Tag Archives: obama
Time to get political again. That’s really why I have this blog, after all; this is where I feel free to speak my mind and if it annoys someone out there, bummer. For those with blood pressure issues, I have my family blog that’s entirely safe from such things. Today though, on this blog, I’m linking to this spectacular entry by Dr. Zero over at Hot Air Blog. It’s called “A Word to the Weary“, and it basically says, yeah, things are bad, but don’t give up. Keep fighting. It’s a scary, wonderful, and inspiring post. It’s not a rah-rah Republican piece, but centered upon freedom. The start:
I get a lot of email from people who ask if the final degeneration from capitalism to collectivism is now inevitable. Entitlements are never repealed, after all, and we just got saddled with a back-breaking entitlement, piled atop a national debt that was already crushing us. It seems like it would take a miracle just to undo the damage Barack Obama has done in a single year… and that would just get us back to where George Bush left us. Dependency, unemployment, economic contraction, and socialist politics are a perpetual-motion engine of national decline.
A couple points I’d like to make. First, don’t ever mistake this: neither party can be absolutely trusted with your life, happiness, and freedom. Keep them honest and be willing to turn on them in a heartbeat if you catch them betraying their promises. Second, I have no idea how bad or chaotic these political and financial upheavals are going to be, but I am fairly certain that the past few years represents just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone with a lick of sense sees our national debt and projected deficits over the next decade and can see that.
When that systemic crash does come — and it will — how bad and painful it will be is being affected by our actions today in a very real way. It can be looked at as a sliding scale. The more dependent the citizenry are upon the machine of government, the more painful the crash will be. The more independent they are, the softer the transition will be.
Yesterday, President Obama announced a new gambit to get Republicans closer to getting on board with the cap and trade scam — I mean, scheme — that he desperately wants to pass during his administration. He is now promising guaranteed loans to industry for the building of the first new nuclear power plants in around 30 years in the United States.
If I blur my eyes enough, this is a darn good thing. It’s inexcusable that with all the problems that the requirement for fossil fuels cause we still have “environmental” concerns about this tech. Anyone that won’t even consider nuclear power plants in the year 2010 is subscribing more to a religion than common sense. So, yeah, good on Obama, right?
Well, no, I don’t think so. The biggest problem that citizens have right now with our government is the catastrophic spending binge we’ve been on. It’s been a problem throughout the last decade, but has reached truly stupid levels in the past year. Given that, take a gander at this paragraph from the above-linked article:
According to the official, Obama’s 2011 budget “triples loan guarantees for nuclear-power plants to more than 54 billion dollars.”
This is a good thing? Really? So, we’re spending 54 billion of borrowed money to loan to private industry at great interest rates. News flash: this is a bad thing, not a good thing. My question is this: why the need for government loans? Is the price of generating electricity via nuclear power really more expensive than via coal, oil, or natural gas? If it is, why? Is it due to insurance costs? Excessive regulation? Waste disposal? The cost of the fuel? That should be the answer: attack the problem from those angles, and not go to our grandchildren for the money to finance our projects.
Republicans need to see this for what is is: the administration borrowing from the future to buy them off for votes for the tax and control scam cap and trade represents. I’m all for the industry building out our non-fossil fuel capacity. The government has no business greasing the skids — especially when the deficit is so ridiculous.
Thanks to Instapundit for the link above, even though we’re on different sides on this one (rare, but it happens).
When the first two stimulus packages were passed, many citizens were nodding their heads, saying to themselves it made sense. At the same time, most of political establishment did the same nodding, egging on the spending. It makes sense, right? Private spending is down, so the Federal Government spends big to cover at least some of the gap, therefore stimulating more spending? Not so fast, though. It’s actually not that obvious, and is hardly settled economic theory. It’s an old argument, too, going back to the first half of the 20th century, notably as a disagreement between the theories of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Von Hayek.
So, in the dawn of the second decade of the 21st century, how does one get caught up on these theories? YouTube, of course. A RAP video on YouTube.
Back? Good. Now, two years after the first stimulus under GW Bush, and a year after a much larger version under Obama, how’s the economy going? But don’t worry: they’re getting ready to pass a third one, if they can find the votes (watch for it under the term “jobs bill”). Does this invalidate Keynes’ theories? Maybe, but there’s a good argument to be made that Obama isn’t really following his proscriptions anyway. Money magazine has a great interview laying out this idea.
My opinion is this: as soon as Keynes came out with this spend big theory, politicians everywhere danced, laughed, and danced a bit more. This gave them a scientific excuse to borrow money that we don’t have to spend on pet projects, on what contributors would like pumped up, and on buying votes from eager constituents. It was a license to spend, and spend big, all under the cover of what the experts say should be done. This goes for both parties, so it’s not a partisan thing. So yeah, I’m a big fan of Hayek.
I’ll end with this: it can’t go on forever. It might go on for a long, long time yet, but you can’t keep increasing the national debt at rates like this and not have to pay a terrible price someday.
John Stossel nails it talking yesterday on Reason Online about health care reform. This is definitely one of those “read it all” pieces. Here’s the start, though, as a teaser:
It’s crazy for a group of mere mortals to try to design 15 percent of the U.S. economy. It’s even crazier to do it by August.
Yet that is what some members of Congress presume to do. They intend, as the New York Times puts it, “to reinvent the nation’s health care system.”
Well, John, it’s only crazy if you think it’s about improving efficiency. There are three reasons why this health care bill is being pushed: the reason for moderates, the reason for the true believers, and the real reason.
For the moderates, it’s being sold as a way to “fix” the system by making it more efficient and saving tons of money in the process for “the American taxpayer”. This is demonstratively false, and really, an outright lie. The reason why the polls keep reversing against Obama is because people are figuring this out.
For the true believers, it’s being sold as making the system more “fair”. This is the reason for Obama’s conference call with the lefty bloggers out there, reassuring them that no matter what he says, it’s going to be a socialist system (in so many words). This is a lie too, but more insidious. The upper class in Britain and Canada can still get better health care than the working rabble, make no mistake. The price for ensuring that the poorest get free health care is that the middle class majority get less quality and less choice. Fair? No, not really, depending on your point of view.
So, what’s the real reason? Power. Pure, naked, narcotic-like corrupting power. To gain control of 15% of the national economy in one fell swoop is a power grab not seen since the Great Depression. If the President succeeds in getting this passed, it’ll make the working rabble that much more beholden to the Government for yet another basic, needed service, and make it that much easier for Democrats to get elected. How many large scale government programs in the United States have ever been repealed? Oh yeah, zero.
Ron Bailey over at Reason wrote up a pretty interesting piece breaking down what some of Obama’s recent health care announcements mean to the average joe. It’s a good read, especially to someone who has had precious little time to study all of these announcement in detail of late. It’s also a defense of that dirty concept: capitalism and competition.
What’s more interesting to me is what he calls what the Obama’s administration is doing: “corporatism”. He quotes the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics:
“a system of interest intermediation linking producer interests and the state, in which explicitly recognized interest organizations are incorporated into the policy-making process, both in terms of the negotiation of policy and of securing compliance from their members with the agreed policy.”
He wisely doesn’t drop the ‘f’ bomb: fascism. No, I’m not calling Obama a fascist. That term has really lost all it’s meaning. Bush, also, was not a fascist. Wikipedia has an interesting section in their fascism article actually covering it’s loss of meaning due to it’s use as an epithet. So, Ron is smart not to use it, simply because it’s so polarizing.
Still, if you do happen to read the Wikipedia article, it really is kind of chilling. Corporatism? Check. Cult of personality? Check. Abortion and euthanasia? Check. Social interventionism? Oh yeah, big, big check. There’s a lot of commonly associated pieces of the puzzle that are missing, though: single party government, blatant disallowing of criticism, suppression of class warfare, blatant racism, etc. It still bares watching, though. That Obama is a man of the Left is obvious. But, what Left, exactly? Something new?
I can certainly say, almost 4 months into his presidency, that he’s worse than I thought he was going to be, and closer to the serious doom and gloom predictions of the Republicans. I was hoping for something closer to Clinton, who wasn’t nearly as bad as the Republicans of the time warned he’d be. Instead, we have someone much farther to the Left than Clinton or Carter. Combined.
Judging from the left’s hysterical reaction, something really big must have happened. But the only way to really understand the left’s misinformed and paranoid attacks is to realize that the protests represent tangible proof that basic libertarian values continue to resonate with the American electorate. That, apparently, is a difficult thing for some to accept.
Yes, that seems right to me. It’s been almost surrealistic for the Left — as a whole — to be so venomous about the tea party protests. Isn’t this the People Power Party? I guess only when you’re protesting on the right side of things. And I’ll paste in a piece that Glenn pasted into his post, because it’s perfect:
What were the tea parties about? Reading the signs and talking to people (unlike CNN’s incredibly hostile Susan Roesgen, I actually let folks answer my questions in their own words), the “agenda” was crystal clear. Tea party activists were worried and angry about government bailouts for the irresponsible, about spending that “stimulated” record growth in government and not much else, and about government borrowing that will place unconscionable burdens on future generations of Americans. My favorite sign of the day: “Give Me Liberty, Not Debt.”
Some tried to diminish the tea parties as misguided tax protests. In reality, the protestors demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of economics that went well beyond objections to higher tax rates. You can’t spend money you don’t have, the tea party attendees understood, and government spending above current revenues must be paid for with higher taxes, more borrowing (to be paid for with higher taxes in the future), or artificial government expansion of money and credit, which can only debase the currency and make everyone poorer through inflation.
Yes! That’s exactly what I’ve been saying ever since these protests started. It’s not about the taxes we’re paying now — it’s about the future. Listen: you can’t run 2 trillion dollar deficits without eventually increasing taxes on the middle class. The only other option is inflating the value of the dollar to make 2 trillion dollars not as scary, which 1) makes everyone’s savings worth less and less, and 2) is exactly what tin pot dictators do when the going gets tough.
Tell me this isn’t scary. I dare you.
If you read my last post about the tea party movement and were still thinking, “Well, I still think they’re shills for Rush and FOX, and I don’t see a problem with what President Obama and Congress are doing,” well, click through to this post by Jimmy Akin and watch the video. Then tell me that you have complete trust in our government that it’ll be alright, and it’s just the super rich that are going to pay for this.
Butcher’s bill on our wallets and our way of life. Everyone’s.
The amount of craziness and rage coming from the Left (in general) about the tea parties is pretty amazing. Ironic, to say the least. I don’t have a lot of time today for blogging, but considering it’s Tax Day, I just want to make some quick points about this:
1. This isn’t a Republican thing, period. A lot of the people protesting today are fed up with both parties. Get that idea out of your head. It may be characterized as a mostly conservative thing with a strong libertarian bent, but not Republican. There’s a pretty big difference (sadly).
2. This isn’t about how high our taxes are right now. This is about the incredible spending going on in Washington, D.C. right now, and fears about financial butcher’s bill that will come due for this spending, probably in the form of oppressive taxes. So, if you hear people say that the protesters are stupid because taxes are low right now, they’re either obfuscating or they are lying.
3. This movement is not primarily underwritten by FOX News. That’s really a non-starter.
If you’d like a primer on this whole thing got started (and no, it doesn’t involve overweight pasty males smoking tobacco in unventilated areas), go here.
Why ironic? Well, I think it’s just incredible that for years, especially in Portland, Oregon, we’ve had very regular marches against Bush, against the war, against capitalism, against you-name-it. I’ve seen countless bumper stickers that informed me that “Dissidence is the highest form of patriotism”. I’ve been warned that any minute now we’re going to lose the right to protest and to speak our minds about what concerns us, all due to Evil Republicans. Now the Democrats hold almost all the levels of power in government, there are people that wish it to be known that they aren’t happy with what that government is doing, and dark, evil purposes are suddenly behind it.
Listen, I may have disagreed with the anti-war protesters (and still do, for that matter), but I never thought they were under cover operatives sent here by Saddam Hussein, or that NGO’s and non-profits were nefariously behind the whole thing. I always recognized that a vast majority of the people out there were citizens that really wanted their voice heard, and were trying to find a way to amplify it. Now there’s another concern and another roar that wants to be heard. If you disagree, well, get out of the way. Knock it off with the ad hominem attacks and grow up.
Penn as in Penn and Teller, the magic act in Las Vegas. He’s actually quite the political commentator, usually showing a heavy tilt to the Libertarian side of things. Definitely a leave-it-alone kind of guy. He has a commentary on CNN today that’s pretty good, asking, hey, maybe when your gut says that spending trillions will not get the country out of this mess, maybe you should listen.
I live in Vegas, and I see people by the side of the road with cardboard signs who seem like they might have tried that spending their way out of debt thing. Or maybe they tried the all too intuitive “crack will make me feel healthy again” thing. I don’t know.
What if power and control over citizen’s lives is our current leadership’s crack? A lot of our President and Congress has done since he took office has, in the end, concentrated power with the Federal government and taken power away from lesser sovereignties, such as state governments and, of course, the individual. For a libertarian like Penn Jillette, that’s gotta hurt.