International Data on Living Standards Show that the United States Should Not Become More Like Europe
I’m not a big fan on international bureaucracies, particularly the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD, funded by American tax dollars, has become infamous for its support of statist pro-Obama policies.
Have you been following the debate over the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)? If you haven’t perhaps you should. This UN-backed treaty, which requires ratification by the United States, may not seem important since it deals with a rather mundane issue. However, it could become a vehicle for more nefarious propositions; including backdoor cap-and-trade, a policy that was defeated in Congress back in 2009.
LOST has some powerful supporters in the Senate and among special interests, for example, the United States Chamber of Commerce supports its ratification. However, a number of Republicans in the Senate are looking to derail it, permanently:
The Obama administration’s all-out push to join the United Nations international maritime treaty is just four votes short of being doomed after two more senators this week added their names to the list of lawmakers who have vowed to oppose it.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) are the two latest senators to sign on to the letter, The Hill has learned, bringing the total to 30. Treaties need a two-thirds majority to pass in the Senate, meaning 34 signatures would effectively kill it.
Accession to the treaty is championed by a powerful coalition that includes the U.S. Navy, the business community and the oil industry but that hasn’t been enough to assuage concerns that the convention would impinge on U.S. sovereignty.
It has been observed that the up-and-coming generation of young people are more socially conscious than their spoiled Baby Boomer parents and their SUV-driving, yuppified older siblings.
This new generation is keyed into world affairs and world suffering and is doing something about it. They march against the War in Darfur; they do fund drives for AIDS Orphans; and they largely vote for candidates who pledge to recruit the government (i.e. the taxpayer) to solve these problems.
Increasingly, these young people are voting more and more Democratic. Of course, liberal Democrats have always enjoyed the majority of the youth vote - what little there was. But today’s socially conscious youth are making up an increasing percentage of the electorate and are going to play a larger role in certain elections.
On Wednesday, I noted a 1998 speech given Barack Obama, then a state senator in Illinois, at Loyola University. As he wound down his comments, Obama made it clear that he believes in redistribution of wealth. As I explained, the comments aren’t surprising. During a 2008 campaign stop in Ohio, Obama told “Joe the Plumber” that he believes in “spread[ing] the wealth around.” And since that time, Obama has pushed his tax hikes along the same rhetorical line.
But more comments have surfaced in the last couple of days that show how deep-rooted this belief in wealth redistribution is. In 1995, Obama called for a collectivist society, based in “democracy — with a ‘small-d,’” which is essentially the rule of the mob, for the “common good”:
While closing a speech in 1998 at Loyola University, Barack Obama, then a state senator in Illinois, spoke against the “propaganda campaign against the possibility of government action.” Though Obama noted that “some of it has been deserved,” but further explained his desire to see government “pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everbody’s got a shot.”
Here’s the audio:
This isn’t surprising. During a 2008 campaign stop, where he was questioned about his tax plan by “Joe the Plumber,” Obama did exactly hid from his belief in redistribution, saying, “[W]hen you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” That actually sounds worse than what Obama said in the audio above, at least from my perspective.
Joe Wurzelbacher (aka “Joe the Plumber”), who made a name for himself when he questioned then-candidate Barack Obama over taxes, has filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District:
Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher’s statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Elections Commission last week says he intends to run as a Republican in Ohio’s ninth U.S. House district.
The seat is held by Marcy Kaptur, the longest serving Democratic woman in the House.
Wurzelbacher rose out of obscurity in 2008 after questioning then-candidate Barack Obama about economic policies. That led Obama’s opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain, to repeatedly cite “Joe the Plumber” in a debate.
The filing means a campaign committee can raise and spend funds on Wurzelbacher’s behalf. Republicans in northern Ohio said this summer they were recruiting Wurzelbacher to run.
It’s going to be an uphill battle for Wurzelbacher, to say the least. Dave Weigel notes that the OH-09, represented by Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, isn’t exactly considered to be a battleground district:
In a pre-Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly, President Barack Obama explained that despite a recent Wall Street Journal article slamming his economic policies, he had not raised taxes in his two years in office.
Here is the revelant part of the transcript:
O’REILLY: Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said, I want you to react to this. Mr. Obama is a determined man of the left whose goal is to redistribute much larger levels of income across society. He may give tactical ground when he has to, as he did on taxes to avoid a middle class tax increase, but he will resist to his last day any major changes to Obamacare and the other load-bearing walls of the entitlement state.
This is The Wall Street Journal you know painting you as pretty left-wing guy. Are you going to go along?
OBAMA: Well, the Wall Street Journal probably would paint you as a left-wing guy. I mean, if you’re talking about the Wall Street Journal editorial page…
O’REILLY: I’ve got to tell you, that’s what this is.
OBAMA: You know, that’s like quoting the New York Times editorial…
O’REILLY: Do you deny the assessment? Do you deny that you are a man who wants to redistribute wealth.
O’REILLY: You deny that?
OBAMA: Absolutely. I didn’t raise taxes once, I lowered taxes over the last two years.
“[T]he Holy Grail of universal coverage in the United States may remain out of reach unless, through rational collective action overriding some individual self-interest, we can reduce per capita costs.” - Donald Berwick, President Obama’s nominee to head the CMS
President Barack Obama has announced that he will appoint Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services when Congress adjourns for the summer break next month.
His appointment, as Philip Klein explained back in May, is concerning:
“Cynics beware, I am romantic about the (British) National Health Service; I love it,” Berwick said in a July 2008 speech at England’s Wembley stadium. “All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.”
While Berwick would not have the authority to impose a British health care system on the United States in one fell swoop, as head of CMS, he would be running both Medicare and Medicaid. Given that the two programs alone account for more than one out of every three dollars spent on health care in America (all government programs combined account for 47 percent), private players tend to follow CMS’s lead. Berwick himself has made this point.