Saturday, February 23, 2013

Romanticizing Taxation: government is good at breaking our legs then making a big show out of distributing crutches

In the debate over avoiding the "fiscal cliff"—especially over whose taxes should and shouldn't be raised—I detect an annoying attempt to romanticize taxation
protests Sheldon Richman at the Project to Restore America (via Instapundit).
I read this as an act of desperation on the part of those who want higher taxes on the wealthy, for there is nothing romantic about taxation.

… To say that "in 1776 the fight was for democracy in taxation" is misleading. Yes, the revolutioners objected to taxation without representation. But it hardly follows from this objection that they looked on taxation with representation benignly.   There is every reason to think they would be appalled by the national, state, and local tax regime we labor under today, particularly income taxation, complete with IRS inquisitors. One need only look at the causes of Shays's and the Whiskey rebellions to gauge early Americans' attitude toward the taxman.  
Roosevelt's claim that we can judge the social conscience of the government by how it collects taxes is true in a way he could not have imagined. Contrary to FDR and Justice Holmes, taxes are neither a price (in the voluntary-transaction sense) nor club dues. On the contrary, they are exactions by threat of violence. Some social conscience! How ironic that organized society and civilization itself are said to depend on the government's threatening peaceful people if they fail to surrender their property as demanded by politicians who presumptuously and self-servingly claim to "represent" all the people.
Far from some enlightened institution, taxation began when conquerors realized that formal and continuing appropriation of a subject population's wealth was preferable to hit-and-run pillaging. For this to work, however, the rulers needed to convince the peasants that the regime would protect them from predators in return for their regular remittances. That's right: It was a protection racket, from which the racketeers and their cronies profited handsomely. For the taxpayers, there was little choice in the matter. They weren't buying protection as people buy insurance in the market, and they weren't paying dues as they would later pay dues to mutual-aid societies. They paid or they were punished. The ideology of benevolent state protection reduced enforcement costs because the ruled outnumbered the rulers and widespread tax resistance would have doomed the regime. Things have changed little in our time.
Roosevelt's shameless self-serving posture is clear in this line: "And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax-reaction." We are expected to believe that someone who objects to surrendering his money to politicians and bureaucrats lacks a social conscience—as though we need them to exercise generosity. The long bloody history of government militarism, brutality, destruction, duplicity, exploitation, and economic havoc provides ample reason for reluctance accommodate the voracious politicians.
"As society becomes more civilized," Roosevelt said, "Government—national, State and local government—is called on to assume more obligations to its citizens." 
Note the passive voice "is called on." Who called? Again, in light of the nature of government, there's supreme irony in asserting that we need more of it as society becomes more civilized. One should expect the use of aggressive force to diminish as society evolves.  
At times people have favored bigger government, but this hardly proves FDR's point. Typically the demand for government action followed crises—real or imagined—created by the government in the first place. Take the Great Depression. With the economy in shambles, the public supported government relief, and the Hoover and Roosevelt administration were happy to oblige. But the economic catastrophe was the government's doing. The central-bank-engineered boom of the Roaring Twenties ended, as sound economics teaches, with a bust, and a mere recession became a Great Depression through official mismanagement and corporatist intervention—complete with a variety of tax increases.  
The systematic exploitation of crises (again, real and imagined) to increase the intrusive power of government is best documented in Robert Higgs's classic, Crisis and Leviathan. Recommend this book to anyone who sees politicians as knights on white steeds riding to our rescue. As someone else put it, government is good at breaking our legs then making a big show out of distributing crutches.
Even if one believes there is no alternative to taxation for the provision of security for life, liberty, and property, one still should want to keep taxes low and transparent, since government itself is always the biggest potential threat to those values. As Adam Smith put it, "Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things."

None of these considerations are nullified by our current fiscal debacle. On the contrary, one may see in it the very template Higgs describes in his book. Politicians spend and borrow because it is in their political interest to so, and when the inevitable crisis comes, they propose to seize more resources from the industrious rather than shrink government back to a less threatening size.
Contrary to what they say, the fiscal mess did not result from a failure to tax. Our problem is the politicians' irresistible temptation to spend--other people's money.  
… There's nothing romantic about taxation, and the patriot appeal is chicanery. Those who say otherwise are, wittingly or unwittingly, mere stalking horses for politicians looking to do more mischief.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Russian Blogger Uncovers Corruption, Brings Down None Other Than the Chairman of Parliament’s Ethics Committee

A senior lawmaker from Russia’s governing party, who was also the chairman of Parliament’s ethics committee, resigned from the legislature on Wednesday over revelations that he owned more than $1.3 million worth of luxury real estate in Florida that he did not list on required disclosure forms
reports Ellen Barry from Moscow.
The lawmaker, Vladimir A. Pekhtin, said that he did not want the matter to taint colleagues in his party, United Russia, and announced his departure at a morning parliamentary session.

Mr. Pekhtin said he had not broken any law. But “there are very controversial documents that have been made public on the Internet,” he said, and it was necessary to clear up “obvious legal misunderstandings.” 

 … Whether he surrendered his seat voluntarily or under pressure from the Kremlin, Mr. Pekhtin’s departure set a precedent in the Russian government, where high-level corruption and lavish spending overseas have developed into a serious political liability. Hours after Mr. Pekhtin’s announcement came a second resignation, from a United Russia lawmaker, Anatoly Lomakin, an industrialist whose wealth Forbes estimated at $1.2 billion. 

The development represents a victory for opposition activists, who have never achieved such a swift response to an exposé.

 … The blogger Aleksei Navalny, who published documents about Mr. Pekhtin’s real estate holdings last week, remarked that “now he can finally move to Miami and live in peace, without having to listen to any complaints.”

 … The proposal would not prohibit officials from owning real estate overseas. Still, it signaled a Kremlin crackdown on their lavish spending abroad, so the revelations about Mr. Pekhtin came as an ill-timed embarrassment. 
Tell me whether one of the concluding sentences sounds familiar to you.
After Mr. Pekhtin made his announcement, fellow lawmakers gave him a standing ovation and warmly applauded.

Yankee Capitalists vs. French Socialists: Who Is Telling the Truth?

Le Monde's Maxime Vaudano plays fact-checker as he wonders who, between Arnaud Montebourg and Maurice Taylor's charges and counter-charges, is speaking the truth — and to what degree.

France's industry minister gets 1 True, 1 Rather True, 1 False, and 1 Rather False, while the CEO of Titan International gets 1 Rather True.

The caption for Rémy Gabalda's AFP photo (right) on the cover of Le Monde reads:

In the Airbus factory near Toulouse, Arnaud Montebourg snaps some shots with his Chinese-built telephone (Dans l'usine Airbus, près de Toulouse le 25 janvier, Arnaud Montebourg prend des photos avec son téléphone de fabrication chinoise).
Meanwhile, Harlem Désir is disgusted, calls French workers "among the most productive on the planet", bringing up France's (perfectly acceptable) crass caricature of the Yankee capitalist pig in the process:
Dans une lettre à Arnaud Montebourg, le PDG de Titan International raille les ouvriers français qui ne travailleraient " que trois heures " par jour...

Cette lettre fait plus honte à son auteur qu'aux salariés français, qui sont parmi les plus productifs du monde. C'est le visage sombre de la mondialisation, une espèce de caricature de M. Sylvestre, de la World Company. C'est insupportable... Rien ne justifie d'insulter les salariés.
Check out the Grizz's Facebook page for his (humored) reaction to the whole mess (merci à Carine).

Plantu's Arnaud Montebourg:
I'll get you, you Yankee bastard!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

“Incendiary!” “Insulting!” “Scathing!” French Vow to Retaliate Against Taylor's Titan International

Following the eruption of a furor in France after the blunt letter of a Yankee capitalist to a Socialist government minister — it made the front pages of, among others, Le Monde and the International Herald Tribune — the French vow to fight back. The fight was described in a previous NP post, as well as in Harvey Morris's New York Times blog:
Many in France are bristling over a letter from Maurice M. Taylor, the American tire tycoon, describing French employees as underworked and overpaid.

Writing to a government minister to explain why he would not step in to save a tire factory threatened with closure in northern France, Mr. Taylor, the chief executive of Illinois-based Titan International, recalled visiting the factory: “The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours.

“They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three, and work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!”

Mr. Taylor, who glories in a Wall Street nickname — The Grizz — that reflects his tough negotiating style, was writing to Arnaud Montebourg, France’s minister for industrial renewal, to explain why he would not be stepping in to save the doomed Goodyear plant in the northern town of Amiens.

“How stupid do you think we are?” he asked the minister in the Feb. 8 letter, a facsimile of which was published on Tuesday by Les Echos, the French business daily.

His blast touched a raw nerve in France, where both politicians and the press are sensitive to Anglo-Saxon lectures about the country’s alleged anti-business culture.

Virulent,” “unbelievable” and “incendiary” were among the adjectives used by the French press to describe Mr. Taylor’s missive in which he told Mr. Montebourg:

“You’re a politician so you don’t want to rock the boat. The Chinese are shipping tires into France – really all over Europe – and yet you do nothing.”

Mr. Taylor, a former welder who made a self-financed bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, had already ruffled French feathers back in December when he said he was pulling out of a possible Amiens deal.

Referring to the regulatory barriers Titan had faced, he attacked France’s business practices as “screwed up” and said “only a non-business person would understand the French labor rules.”
An article on the front page of the International Herald Tribune (top left) by Liz Alderman also provides the back story along with the retaliation measures promised by the government as well as the communist CGT union — which wants to take Taylor to court.
Mr. Montebourg released a letter to Mr. Taylor, calling the [Titan International] executive’s comments “extreme” and “insulting,” adding that they pointed to a “perfect ignorance” about France and its strengths, which continue to attract international investors.

French media outlets minced no words. “Incendiary!” “Insulting!” and “Scathing!” were just a few of the terms replayed on French newspaper Web sites and on the airwaves throughout the day. The French blogosphere lit up with hundreds of remarks condemning the “predatory” American corporate culture that Mr. Taylor seemed to represent; other commentators who ventured to admit that there might be something to Mr. Taylor’s observations were promptly bashed.

And France’s main labor union wasted no time in weighing in. 

Mickaël Wamen, the head of the Confédération Générale du Travail union at the Goodyear plant, in Amiens, said Mr. Taylor belonged in a “psychiatric ward.” 

A spokesman for Mr. Taylor did not immediately respond to calls for comment. France’s 35-hour workweek, its rigid labor market and the influence that labor unions hold over the workplace have long been a source of aggravation for businesses. 

… In his response, Mr. Montebourg reacted strongly to what he called Mr. Taylor’s “condemnable calculation” and noted that France and its European partners were working to stop illegal dumping of imports. 
“In the meantime,” he added, “rest assured that you can count on me to have the competent government agencies survey your imported tires with a redoubled zeal.”

But is it unfair to give the last word to the Frenchman also providing the concluding words to Harvey Morris's New York Times blog?
… Daniel Schneidermann, a columnist for the @rrêt sur images Web site, said on Wednesday, “The Grizz doesn’t care whether he’s loved or hated. He reveals globalization in its true colors. He does it a thousand times better than all Michael Moore’s movies. Thank you, the Grizz.”
Indeed, Le Monde itself admits there is quite a problem with France. Denis Cosnard and Anne Eveno mention polls that show that 40% of directors of American company affiliates in France say that the country is a bad place to invest in, a huge increase from the 2011 figure of 15% and from that of 10% two years earlier.

Faut-il être "stupide" pour s'implanter en France, comme le clame M. Taylor ? Dans sa réponse, le ministre insiste sur le fait que la France reste une terre d'accueil privilégiée des investissements étrangers. "Plus de 20 000 entreprises étrangères représentant près de deux millions d'emplois" y sont installées, note-t-il, les sociétés américaines en tête. Chaque année, "on compte 700 décisions de localisation d'investissements étrangers (...) en France. Et cette solide attractivité ne s'affaiblit pas, tout au contraire, d'année en année, elle se renforce", assure le ministre.

L'image de l'Hexagone auprès des investisseurs étrangers – américains particulièrement – s'est néanmoins dégradée fortement depuis quelques mois. Un sondage effectué en octobre-novembre 2012 auprès des dirigeants de 52 filiales d'entreprises américaines le montrait clairement.

"Comment votre maison mère perçoit-elle la France ?", leur avaient demandé la chambre de commerce américaine en France et le cabinet de conseil Bain & Company. Comme une "mauvaise" destination d'investissement, indiquaient 40 % d'entre eux. Ils n'étaient que 15 % à donner la même réponse en 2011, et à peine 10 % les deux années précédentes. Seuls 22 % des responsables interrogés voyaient la France comme une bonne terre d'accueil, deux à trois fois moins qu'auparavant.

Et convaincre une maison-mère américaine, allemande ou finlandaise de choisir la France se révèle de plus en plus ardu, reconnaissent en privé bien des patrons de filiales françaises.

American Capitalist CEO to French Socialist Politician: "How Stupid Do You Think We Are?"

A huge scandal has erupted in France as an American tycoon answers bluntly a socialist government's call for a take-over of a French factory, thereby saving its workers' jobs.

Maurice Taylor refuses to rescue Goodyear's tire factory in Amiens, he told French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, because the workers are lazy, they are overpaid, and they talk too much, writes The Daily Mail's Ian Sparks.

French workers get "one hour for breaks, talk for three hours and work for three", said the chairman of U.S. tire giant Titan International, adding that "I told the French union workers this to their faces. They told me that's the French way!"

"Goodyear tried for over four years to save some of the highest-paid Amiens jobs, but the French unions and the French government did nothing but talk."

More from Les Echos journalist Leïla de Comarmond
(merci à Carine, Bill, Damian, Valerie, et al). But the story doesn't end there: Arnaud Montebourg's way of replying to Maurice Taylor's "ignorant" words — "as extremist as they are insulting", "as ridiculous as they are insensitive" — is to give the Titan CEO lessons in history, bringing up Lafayette and the Normandy landings as well as… Barack Obama:
Do you at least know what La Fayette did for the United States of America? As for us, we Frenchmen, we will never forget the sacrifice of young American soldiers on the beaches of Normandy in 1944 to deliver us from Nazism. And since you have made the choice of criticizing your own country in your letter to me, I must tell to what point the French government admires the policies implemented by President Obama. 
Regarding the Lafayette argument, Damian Bennett feels the need to react:
Well, yes, he was certainly instrumental. No true American would ever hesitate to help out Lafayette.

But M. Montebourg here is the difference — Lafayette worked a full day and then some, worked hard, endured hardships and deprivations, and gave an exemplary account of himself. America is forever in his debt.

GoodYear d'Amiens is no Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de La Fayette.
Update: “Incendiary!” “Insulting!” “Scathing!”
French Vow to Retaliate Against Taylor's Titan International

Whose Side Are You On, Barack Obama?

I love the way Columbine survivor Evan Todd appropriates Obama's "Let me be clear" phrase, as he releases an open letter to President Barack Obama. (Feel free to guess how many — or how few — mainstream media outlets will treat the Columbine survivor any different than Benjamin Carson and make a big deal, or any deal, out of an adversary to the Big O the way they did with any person or group who "spoke truth to power" to the White House in the George W Bush years.) In any case, Billy Hallowell (via Instapundit) writes that Evan Todd
offers a point-by-point analysis of proposed firearms control initiatives, dismissing them as ineffective and dangerous to Americans’ rights: 

Mr. President, … It is not impossible to think that a tyrant, to the likes of Mao, Castro, Che, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, and others, could possibly rise to power in America. It could be five, ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now — but future generations have the natural right to protect themselves from tyrannical government just as much as we currently do. It is safe to assume that this liberty that our forefathers secured has been a thorn in the side of would-be tyrants ever since the Second Amendment was adopted.

… this is just another law that endangers law-abiding citizens. I’ve heard you ask, “why does someone need 30 bullets to kill a deer?”

Let me ask you this: Why would you prefer criminals to have the ability to out-gun law-abiding citizens? Under this policy, criminals will still have their 30-round magazines, but the average American will not.
Whose side are you on?

Lastly, when did they government get into the business of regulating “needs?” This is yet another example of government overreaching and straying from its intended purpose.

Selling to Criminals

Mr. President, these are your words: “And finally, Congress needs to help, rather than hinder, law enforcement as it does its job. We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”

Why don’t we start with Eric Holder and thoroughly investigate the Fast and Furious program? …

Critical Examination

Mr. President, in theory, your initiatives and proposals sound warm and fuzzy — but in reality they are far from what we need. Your initiatives seem to punish law-abiding American citizens and enable the murderers, thugs, and other lowlifes who wish to do harm to others.

Let me be clear: These ideas are the worst possible initiatives if you seriously care about saving lives and also upholding your oath of office. There is no dictate, law, or regulation that will stop bad things from happening — and you know that. Yet you continue to push the rhetoric. Why?

You said, “If we can save just one person it is worth it.” Well here are a few ideas that will save more that one individual:

First, forget all of your current initiatives and 23 purposed executive orders. They will do nothing more than impede law-abiding citizens and breach the intent of the Constitution. Each initiative steals freedom, grants more power to an already-overreaching government, and empowers and enables criminals to run amok.

Second, press Congress to repeal the “Gun Free Zone Act.” Don’t allow America’s teachers and students to be endangered one-day more. These parents and teachers have the natural right to defend themselves and not be looked at as criminals. There is no reason teachers must disarm themselves to perform their jobs. There is also no reason a parent or volunteer should be disarmed when they cross the school line.

This is your chance to correct history and restore liberty. This simple act of restoring freedom will deter would-be murderers and for those who try, they will be met with resistance.

Mr. President, do the right thing, restore freedom, and save lives. Show the American people that you stand with them and not with thugs and criminals.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The NeoComs: The final ‘coming out’ of the communist left in the illiterate society of useful idiots that is America

In the book, “1984,” George Orwell wrote that “the most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history” 
writes Tom Tillison in the BizPack Review.
Even more compelling, Orwell said of the future:
“Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.”
It is hard to dispute that the progressive left has a stranglehold on pop culture in America. Firmly entrenched in media, academia and the entertainment industry, and more emboldened than ever, it controls the present.

Our history has long been under assault, particularly in universities, but never as aggressively as we see in a 10-part Showtime documentary produced by Oliver Stone, “Untold History of the United States.”

Commenting on Stone’s latest work in a FrontPage column, David Horowitz calls it “a ludicrous encapsulation of the Kremlin’s view of the Cold War, amplified by the Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, Hamas version of the post-Communist decades.”

 … Stone’s rewriting of history is being widely embraced by far-left zealots who have nothing but contempt for this country and by the progressive culture in general.

Such rewriting is not just relegated to Hollywood. A professor at Montclair State, a public university in New Jersey, can be seen in a YouTube video denying that Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin was responsible for the murder of millions, saying he has “yet to find one crime – one crime that Stalin committed.”

More importantly, and this matters because it’s coming from someone who grew up in that culture — the very same culture that Barack Obama cut his teeth on — Horowitz suggests “Untold History” is the coming out of the communist left.

“I consider the reception of this latest Stone travesty to be a significant cultural event signifying a final coming out of the closet of what can only be termed the Communist left,” Horowitz wrote.
Over at the Patriot Post, Mark Alexander adds a quote by Britain's greatest prime minister and finishes with a quote from Pravda that syncs with Tom Tillison's opening thought.
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. ... Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy." --Winston Churchill
Today, I have a new entry for the political lexicon to categorize the latest ideological iteration of Marxists in America: "Neo-Communists" or the abbreviated version, "NeoComs."

 … At the other end of the political spectrum from the Ronald Reagan NeoCons are the NeoComs -- modern-day socialists who have risen, in the last decade, to dominate the once-noble Democrat Party. They have modified old Marxist doctrines and adapted them to current political platforms and policies using leftist propaganda more compatible with contemporary culture. Chief among these is the Democrat Party's tried and true "divide and conquer" disparity rhetoric, which foments discontent and division based on income, race, ethnicity, gender, education, occupation, etc.

However, bull pucky by any other name is still bull pucky. Democrat Socialism, like Nationalist Socialism, is nothing more than Marxist Socialism repackaged.

The objective of today's NeoComs is, as you by now know, "fundamentally transforming the United States of America," in order to "peacefully transition" from our constitutional republic and its free-enterprise economy to a socialist republic with a state-organized and regulated economy.

Ideological adherents of the American Communist Party made few political gains under that banner in the last century because the label "communist" was and remains "distasteful" to most Americans. Thus, NeoComs have infested the once-noble Democrat Party and are using it as cover for socialist policy implementation.

The political genes of the current cadres of NeoComs establish them as the direct descendants of the statist policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the programs he implemented under cover of the Great Depression.

Roosevelt, like most of today's wealthy liberal protagonists, was an "inheritance-welfare liberal" -- raised in a dysfunctional home and dependent on his financial inheritance rather than that essential spirit of self-reliance, which forms the core of American Liberty. Consequently, the "dependence ethos" irrevocably shaped by FDR's privileged upbringing is virtually indistinguishable from the dependence ethos of those who have been raised or inculcated with belief that they are reliant upon welfare handouts from the state.

Though markedly dissimilar in terms of their political power, the underlying difference between inheritance liberals and welfare liberals is, the former depend on investment and trust distributions while the latter depend on government redistributions. But they both support socialist political and economic agendas based on Marxist collectivism.

Endeavoring to transform our Republic into a socialist state, FDR set about to replace our authentic Constitution with the so-called "living constitution" by way of judicial diktat, thereby subordinating the Rule of Law to the will of his administration. Anticipating Supreme Court rulings against many of his patently unconstitutional policies, which he later arrogantly outlined in his "New Bill of Rights," FDR attempted to expand the number of justices on the High Court, thereby allowing him to flood the bench with his nominees in order to win majority rulings.

Despite his failed attempt to pack the High Court, over the course of FDR's three full terms, he infested American politics with socialist programs and policies, and brought the nation perilously close to being ruled by an avowed Marxist, his vice president, Henry Wallace.

Prior to 2008, the closest the U.S. had gotten to an openly socialist president was after FDR's then-vice president, John Garner, broke with Roosevelt over FDR's effort to pack the court. In 1940, Roosevelt tapped his secretary of agriculture, Henry Wallace, to replace Garner as his new running mate. Wallace's allegiance to Marxist doctrine was well established. However, near the end of World War II, Roosevelt feared that he could not get re-elected to a fourth term with an open Communist on the ticket, so he tapped the more moderate Harry Truman and demoted Wallace to Secretary of Commerce -- where he could further his Marxist agenda.

FDR, of course, died in office just a month into his fourth term. But had he retained Wallace instead of opting for Truman, America would have had its first communist president by succession.

 … And a prophetic footnote: FDR also wrote in his Bill of Rights, "People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made."

Like Roosevelt, Obama was raised in a dysfunctional family, but unlike FDR, Obama inherited a socialist political legacy rather than wealth. However, neither Roosevelt nor Obama "let a serious crisis go to waste."

Obama, the NeoCom-in-Chief and our first openly socialist president, was elected and re-elected on his progressive "fair share" rhetoric, which he often frames as "spreading the wealth around." That, of course, is merely a new riff on an old FDR proclamation: "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." However, that "American principle" is merely a paraphrase of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, in which he declared, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
Obama's political storm troopers are led by the largest subgroup of congressional Democrats, the 76 declared members of his Congressional Progressive Caucus, who have made "progressive taxation" the top priority of their "redistributive justice" agenda.
Rep. Paul Ryan properly summed up Obama's progressive agenda as "a dull journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us." 

Obama and his American Communist Party-endorsed NeoComs are crafting their progressive economic policies using the subtle Cloward-Piven model, a socialist strategy that outlines how to overload the national entitlement delivery system, what we call the ObamaNation Plantation, in order to generate a severe economic crisis and ultimately break the back of free enterprise. Obama is using so-called "stimulus and bailout" plans (including his most recent "Fiscal Bluff"), ObamaCare, cap-n-trade, international climate change treaties, and the like, to take our country to the edge of that precipice. 

Sometimes, however, the NeoCom agenda is not so subtle, as was the case this week when Jeffrey Immelt, an ardent Obama supporter who also chairs Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, said of Red China's economy, "The one thing that actually works, state-run communism, may not be your cup of tea, but their government works."
NeoComs outside the U.S. are even less subtle.
In a recent newspaper column in "Pravda," the old Soviet propaganda rag ("The Truth") now published by post-Soviet era conscripts of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, a popular writer, Xavier Lerma, had this observation on our most recent presidential election: "The Communists have won in America with Obama. ... Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society."

Putin said: "We are reducing taxes on production. We are optimizing state expenses. We must avoid excessive interference into the economic life of the country and the absolute faith into the all-mightiness of the state. Unreasonable expansion of the budget deficit and accumulation of the national debt are as destructive as an adventurous stock market game. During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself. We must seek support in the moral values that have ensured the progress of our civilization. Honesty and hard work, responsibility and faith in our strength are bound to bring us success."
Lerma concluded, "Who could ever [have] imagined anyone so willing to destroy [capitalism] like Obama, much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist president."
Indeed, who could have imagined?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Are Tea Partiers Obstructionist, Intransigent, and Obstinate?

Obstructionist. Intransigent. Obstinate.

These words among others, used in reference to the Tea Party and fiscally conservative members of Congress, bark past teeth bared in animosity. Critics of the Tea Party lament its uncompromising stance against proposals like the recent fiscal cliff deal. Content to tolerate mere rhetoric, these critics draw the line at standing on principle when it actually counts.
Instead of being obstructionist, why can't Republicans be reasonable and cooperate with Barack Obama, asks Walter Hudson, as he mimics liberals' talking points.
Perhaps it has not occurred to critics like Lazzaro that our real fiscal cliff overlooks the economic consequences Foreman describes. In that context, what does   it matter if stock and bond markets plunge in the immediate future? Worrying about tomorrow’s markets while ignoring the consequences of unchecked spending is like refusing to set a broken bone on account of immediate pain, hardly reasonable or prudent.

Foreman’s most critical observation is that higher taxes cannot solve the debt crisis:
According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, if you taxed income over $250,000 you’d raise $56 billion next year and only solve 5 percent of a $1 trillion dollar deficit.
The percentage reassures no more when adjusted for the $400,000 mark agreed to by Congress. So when Tea Party-backed Republicans in the House stand firm against a non-solution like the one just passed, they prove themselves to be the adults in the room.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Why Hillary and Obama Do Not Want Benghazi to Matter

What difference … does it make?! erupted Hillary Clinton during the Senate hearings on Benghazi.

The difference it makes, whether it was "simply" a protest or terrorism — a word the secretary of state carefully avoided — is fundamental. (Her exact words were: "Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans?! What difference, at this point, does it make?!" Notice how the Al Qaeda option is carefully avoided, with the two remaining options sounding banally similar…)

Benghazi matters because — like so many other things — it puts the lie to Barack Obama's entire foreign policy outlook — the put-me-(or-keep-me-)in-the-White-House-and-everybody-will-love-us Foreign Policy.

It puts the lie to the entire leftist viewpoint that, regarding other nations, there are no enemies in the world, we are all brothers, and if anyone feels grieved — any nation, any group, any individual — the Apologizer-in-Chief will heal all matters.

And, in this day and age, the resort to the intervention of the armed forces will no longer be necessary.

No, of course, there are the terrorists — do not forget that Obama killed Bin Laden! — although Obama, who hates the word, hopes to convince even them that he is, and that his America is, their friend.  And against those who will not be convinced, the White House is willing to send special forces such as the Seals, but only and invariably small detachments thereof. (Needless to say, the Apologizer-in-Chief had to be briefed three times before he consented to kill Osama.)

It is not that members of Barack "A decade of war is ending" Obama's administration did not care about what was happening to Christopher Stevens, it was that they were too dumbfounded to react.

Democrats were so impregnated with the demonization (with their own demonization) of traditional America and its (shameful use of) armed forces — its Send the Marines mentality — that it was an option that either nobody thought of or that nobody would even consider doing.  ("No no, this can't be happening!" Remember that by killing Bin Laden, Obama decimated Al Qaeda.)
Obama apparently wasn't curious about what was happening in Benghazi 
writes Michael Barone (shookhran to Instapundit).
He wasn't too concerned either the next morning, when after the first murder of a U.S. ambassador in 33 years, he jetted off on a four-hour ride to a campaign event in Las Vegas. I don't think you have to be a Republican partisan to consider that unseemly.

Obama's odd response to the Benghazi attack and the efforts, surely choreographed by his White House, to attribute it to a spontaneous response to an anti-Muslim video, suggest that his first priority was winning re-election — and that Benghazi was an irritant that must not be allowed to stand in the way.

… "A decade of war is ending," Barack Obama declared in his second inaugural. His response to Benghazi, his decision on Syria and his nomination of Hagel suggest he thinks he can draw down our forces and avoid military conflict. 
But let's get back to the No Enemies in the World mindset.

This means there is no nation that is an enemy of America (which derives in turn from the State Department / United Nations / diplomatic atmosphere, where every other person you meet at the UN or in an embassy or in a foreign government ministry is a nice, chummy, suave, well-dressed diplomat — including even most leaders of the nations themselves — which allows for American, or for Western, diplomats to say those people aren't so bad, that people is relatively harmless, that nation can't be all bad (certainly those pleasant types we meet are just like us and can be made to listen to reason), while ignoring tales of oppression and thuggery and murder back in their home countries, and to say that one's own people must be bigoted).

Only the occasional terrorist group (and even they have their — more or less good, more or less understandable — reasons to think, and to react, and to act as they do.)

Because, basically, it turns out that there is one enemy in the world, for both America itself and for the world at large, and it is inevitably America (or the West) itself. Or, rather, its conservative parts, which must be tamed, which must be reeducated, which must be defeated, which must be outnumbered (cf. the left's immigration policy).

No compromise with these clueless haters and bigots — why on Earth should there be?! why should the O stoop so low?! — which explains Obama's Uncompromising Left-Wing Agenda.

Foreign policy must be subdued, so Barack Hussein Obama can go on with his radically transforming the United States.

John Hinderaker (via Instapundit), hopes, as does Ann Althouse,
that Obama–and Hillary Clinton, also–have the decency to be ashamed of themselves.
No, they don't — there is no decency for the left; only for the right — which conservatives never manage to fulfill.  Or, if you prefer, being a leftist is proof of decency, of righteousness, of heroism in itself.

There is no shame. As even somebody as black and as harmless as Benjamin Carson has had the occasion to feel, the only only shame is in having the audacity to oppose Barack Obama.