness and exploding debt, all Obama has to offer is that he’ll make this nightmare last even longer?
He also told the public that they “elected me to tell you the truth” not to “tell you what you wanted to hear,” but then proceeded to hide inconvenient truths while filling the public’s ears with sweet nothings.
For example, he pledged government help for everyone who could possibly want or need it, but managed to avoid any mention of the hard truth that the national debt just topped $16 trillion and entitlements are unsustainable.
He said he’d spend money saved from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on roads, bridges and schools. Even the liberal press wasn’t buying this one. As the AP pointed out, Obama “laid claim to a peace dividend that doesn’t exist.”
Obama promised to “take responsible steps” that would “keep the promise of Social Security.” But he failed to mention that the only options he’s left on the table are raising taxes or cutting benefits. That may not be what people want to hear, but it’s the absolute truth.
He trotted out his supposed plan to cut deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade. But his actual plan — the budget he presented in February — would add $3.5 trillion in deficits, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Then Obama said he’d create a million new manufacturing jobs, recruit another 100,000 math and science teachers, cut tuition growth in half, and reform the tax code. All by magic, apparently, since he’s provided no detailed plans on any of this.
But while everyone was picking apart these and other flaws in Obama’s speech, they overlooked the most frightening line of all. That was when Obama promised that he’d pursue “the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”
That promise might have made liberal hearts swoon. But as Amity Shlaes explained in her outstanding history of the era — “The Forgotten Man” — it was precisely FDR’s “bold, persistent experimentation” that was largely to blame for the length, depth and severity of the Great Depression.
Convinced that the government had to do something, FDR tinkered and experimented, she said, figuring that if he didn’t “get it right the first time … maybe he’d get it right the second time.” But the very arbitrariness of FDR’s actions, she found, made it impossible for businesses to make plans. And so, as FDR’s bold experiments increased, business activity decreased and markets froze.
“From the point of view of a business,” Shlaes said in a 2009 interview, “it is annihilating to hear Washington uncertain, and that itself retards recovery because you really don’t know what to expect.”
If Obama wants to conduct experiments, he should get a job as a high school science teacher, and not use the entire nation as guinea pigs, particularly when we already know how his tests will turn out.
By Elizabeth MacDonald Emac’s Bottom Line September 06, 2012 FOXBusiness
Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that made numerous contentious points:
On the Auto Bailout: “The president knew if he didn’t act, there wouldn’t be any [auto] industry to save.”
Rebuttal: The fight was over the best way to restructure the auto industry so as to make it come back stronger, without government help — not to wipe it out entirely. GM has historically destroyed net shareholder capital since the ‘80s, and even lost $10.6 billion at the height of the bubble in 2005. The problem? Too many cars made that consumers didn’t want to buy.
On the Auto Bailout:“Conviction. Resolve. Barack Obama. That’s what saved the automobile industry.”
Rebuttal: And lots of taxpayer money, $80 billion to start. GM still owes U.S. taxpayers $27 billion, and taxpayers still own just under a third of GM, or 500 million shares, which remain underwater. The stock must trade at around $53 a share for taxpayers to breakeven; they currently trade at around $21. This past August, the Treasury Dept. revised higher the cost of the auto bailout by $3.4 billion, up from the prior estimate of $21.7 billion, an old estimate that had also been revised higher over the past year. GM continues to struggle, as the White House has pressured it to manufacture fuel efficient Chevy Volts, a line of cars GM has pulled the plug on.
Not mentioned in the Vice President’s speech, either, was the Administration’s pressure to pull the plug on car dealerships. The Obama Administration pressured GM and Chrysler to halt relations with about 2,200 dealers — each one with roughly 50 employees. That equals to about 110,000 jobs lost. An “auto team” backed by the White House and working at the Treasury Dept. analyzed the car dealer issue, and concluded that cutting them would increase competition, earnings and help the industry recover, according to a TARP inspector general report at the time. TARP watchdog Neil Barofsky criticized the move: “It is clear that tens of thousands of dealership jobs were immediately put in jeopardy as a result of the terminations by GM and Chrysler. Treasury should have taken special care given that the Auto Team’s determination had the potential to contribute to job losses.”
On the GOP’s Plan for Medicare: “What they didn’t tell you is what they’re proposing would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016. And what they really didn’t tell you is, they’re not for preserving Medicare. They’re for a whole new plan. They’re for Vouchercare.”
Rebuttal: Not mentioned here is the new health-reform law has roughly 165 provisions hitting Medicare that seek to reduce costs, among other things, a government trustee report says. The annual report in August 2010 from the Medicare Board of Trustees shows health reform’s dramatic $1.05 trillion in cuts in Medicare over the first decade. As for the GOP plan, if the Vice President is talking about the Ryan plan, it does not get rid of Medicare. Under this plan, people now and in the future can choose to stay in it. Ryan does propose new Medicare enrollees age 65 would get to pick between private insurance plans offered in a new Medicare exchange in 2023, where Medicare would compete with private insurers for their business.
The insurance must cover a base level of benefits, must cover pre-existing conditions, can’t charge higher rates based on health condition or age, plus it must offer a minimum threshold of coverage. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would regulate the plans.
The federal government would pick up the tab for premium support, and pay that subsidy directly to the insurer of their choice, with seniors paying the difference. If the plan is cheaper than Medicare, seniors get a rebate check.
And the more ill or poor the Medicare enrollee is, the more government insurance support they get in the Ryan plan.
On America’s Debt:“Not once, not once, did they [the GOP] tell you they’ve rejected every plan put forward by us, by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission — by other respected outside groups — to reduce our national debt if it contained even one dollar — one cent — in new taxes for millionaires.”
Rebuttal: No mention of the $16 trillion federal deficit. Remember, the president added about $5 trillion in new spending to the federal budget since taking office, equivalent to adding the GDP of Germany and South Korea combined. That money went towards spending $825 billion on the president’s stimulus, Wall Street bailouts, automaker bailouts, housing bailouts, green energy bailouts, cash for clunkers, cash for white ware, cash for window sealers. And still, the country has lost an estimated net 316,000 jobs. The White House needs to raise taxes to pay interest on that debt — yields on all the bonds the Treasury Dept. sold.
And there was no mention that the White House’s tax hikes on the upper bracket would slam small businesses, which created 65% of the net new jobs in this country over the past 17 years, and employ about half of all workers, says the Small Business Administration.
The president’s tax hikes would hit these businesses very hard. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), nearly 750,000 taxpayers who report small business income would see half their earnings hit with higher taxes. The JCT says that “50% of the approximately $1 trillion of aggregate net positive business income will be reported on returns that have a marginal rate of 36 or 39.6%.”
On Mitt Romney’s new “territorial tax”: “He has a new tax proposal — the territorial tax — that experts say will create 800,000 jobs, all of them overseas.”
Rebuttal: Simpson Bowles supports Romney’s idea. And so do U.S. companies, which have said they could create more jobs if their foreign profits weren’t taxed twice, as they are now. Reforming the tax code here could help companies bring home more than $1.2 trillion they now have parked overseas due to concerns over double taxation. Under U.S. tax law, companies that earn profits overseas get taxed twice. They must pay taxes to foreign governments. Then they get tax credits for those payments to offset their taxes owed — at a high 35% corporate tax rate. So companies don’t repatriate overseas cash back home because they get double taxed. Romney wants to stop that, to bring cash back home to create jobs. Under this plan, companies would get taxed once–only in the country where it was earned.
On Americans doing their fair share: “We see a future where everyone rich or poor does their part and has a part.”
Rebuttal: Unusual, as 47% of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes.
On developing America’s energy: “A future where we depend more on clean energy from home and less on oil from abroad.”
Rebuttal: Among other things, President Obama has effectively shut off 85% of America’s offshore areas to new energy production. Plus the Administration has delayed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create new jobs while bringing an estimated 700,000 barrels a day of Canadian oil to U.S. consumers. China is now moving to cut deals with Canada to purchase its oil.
Tue, Sep 11 2012 00:00:00 EA12_ISSUES
Nineteenth-century tech geek. Getty Images
History: As President Obama fumbled with an iPhone, the blogosphere recalled he had earlier falsely bad-mouthed President Rutherford B. Hayes as a technological troglodyte. It’s not his error that annoys but his arrogance.
For a man who would have Americans believe that he and his big government are smarter than anyone, it might help if the president could show some evidence of it when he lectures others.
Instead, Obama bumbled around on an iPhone at a campaign stop with no idea how to master the device, triggering a viral response on the Internet about his past pontifications on history and technology. To Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds, it called to mind Obama’s errant claims about 19th century President Rutherford B. Hayes last March:
“There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently,” Obama told supporters.
“One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That’s why he’s not on Mount Rushmore, because he’s looking backwards. He’s not looking forward. He’s explaining why we can’t do something, instead of why we can do something.”
In reality, Hayes never made such a statement.
Hayes in fact was precisely the opposite of what Obama claimed, installing the first telephone in the White House, being the first president to make use of a typewriter and asking Thomas Edison over to play his new phonograph. His legacy is that of the man who led the U.S. during the Second Industrial Revolution in 1877.
That revolution was real, not a chimerical and built on the crony capitalism and central planning that characterize Obama’s bid to push alternative energy to the fore in the name of “progress.”
Hayes unleashed the free market. Obama not only has done the opposite, he hasn’t even mastered today’s telephone.
Monday, 10 Sep 2012 09:22 PM By Rich Lowry
The Charlotte host committee knew its audience at the Democratic National Convention. “Government,” the narrator says in a video produced by the committee for the opening of the convention, “is the only thing we all belong to.”
The Obama campaign quickly disavowed the video. But it captured all that was to come. The Charlotte Democrats are of, by and for government — especially when it is guaranteeing and facilitating access to abortion.
Democrats apparently held the convention in the Time Warner Cable Arena only because the local Planned Parenthood clinic down on Albemarle Road wasn’t available.
God might have been left out of the party platform in a fit of absent-mindedness (and then acrimoniously restored), but government would never suffer such an indignity. It is the Alpha and Omega.
The maker of dreams, the giver of succor, the ultimate expression of community. When Democrats say “We’re all in it together,” what they mean is that the Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations in the Department of Health and Human Services needs twice as much funding.
For Clinton Democrats, the era of Big Government was over. For Obama Democrats, the era of Big Government is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Occasionally, anyone could nod along at the stories from the podium of old-fashioned American hardiness.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak’s pioneer relatives crossed the Great Plains on a wagon train, and his widowed mother raised three kids. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s orphaned grandmother worked as maid and baby sitter to give his mom and him a chance. Michelle Obama’s dad got up and went to work every day at the city water plant, despite the debilitating pain of multiple sclerosis.
These stirring evocations of family devotion, of community, of hard work in the face of adversity all turned, in the end, inevitably into apologia for government.
After talking of how the sacrifices of others paved the way for him, Castro asked: “But the question is, How do we multiply that success? The answer is President Barack Obama.”
Oh, yes, where would we be without the Great Father?
“In tough times,” Rybak said, “we come together.”
To pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, evidently.
“Barack is thinking about folks like my dad,” Michelle Obama said, “and his grandmother.”
That’s what the nearly $800 billion stimulus and the new $2 trillion health-care entitlement were all about, according to the first lady — though neither her dad nor his grandmother was a wastrel or a spendthrift.
The Democrats’ favorite rhetorical trick is describing how we all depend on one another. We all have parents, teachers and neighbors. And then leveraging these connections to insist on increasing the size and scope of the least personal, least community-oriented institution in American life — the federal government.
Washington is not good at promoting aspiration. Democrats always talk of student loans, but the federal aid feeds the maw of an academic-industrial complex that increasingly delivers inferior educations at an ever-spiraling cost.
Neither is the federal government building great things. A posse of hard-hatted MSNBC anchors could scour the country looking for a grand, picturesque project funded by the Obama stimulus to stand in front of during a left-wing public-service announcement, and find nothing.
In reality, the American state is largely devoted to taking money from some people and giving it to others. Nicholas Eberstadt writes in an excerpt from his forthcoming book, “A Nation of Takers”: “As a day-to-day operation, the U.S. government devotes more attention and resources to the public transfers of money, goods and services to individual citizens than to any other objective.”
In other words, it is spreading the wealth around.
This is the model of government that is breaking down in Europe and wheezing here at home. But Democrats can no more criticize government than they could attack their mothers or fathers.
It is to what we all belong — and the more belonging the better.
Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and a variety of other publications. Read more reports from Rich Lowry — Click Here Now.
Friday, 07 Sep 2012 10:03 AM By Rich Lowry
“Are people better off than they were four years ago?” is hardly a trick question. It’s one of the most reliable cliches in American politics.
So Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat from Maryland, should have been ready with some handy dodge when he was asked the question by Bob Schieffer of “Face the Nation.” Really, in the circumstance, any circumlocution would do.
Instead, O’Malley said “No,” igniting a firestorm and highlighting a key Democratic weakness heading into their convention with his unadorned, monosyllabic honesty. Which didn’t last. Within 24 hours, the skies had brightened, the malaise had lifted, and O’Malley was pronouncing the country “clearly better off.”
O’Malley hadn’t done the full Booker — the act of saying what you think, as Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker did when denouncing the Obama campaign’s anti-Bain Capital ads a few months ago, then recanting shamefacedly — but he’d done a half-Booker with a twist.