It has been widely reported today that President Obama plans to cut the budget deficit in half by 2013. On the surface, this sounds like a great accomplishment. In fact, if you read the remarks by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs or Obama’s own message at the Fiscal Responsibility Summit, you would quickly conclude that this administration is committed to tight spending controls and economic conservatism. This is just typical White House spin.
From the floor debate in the Senate on February 7 regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
Incidentally, let me share with a few of my colleagues why this is sort of this old ideology versus new. The Senator talked about the tired ideology of the past. What is it? Well, I think today Michael Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, made a statement on behalf of the Republican Party. He said:
For the last 2 weeks, we have been trying to force a massive spending bill through Congress under the guise of economic relief.
Well, we are having votes. This is a democracy. We are not forcing anything. We are trying to get the job done because there is an urgency to getting it done.
But then he says:
If you’re curious as to how much pork the “spendulous” package is sending your way, StimulusWatch.org has put a list together that breaks it down by state and then project.
Glancing through Alabama’s list, it looks like quite a bit is going to street and bridge repair, but I do question how giving a million dollars to Bessemer’s Drug Task Force and Cold Case Unit is going to help stimulate the economy. But what I find mind-boggling is the $729,137,800 (yes, that’s almost 3/4 of a billion dollars) going to the Mobile suburb of Prichard- pop. 27,963. That’s over $26K per resident. Tuscaloosa’s share comes out to about $211 per resident. Considering that the average federal tax burden for residents of Tuscaloosa County is $12,340, compared to Mobile County’s average of $10,112, there’s no denying that this is a massive transfer of wealth.
The left screamed about the Bush administration using fear. It’s being used again in this same way—to get packages through Congress. The same way Bush and Cheney did it, now Obama and Biden are doing it. You don’t hear a word from the left. I mean, I’m sitting there going, ‘Am I in the Twilight Zone here?’
There’s no denying that the Bush Administration used policies of fear in an inappropriate manner to convince Americans that it was necessary to allow our civil rights to be ignored and abused in order to provide security for our nation. But O’Reilly is correct- using these same tactics in order to pass the largest spending bill in history is equally reprehensible.
Oniomania (from Greek onios = “for sale,” mania = insanity) is a medical term for the compulsive desire to shop. Oniomania is the technical term for the compulsive desire to shop, more commonly referred to as compulsive shopping, compulsive buying, shopping addiction or shopaholism. Wikipedia
The consensus coming from Washington DC is that the solution to the coming recession is more of what got us here in the first place- borrowing and spending. Not only does Congress and the White House plan on continuing this dangerous trend, they’re encouraging all Americans to be good citizens and do the same. So, apparently, what the economy needs are a few million oniomaniacs and banks brave enough to issue them credit.
The other night, I had to chuckle and cry at the same time as I watched Rachel Maddow’s “Bull Puckey” speech.
Rachel’s declarations about the job-creating values of spending are about as insightful as Janeane Garofalo’s outburst on the radio in 2005, paraphrased thus: “… those free-market wackos with their ‘invisible hand’ mumbo jumbo.”
Both ladies’ understanding of the workings of the market typify the overconfidence of those who jump to conclusions without looking at the whole story.
Rachel claims that spending in and of itself is sufficient to create jobs and get the country out of a recession. Obama has embarrassed himself by making the same point. They have both overlooked that the statistical link between government spending and long-term job creation doesn’t exist. To illustrate:
The news is dominated by all the talk and debate of the so-called economic “stimulus” package, which, in the House-passed version is said to be $815 billion, while the version under consideration in the Senate is (not surprisingly) even more expensive at something closer to $900 billion. None of these figures take into account the true cost of the program when the interest on newly incurred debt is added (those figures have a range beginning at $1.2 trillion with a limit no one even knows).
What will they think of next? Our nation is in the midst of a national recession not seen since the Great Depression. Tax revenues are in decline. Every agency in Alabama is in proration. Yet as many as 560,000+ households in Alabama are about to qualify for free cell phones (more than 25% of the state!).
Read the article here.
I don’t care what anybody says; if we live in a country where the “poor” get free cell phones, we have no real poor here.
Notice that this program only gives recipients about an hour of talk-time per month—but allows them to buy additional time for 20 cents a minute (and most do). If these people are supposed to be poor, how are they able to afford to pay for this extra time?
According to The Raw Story, Democrats have ending the ban on federal funding of stem cell research (it’s worth noting that independently funded research is perfectly legal) at the top of their agenda:
Democrats in Congress are debating whether to push for an end to the ban on stem cell research once President-elect Barack Obama takes office.
Both Obama and the Democratic leadership have said stem cell research is a top priority, but some worry the fight will get the Democrats’ first year off to a rocky start, even if a win is certain in both the House and Senate.
“It is a very divisive issue, and it is a tough way to start,” said Sen. Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat. “You don’t want to stumbleout of the box.”
For over a century one of the fundamental discussions about public policy has been redistribution of wealth, whether it be in regards to its ethics or practicality. But - the overlooked side of the redistribution of wealth is the redistribution of debt. Nearly every problem imaginable created by the redistribution of debt is a factor worse compared to the problems created by a similarly sized redistribution of wealth. The unfortunate thing is, while the redistribution of debt (and risk) is often not politically popular, when a powerful sector (or company) needs a bailout, it is very likely to occur.
If we condemn the redistribution of wealth, we should equally condemn the redistribution of debt through government sponsored means. It’s time liberty lovers unite to stop federal bailouts of speculators and corporations.