Topic: Socialism Sucks

An early American experiment with socialism

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You've no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you've heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony's first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.


What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

$15,OOO,OOO,OOO,OOOBAMA

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Just how much does the federal government owe? Here's a visualization of the national debt as a stack of $100 bills (click to see it at full size):

Obama's $15 trillion debt


That's right, folks. Our national debt just shot past $15 trillion today. We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.

Occupy Wall Street becomes Animal Farm

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Occupy Wall Street parody by The People's Cube

The parodies almost write themselves, but if you want weapons-grade irony, here it is. I swear I'm not making this up.

On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions. The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization's structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization. No, this was not the meeting of any traditional influence on Wall Street. These were six of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).


...

Ms. Holmes also stated at the teach-in that five people in the Finance WG have access to the $500,000 raised by Friends of Liberty Plaza. When Suresh Fernando, the man taking notes, asked who these people are, the leaders of the Structure WG nervously laughed and said that it was hard to keep track of the "constantly fluctuating" heads of the Finance WG. Mr. Fernando made at least four increasingly explicit requests for the names. Each request was turned down by the giggling, equivocating leaders.


But wait ... it gets better.

Yeah, just like the Tea Party

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Those fun-loving scamps of the Occupy Wall Street movement were caught on film pushing a 78-year-old woman down some stairs the other day. Watch the video below (WARNING: there's profanity right from the start) and pay attention at ~3:20 in:


Remember when those Tea Party terrorists attacked old people? Remember how Tea Party people used cathedrals and police cars as latrines? Me, too. Those were fun times. The Tea Party's exactly the same as Occupy Wall street. No difference whatsoever.

Understanding government employee unions

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When labor unions and management negotiate with each other in large corporations in the private sector, the relationship looks something like this.

private sector unions

The owners of a business (the shareholders) hire employees to do the work necessary to make a profit, and they also hire managers to supervise the employees. If the employees decide to form a labor union, the managers represent the owners' interests in all employment negotiations. The union and the management represent competing interests, so they tend to hold each other in check. Eventually, subject to federal labor law, both sides reach a mutually acceptable agreement and work continues. The corporation makes a profit, and the owners, management, and employees make money.

Now imagine that you're the Chief Executive Officer at a factory that has no labor union at the moment. You have no ownership share in the business, but you supervise several thousand employees. Your job is to run the place smoothly to enable the business to turn a profit, and in return you're well compensated with pay, health care, ample vacation time, a corporate car with a driver, frequent opportunities to travel, and a much better retirement package than you'd get working for your competitors. Your life as a corporate CEO feels like neverending sunshine and lollipops.

But you're greedy.

Capitalism has failed

Here's a case of bitter personal experience vs. naïve theoretical dreaming. These geniuses with the Workers World Party sure are confident, aren't they?


North Korea is a glowing example of success at, uh, something. I suppose. Let's check the NASA nighttime satellite imagery of Eastern Asia, shall we?

North Korea at night

Wait, I've got it. When the sun goes down in North Korea, every hour is Earth Hour. Yeah, that's the ticket.

This is the Occupy Whatever crowd

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Gee, these are really nice folks occupying Portland, huh?


Yep. They're an independent, young, spontaneous, focused example of the good old-fashioned American mainstream. Why, I often gather with my family and friends in our sweaty, unwashed glory so we can pound on buckets and scream "F*** the U.S.A." at the top of our lungs. Doesn't everybody?

This is your Democrat Party, my progressive friends. I'm sure you're proud.

Occupy Wall Street: kill the bourgeosie

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The Democrat base echoes this guy's call: "Long live socialism."


Oh, and long live bestiality, too.


This is the modern Democrat Party. These degenerates actively hate the middle class, though they claim to love them. The middle class is the evil "bourgeoisie" of 21st Century America, where the lion's share of income goes.

Your truth, my truth, or THE truth?

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I finally understand the leftist mindset. It's objectively true that there's no such thing as objective truth!


I'm ready to be escorted to Room 101 now, O'Brien.

Progressives, do you buy into this?

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You can see and hear Nancy Pelosi's envy of -- and hatred for -- individualism, success and hard work in this clip.


Is it much of a stretch to imagine a progressive agenda that includes the following?

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.

I didn't draft this list, nor did FDR, LBJ, or BHO. Here's the original.

The truth hurts

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whiny progressives

We must raise taxes now!

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Federal tax revenue went down after the Bush Tax Cuts, and raising taxes is now regrettably the only way to close the giant hole in our budget.

Ed Morrissey serves.

Jazz Shaw returns.

J.E. Dyer smashes.

Jazz Shaw whiffs.

Game, set, and match to the conservatives. Granted, the debate's an easy one to win if you're willing to think, but it's always nice to see a fan of tax hikes get schooled.

Seems appropriate for 2011 America

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This was written about the economic wasteland of early 1980s England when it was mired in socialism's failures.

Matt Yglesias, whose popularity on the left appears to be inversely proportional to his understanding of the real world, repeats the age old lefty solution to deficits:

[We] used to have a debate in which the left said redistributive taxation might be a good idea and then the right replied that it might sound good, but actually the consequences would be bad. Lower taxes on the rich would lead to more growth and faster increase in incomes.


Now that idea seems to be so unsupportable that the talking point is switched. It's not that higher taxes on our Galtian Overlords would backfire and make us worse off. It's just that it would be immoral of us to ask them to pay more taxes even if doing so would, in fact, improve overall human welfare.

Swing and a miss, genius. Try again.

Tax Cuts 101

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4:15 PM Update: Big Fur Hat shoots and scores.

Federal spending and revenue

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This chart shows -- in 2005 dollars -- the average American's share of individual federal income tax revenue from 1940 to 2011. This is how much Uncle Sam takes every year from each of us:

Federal income tax revenue per capita, 1940-2011, in 2005 dollars

This chart shows -- in 2005 dollars -- the average American's share of federal spending from 1940 to 2011. This is the tab Uncle Sam sticks us with every year:

Federal spending per capita, 1940-2011, in 2005 dollars

Some very intelligent friends of mine focus so intently on whether "the rich" are paying "their fair share" of taxes that they end up missing the big picture. Both taxes and spending are ridiculously high and getting higher.

We must reverse course, and Barack Obama is lying when he says he intends to do just that.

Take a good look at where the taxable money is. Click on the image:

Middle class tax target

President Obama and the Democrats in Washington, DC are lying to you. It is impossible to pay for their insane levels of spending by taxing "the rich." The rich don't have enough money to pay for that spending binge, even if the federal government confiscated their every last dime. The IRS data is beyond dispute. If he insists on the current insane level of spending, Barack Obama will have to raise massive amounts of taxes on the middle class to pay for it.

He's lying and he knows it. Standard & Poor's just downgraded the U.S. Government's credit outlook to "negative" for the first time in history, and it's all because the fools in Washington won't stop spending. This is awful, awful news.

As I said before, it's too late to fix our enormous deficit without pain. We can either feel some pain now and fix the problem, or we can keep living in Obama's fantasy land until we experience incredible pain a little bit later. Take your pick.

During his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama usually identified "the rich" as families earning income of $250,000 a year and up. He swore he'd never ever ever raise taxes one dime on anybody making less yearly income than that, and he swore he'd rein in federal spending.

After he took office in 2009, President Obama -- and his fellow Democrats who controlled Congress from 2007 to 2011 -- sent government spending rocketing upward so far that he's on track to add as much debt in one term as all 43 previous presidents combined.

Since the recent release of two detailed and comprehensive Republican plans to cut spending -- one by The Republican Study Committee and another by Representative Paul Ryan -- President Obama has apparently been shamed into responding with something slightly less insane than his original binge-spending 2012 budget.

This is what passes for an Obama plan for closing the deficit (emphasis mine):

The fourth step in our approach is to reduce spending in the tax code, so-called tax expenditures. In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can't afford it. And I refuse to renew them again.


Beyond that, the tax code is also loaded up with spending on things like itemized deductions. And while I agree with the goals of many of these deductions, from homeownership to charitable giving, we can't ignore the fact that they provide millionaires an average tax break of $75,000 but do nothing for the typical middle-class family that doesn't itemize. So my budget calls for limiting itemized deductions for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans -- a reform that would reduce the deficit by $320 billion over 10 years.

But to reduce the deficit, I believe we should go further. And that's why I'm calling on Congress to reform our individual tax code so that it is fair and simple -- so that the amount of taxes you pay isn't determined by what kind of accountant you can afford.

Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich. All of our problems will be solved if we only tax the rich. Right?

Wrong. As shown by the Wall Street Journal, the "rich" haven't got enough money:

Under the Obama tax plan, the Bush rates would be repealed for the top brackets. Yet the "cost" of extending all the Bush rates in 2011 over 10 years was about $3.7 trillion. Some $3 trillion of that was for everything but the top brackets -- and Mr. Obama says he wants to extend those rates forever. According to Internal Revenue Service data, the entire taxable income of everyone earning over $100,000 in 2008 was about $1.582 trillion. Even if all these Americans -- most of whom are far from wealthy -- were taxed at 100%, it wouldn't cover Mr. Obama's deficit for this year.

For the sake of argument, let's go with President Obama's "plan" and seize every last bit of money from any family making $100,000 a year or more. What next?

It's. Not. Enough.

Barack Obama is offering you a false choice: A) do nothing and watch Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security collapse our entire economy into hyperinflation, government default and another Great Depression; or B) make no changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and pay for it all by massively raising taxes on the middle class (after redefining them as "the rich"). According to him, there are no other options.

He's lying.

Wouldn't you rather avoid raising middle class taxes, put reasonable restraints on spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and preserve those programs for those who truly need them?

RSC budget plan       Ryan budget plan

It's too late to fix our enormous deficit without pain. We can either feel some pain now and fix the problem, or we can keep living in Obama's fantasy land until we experience incredible pain a little bit later.

Which do you prefer?

You've no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you've heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony's first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.


What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

A look at Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

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Would you choose a U.S. Representative who's nuttier than a squirrel turd?

Representative Jan Schakowsky hails from Illinois' 9th Congressional District, where the answer to the above question has long been "yes." Her district has been represented by a Democrat since Sidney Yates took office on January 3, 1949.


She's a member of the U.S. House of Representatives' hard left Progressive Caucus, and she drinks Left Wing Kool-Aid by the gallon. For example, she voted not to accept Ohio's Electoral College votes in the 2004 Presidential election, and wants to tax your IRA and 401k retirement funds.

Does Jan Schakowsky support Obamacare? That's putting it mildly. She wants a complete government takeover of your health care (even though she's ignorant of the Obamacare bill's contents). Despite her denials that this footage exists, here she is preaching the universal health care gospel:


She's married to Robert Creamer, a convicted felon, disciple of Saul Alinsky, and author of the Democrat blueprint for enacting Obamacare. At her husband's sentencing, Schakowsy announced that she was proud of Creamer:

She said she was proud that her husband "has for his entire adult life devoted himself to fighting for a better future for others -- he has been a constant crusader for social and economic justice in this country and beyond."

Schakowsky is so reflexively supportive of anyone with a pulse and a (D) tacked onto their last name that she gave $28,000 to disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Jan Schakowsky thinks Republicans are, like, crazy extremist nutballs because they, like, quote the Constitution and stuff. Because they're rich people. Or something. Listen:

An excellent idea from HillBuzz

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Ask for suggestions online and you'll get suggestions:

Here's a fun way to screw with the Democrats' internal polling and brand management -- and hopefully convince them to stay the course and keep doing crazy things voters hate instead of pulling towards the middle and trying to put their mask back on before 2012.


The Democrats rely heavily on polling...with an upper tier that is dead-set against moving the party back to the middle. This is suicide for the party, but the Leftists who now control the DNC don't want to believe that. Instead, they want to see polls that tell them the public LOVES what the Democrats have been doing and want them to commit more of this madness between November 3rd, 2010 and November 2012.

It should be our mission to screw with as many Democrat internal polls as possible...to give these nuts the data they want to keep Obama on the wrong track for the party. This will guarantee the Democrats will keep making people furious for the next two years, so the public can wipe even more of them out in the next election (including people like Claire McCaskill in the Senate, and Obama himself in the White House).

...

For each one, we tried to answer while keeping in mind what would do the most damage to the Democrat Party in the long term. So, for questions that asked if we thought the party was on the right track, we said it definitely was. For questions about what issues we wanted Democrats to push, we answered the ones that would alienate Democrats from the most voters. Ie, healthcare, immigration, etc. This is counterintuitive to what YOU personally want to see, so you need to think strategically. Democrats are hurt most when they are talking about things like healthcare, immigration, the environment, etc. So, that's what they need to be encouraged to keep talking about.

Americans really want to deal exclusively with jobs...so the LAST THING we want them to actually ever talk about is jobs. Let the survey indicate Democrats need to talk nonstop about healthcare, immigration, and the environment just to keep making people mad for the next two years. That will greatly benefit conservatives.

Brilliant. You can see the HillBuzz submission at their site.

Food for thought

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What would Ronald Reagan think ...

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... of today's Democrats?


scary chart

Had enough yet?

Remember the first huge bailout?

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Two years ago, Betty Sutton jumped aboard that express train to socialism without much thought at all.


Betty may claim that she made her decision after careful consideration of the economic circumstances, but don't you believe her. She's an economic ignoramus who follows Nancy Pelosi's lead in lockstep, and that's all there is to it. There's no critical thinking involved.

Here's a startling chunk of President Obama's speech on health insurance yesterday (the emphasis is mine):

So this is a long-overdue victory for America's consumers and patients. And yes, it does away with the status quo that some insurance companies have taken advantage of for so long. But insurance companies should see this reform as an opportunity to improve care and increase competition. They shouldn't see it as an opportunity to enact unjustifiable rate increases that don't boost care and inflate their bottom line.

...

The point is that there are genuine cost-drivers that are not caused by insurance companies. But what is also true is we've got to make sure that this new law is not being used as an excuse to simply drive up costs. So what we do is make sure that the Affordable Care Act gives us new tools to promote competition, transparency and better deals for consumers. The CEOs here today need to know that they're going to be required to publicly justify unreasonable premium increases on your websites, as well as the law's new website -- healthcare.gov. As we set up the exchanges, we'll be watching closely, and we'll fully support states if they exercise their review authority to keep excessively expensive plans out of their insurance exchanges.

None of this is designed to deprive insurance companies of fair rates. And as I mentioned when we were meeting with the CEOs, there are a lot of cost-drivers other than those that are within insurance companies' control.

That sounds an awful lot like he wants to impose price controls. Since when do price ceilings ever succeed at anything but causing shortages of whatever product/service they're supposed to make "affordable?"

Last summer, the Obama Administration threw $50 billion of your tax money down the mortgage foreclosure rat hole. Yesterday came news of what happens when Washington showers another $75 billion on mortgage holders without even requiring evidence that they can pay it back. It's called the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, and it's imploding:

The Obama administration's flagship effort to help people in danger of losing their homes is falling flat.


More than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who have enrolled in the $75 billion mortgage modification program have dropped out. That exceeds the number of people who have managed to have their loan payments reduced to help them keep their homes.

...

A major reason so many have fallen out of the program is the Obama administration initially pressured banks to sign up borrowers without insisting first on proof of their income. When banks later moved to collect the information, many troubled homeowners were disqualified or dropped out.

...

As more people leave the program, a new wave of foreclosures could occur. If that happens, it could weaken the housing market and hold back the broader economic recovery.

...

Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings projects that about two-thirds of borrowers with permanent modifications under the Obama plan will default again within a year after getting their loans modified.

Apparently the brain trust in the White House just discovered that people without incomes tend to default on mortgages, even after the government restructures the terms. That's one heck of an expensive experiment.

How did we get here, and how does it affect Ohio's 13th District? We can thank our Democrat Congresswoman, Betty Sutton.

Click for a refresher.

public sector unions

Surely you're not surprised about the proposed bailout. Unless you've been hibernating since 2008. In which case, go back to sleep. We'll wake you on November 3rd.

As long as I'm on a pop culture kick that started with the Underpants Gnomes, I figured I'd use another analogy to illustrate the governing philosophy of the progressives controlling Washington. Democrats see government spending and think: Brawndo!

If you haven't seen "Idiocracy" yet, you're missing out.

U.S. debt approaching 100% of GDP

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As of last Friday, The International Monetary Fund now forecasts that the American national debt will reach 100% of our Gross Domestic Product within five years. This chart comes from that very long IMF report, and displays the problem clearly:

US spending as percentage of GDP

The left side of the chart shows U.S. debt as a percentage of GDP. The bottom of the chart shows the year.

Notice where the debt zooms upward? That's 2006. As I recall, that's when the Democrat Party took over the U.S. Congress. All federal spending bills originate in the U.S. House of Representatives. Come to think of it, 2006 was the year that a certain someone got elected to the U.S. House from Ohio's 13th District.

Betty Sutton's money tree

If she actually wanted to ruin our economy and turn us into a basket case like Greece, how would Betty Sutton's voting record be any different? She's either trying to destroy American free enterprise, or she's hopelessly ignorant of basic fiscal sanity.

Someone on Her Royal Highness' staff should Google "The First Rule of Holes" and do a finger painting explaining the concept to the boss.

Mr. Wooden, how on God's green Earth can you continue as a member of the Democrat Party after its headlong dive last night into socialism, taxpayer-funded abortion, and blatant corruption?

Justin WoodenYou attend Tea Party rallies. You claim to be pro-life. You claim to be pro-free markets. You claim to be anti-corruption. You claim to be pro-military. You claim to be pro-gun rights. You claim to be anti-Obamacare, for Heaven's sake. Nevertheless, your party stands in opposition to all of your proclaimed stances. Talk about cognitive dissonance! This ain't your father's Democrat Party. Scoop Jackson's influence burned away decades ago.

If you first defeat Betty Sutton in the primary election for Ohio's 13th Congressional District, and if you then defeat your Republican opponent and become our Congressman, will you caucus with your party? Will you support its leaders, like Nancy Pelosi? What's to keep you from being the new Bart Stupak, Mary Jo Kilroy, Marcy Kaptur, or ... Betty Sutton?

If your party has decisively left you, if you are who you claim to be, then how can you reconcile that with your continued membership in the Democrat Party? Are you naïve? Are you hiding your true beliefs? Do you lack the courage to leave a socialist party bent on destroying our republic? Why are you a Democrat in 2010?

Explain it to me. Please.

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5:00 PM Update: How about you, Dan Moadus?

Video: "Reason Saves Cleveland"

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Drew Carey and The Reason Foundation decided to look for ways to save Cleveland from its aggressively stupid political leaders and their refusal to heed the first rule of holes. The result is a video series called "Reason Saves Cleveland":


Keep checking back as new episodes premiere, because I'll add them to this playlist.

3/18 Update: Right on cue, Tim Russo (a standard-bearer for typical Cleveland progressives) posts a spittle-flecked screed that misses the points of the Reason video ... and indelibly beclowns its author. Statist hacks like Russo simply cannot admit (or even comprehend) that punitive taxation and suffocating bureaucracy are responsible for Cleveland's sorry decline.

If Barack Obama's agenda isn't socialist, then what is it? For reference, please consult the Socialist Party USA's platform and the official program of the Communist Party USA

Just look northward to Canada for a death panel example that will give any honest person reason to doubt the wisdom of enacting Obamacare.

Rep. Betty Sutton just introduced a warm-and-fuzzy-sounding piece of legislation. It's called the Foreclosure Mandatory Mediation Act of 2010:

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH13) joined Ohio Reps. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH11) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH15), as well as Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Kendrick Meek (D-FL) to introduce H.R. 4635--a measure to combat foreclosures. Ohio has been particularly impacted by the foreclosure crisis and projections indicate no signs of change. In Ohio's 13th Congressional District alone, 17,555 homes are projected to be foreclosed upon over the next four years. This legislation will require lenders of Federal loans or guarantees to enter into mediation with homeowners prior to placing the property in foreclosure or a sheriff's sale.

Since anything advocated by Maxine Waters automatically gets my antennae twitching, I went to the bill's text, which contains this key nugget (the emphasis and links are mine):

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, before a qualified mortgagee may initiate a foreclosure proceeding or a sheriff sale, the qualified mortgagee shall conduct, consistent with any applicable State or local requirements, a one-time mediation with the affected mortgagor and a housing counseling agency, at the expense of the qualified mortgagee.

For purposes of this section the term 'housing counseling agency' means a housing counseling agency certified by the Secretary under section 106(e) of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 (12 U.S.C. 1701x(e)); or a neighborhood housing services program established by the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation under section 606 of the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 8105);

The parties are forced into mediation (even if it's a slam-dunk case of delinquency by the borrower), and look who foots the entire bill for the mediator's fees: the lender trying to foreclose on the delinquent borrower. When the government keeps forcing a company to incur new costs, the company must eventually pass on those costs to its customers. Otherwise the company will go bankrupt.

If this law passes, it will end up costing you more to get a mortgage. Care to guess which legislators will then wail and gnash their teeth about "predatory lenders screwing the poor" and "fat cat bankers jacking up fees" when those inevitable effects occur? Now, this is par for the course among politicians who have no clue how a free market works. They think the solution to every government-imposed problem is more government regulation and spending. What's unusual is that this isn't the worst part of the bill.

The hard-working folks over at Recovery.gov, ever on guard for that rare instance of government inefficiency that occurs only once in a decade or so, have responded with commendable speed to news reports of erroneous/incompetent/fraudulent data in the records of stimulus money spent to save (or "create" jobs). No longer does their database report on taxpayer funds wasted invested in places like the nonexistent 99th U.S. Congressional District of Puerto Rico. No, sir. Everything's been scrubbed squeaky clean, and the original records now show each offending transaction taking place in an "unassigned congressional district."

see no evilWhat's that you say? You want to know what the original data showed? Oh, c'mon. You can trust faceless, nameless bureaucrats in Washington to behave with the most scrupulous ethical standards. They're from the government, and they're here to help you.

Pardon me? You still don't trust them? You must be one of those bitter people clinging to their Bibles and their guns out in the sticks. Besides, it's too late now. The original data's gone. Unless you know someone who scooped up some of the data before it was altered erased corrected, you're out of luck.

Hey, wait a second. Guess who snagged the original data for Ohio, put it in Excel spreadsheet format, and sorted it all by district?

Ohio's Porkulus data

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I just looked up the summary of Ohio data on Recovery.gov and here's some of what I found. Compare the numbers for jobs created/"saved" and money wasted spent for Ohio's 18 congressional districts, and the numbers for the ten nonexistent districts that turned up.

District Jobs Porkulus
1 - Dreihaus (D) 349.7 $1,063,584,388
2 - Schmidt (R) 146.6 $191,500,216
3 - Turner (R) 385.4 $186,371,562
4 - Jordan (R) 215.4 $104,248,906
5 - Latta (R) 105.7 $158,653,454
6 - Wilson (D) 224.2 $191,292,584
7 - Austria (R) 366.4 $167,834,446
8 - Boehner (R) 103.7 $98,813,378
9 - Kaptur (D) 367.5 $171,627,681
10 - Kucinich (D) 85 $80,955,117
11 - Fudge (D) 394.5 $349,743,107
12 - Tiberi (R) 140.1 $110,808,249
13 - Sutton (D) 149.5 $153,496,938
14 - LaTourette (R) 207 $78,765,929
15 - Kilroy (D) 13212 $1,366,388,033
16 - Boccieri (D) 96.3 $87,084,609
17 - Ryan (D) 229.4 $165,232,615
18 - Space (D) 306 $309,355,127
Total 17084.4 $5,035,756,339



20 0 $208,836
21 3 $1,241,652
49 0 $230,000
54 0 $100,000
56 0 $12,000
69 0 $400,000
85 0 $250,000
87 0 $336,108
99 0 $660,000
0 8 $1,865,319
Total 11 $5,303,915

Government weighs down the economy$5.3 million went to nonexistent congressional districts, creating (or maybe it's "saving") 11 jobs. That's $482,174 per job. How do I sign up for that sweet deal? Then there's the average waste stimulus per job in our actual 18 districts, which works out to $294,758 ... still not too shabby. If I can snag one of the 149.5 jobs here in the 13th District, I will have cost America's taxpayers a cool $1,026,735! Betty Sutton, call your office. I want a job.

That's "transparency" in the age of Hope and Change™ for ya. Is this incompetent accounting, dishonest accounting, or both?

Want more? Nineteen out of the top twenty Porkulus recipients in Ohio are state, county, or municipal government entities. The one that's not government owned is "a single-purpose environmental remediation Limited Liability Corporation dedicated to providing remediation services to the United States Department of Energy at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site." In other words, a government contractor.

Boy oh boy, that Porkulus sure did stimulate the free market, didn't it? Way to go, Governor Strickland ... you sure know how to allocate funds. I can't wait to experience the joys of Obamacare, Cap & Trade, and amnesty for illegals.

For more analysis, check out Ohio Watchdog.

A simple question for progressives (#12)

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Are the stated goals of ACORN substantially the same as yours ... and do you expect anyone to believe you if you deny it?

Courtesy of Kim Nettles:

More at "Patriots on the Prairie".

On rude and inappropriate outbursts

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Sure, Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst against President Obama would once have been thought rude. Thirty years ago, shouting such an accusation at a president addressing a joint session would have been nearly inconceivable ... but this ain't 1979.

Shut up demotivatorAmerican popular culture is much coarser and cruder these days, and our politics mirror our culture. The blame lies almost exclusively at the feet of Americans who occupy the farthest reaches of the statist left wing. They've brought us the Sexual Revolution, rampant drug use, violent and sexually explicit entertainment, abortion on demand, disregard for our Judeo-Christian roots, militant atheism, and moral relativism. The left's utter disregard for anything standing between them and complete political power leads to the rise of political opportunists like our current president. He and his ilk will say and do anything to advance their agenda. Lying is just another tool in the toolbox, to be used whenever it will accomplish the left's goals.

The left bemoans the supposedly inappropriate and rude outburst by Joe Wilson for one reason only: they hope to advance their agenda by doing so. Period. Never mind that they've done far worse. Never mind that moral disapproval is supposedly evidence of the cardinal sin of "intolerance." The left will scream and wail as long as faux victimhood helps them extract money and power from American citizens.

Given that fact, I refuse to join in the Tut-Tut Chorus. We're close to enacting an irreversible government takeover of close to one fifth of the American economy, by people who have more in common with Stalin and Mussolini than with Madison and Jefferson. I'd much rather have inappropriate and rude outbursts in defense of the truth than polite silence in the face of blatant and dangerous lies.

The truth hurts the statist, so shout it if you must.

Cash-For-Clunkers wildly successful!

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Oh, wait.

Zach Lahn corners Barack Obama

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Bravo to Zach Lahn, for having bigger balls than 99% of the media! I hope this young man's ready for the Joe The Plumber treatment, courtesy of ACORN and SEIU.

President Obama spent the majority of his "answer" restating the question, then talked about "opposing" the exact kind of public option that's in the House bill. ABC transcribed some of it:

"Certainly they can't compete if the taxpayer is standing behind the public option just shoveling more and more money at it," Obama said. "That's certainly not fair. And so I've already said I would not be in favor of a public option of that sort, because that would just mean more expenses out of our pockets and we wouldn't be seeing much improvement in quality."

...

"I think there are ways that we can address those competitive issues," he said. "And you're absolutely right, if they're not entirely addressed, then that raises a set of legitimate problems. But the only point I wanted to make was the notion that somehow just by having a public option you have the entire private marketplace destroyed is just not borne out by the facts."

Read the whole thing; ABC interviewed Zach afterward, and he kept the pressure on the president for regurgitating nothing but vague talking points. Ten bucks says Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are all over this within a week. Oh ... notice that Obama didn't accept Zach's challenge, either (wuss).

More coverage:
Politico

UK writer: US health care beats ours

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Stephen Glover admits that the truth hurts:

In treating almost every cancer, America apparently does better than Britain, sometimes appreciably so. According to a study in Lancet Oncology last year, 91.9 per cent of American men with prostate cancer were still alive after five years, compared with only 51.1per cent in Britain.

The same publication suggests that 90.1 per cent of women in the U.S. diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and 2002 survived for at least five years, as against 77.8 per cent in Britain.

So it goes on. Overall the outcome for cancer patients is better in America than in this country. So, too, it is for victims of heart attacks, though the difference is less marked.

If you are suspicious of comparative statistics, consult any American who has encountered the NHS. Often they cannot believe what has happened to them - the squalor, and looming threat of MRSA; the long waiting lists, and especially the official target that patients in 'accident and emergency' should be expected to wait for no more than four - four! - hours; the sense exuded by some medical staff that they are doing you a favour by taking down your personal details.

Most Americans, let's face it, are used to much higher standards of healthcare than we enjoy, even after the doubling of the NHS budget under New Labour. Of course, the U.S. is a somewhat richer country, but I doubt its superior health service can be mainly attributed to this advantage.

In other news: jumping into water leads to wetness, rocks fall downward, and there's no way to pick up a turd by the "clean end."

Absolutely hilarious!

Hat tip: iOwnTheWorld

Obama vs. Obama

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Is he lying now ...

... or was he lying then?

If you have two brain cells to rub together, the answer's obvious.

Join the Obamacare Snitch Squad!

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It's your patriotic duty, Comrade.

Uncle Sam wants you to snitch on your neighbor

Workers of the world, unite!

More on Friedman.

Hat tip: Baldilocks

Greg Coleridge (apparently a useful idiot holdover) has a question for Dear Leader:

Greg ColeridgeSince President Barack Obama will be at Shaker Heights High School on Thursday, taking questions on health care, I've got one for him:

Who should have the final say on the type of health care patients receive under any reformed system?

A. Patients and their doctors

B. Insurance corporations

If A is his answer, his solution should be one that shuts out insurance corporations that make billions of dollars by denying coverage to millions of Americans.

Way to commit the false dilemma fallacy combined with the straw man fallacy, Greg! Mind-numbed Obamabots will lap this stuff right up.

Coleridge is the director of something called the "Economic Justice & Empowerment Program" of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee, a group that has yet to find an anti-American cause it doesn't like.

I wonder if the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots will run into this tool tomorrow at their protest?

So you think health care's boring? Politics makes you zone out? Can't find the time between work and reruns of American Idol to focus your A.D.D.-riddled mind on something requiring actual rational thought?

Pop another Ritalin, sit down, shut up, and watch this. It's funny. No, really ... it is.

There! Was that so hard? In our next lesson, we'll learn how to get off our lazy butts and pimp-slap the idiot politicians who want to bring this farce here to America.

OK, you can go back to watching Jon Stewart now.

Here's a big tip o' the hat to Caleb at RedState for finding this.

Why Keynes was wrong

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The condensed version of a Cato Institute video:


Watch the 7 1/2 minute version for more detail.

ACORN's Bertha Lewis: obnoxious idiot

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Have you ever seen a more obstinately stupid person than Bertha Lewis of ACORN?

More here.

Hat tip: Hot Air

Thou shalt worship the stimulus

Courtesy of MSDNC MSNBC:

President Barack Obama issued a withering critique Thursday of Wall Street corporate behavior, calling it "the height of irresponsibility" for Wall Street employees to be paid more than $18 billion in bonuses last year while their financial sector was crumbling.


"It is shameful," Obama said from the Oval Office. "And part of what we're going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline, and show some sense of responsibility."

If I've got this "new Obama math" right, paying out $18 billion in executive bonuses is the height of irresponsibility, but spending $1.2 trillion in government pork is a fiscally justifiable use of taxpayer funds.

Am I on track, Mr. President?

PigHmmm. Big numbers are hard to grasp. Maybe if I represented each $1,000,000,000 with a fat little pig, I'd be able to get a better handle on things. Yes, that sounds good.

Ready?

Boehner, Cantor: vote "no" on stimulus

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Earlier today a rumor surfaced on Politico.com about House Republican leadership encouraging the Republican members of the House to vote against Barack Obama's monster wasteful pork stimulus bill. I have confirmation from a DC source that this is no mere rumor. Rep. John Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor urged their caucus to oppose the stimulus-a-palooza when it comes to the floor tomorrow.

Cantor led a working group that came up with a "House Republican Economic Recovery Plan", which they released on Friday in one-page summary form. I received an e-mailed copy of a two-page version of the plan.

A great quote from this past Friday

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Rather than pursue the American Dream, [Barack Obama] insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us -- today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially "rich." The value of his physical and intellectual labor must be confiscated in greater amounts for the good of the proletariat (the middle class). And so it is that the middle class, the birth-child of capitalism, is both celebrated and enslaved -- for its own good and the greater good. The "hope" Obama represents, therefore, is not hope at all. It is the misery of his utopianism imposed on the individual.


Unlike past Democrat presidential candidates, Obama is a hardened ideologue. He's not interested in playing around the edges. He seeks "fundamental change," i.e., to remake society. And if the Democrats control Congress with super-majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he will get much of what he demands.

The question is whether enough Americans understand what's at stake in this election and, if they do, whether they care. Is the allure of a charismatic demagogue so strong that the usually sober American people are willing to risk an Obama presidency? After all, it ensnared Adelman, Kmiec, Powell, Fried, and numerous others. And while America will certainly survive, it will do so, in many respects, as a different place.

Joe the Plumber wasn't the first to catch Barack Obama talking about spreading the wealth:

Here's the transcript:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I'd be o.k.


But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical.

It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

...

I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way.

State Senator Obama didn't think it was feasible to change the federal courts to a Marxism-friendly system, but a President Obama can easily make it happen, especially with a liberal Democratic supermajority in the U.S. Senate. Don't take my word for it; listen to him say it. Here's the entire interview.

Do you think it's the federal government's job to decide how much success is too much for you to achieve? Is it up to the federal courts to pick winners and losers based on the philosophy of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" ... that is, Marxism? Does Barack Obama know better than you when it comes to deciding who deserves your hard-earned money? If this is what you want, then vote for Barack Obama.

If you don't like that Barack Obama intends to radically change America for the worse, then do something about it.

Obama's other genocidal friend

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No, not Raila Odinga. That's old news to the mainstream media. I'm talking about William Ayers, genocidal thug.

If you don't believe Larry Grathwohl's statements above, and you don't believe he foiled two of Ayers' attempts at mass murder, then believe Ayers' own words. He laid out his darkest goals in his 1974 book Prairie Fire, a manifesto of violent communist revolution.

But of course Barack Obama was innocently unaware of this deviant swine's beliefs. Riiiiight.

To quote the blogger who goes by "Zombie":

Ayers and Obama worked together for years on a school reform program called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.


Ayers and Obama also served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a separate charity organization.

Obama had his political coming-out party in William Ayers' home.

Ayers mentions Obama by name in a book he wrote in 1997, and mentions that the two are very close neighbors.

Obama gave a short glowing review of that same Ayers book for the Chicago Tribune.

Obama and Ayers were both presenters together on a panel about juvenile justice (organized by Michelle Obama).

Both Obama and Ayers were close friends with the same person, Rashid Kalidi.

There are also several unverified rumors swirling around that have not been documented: That Ayers may have helped to write part (or all) of Obama's autobiography; that Obama and Ayers shared an office space together for three years, on the same floor of the same building in Chicago; and that Ayers and Obama may have known each other as far back as 1981.

Nope. Nothing to see here.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

An Obama victory will cause a depression

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An unknown wit once said: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury." When it comes to voting ourselves goodies from the treasury, we Americans stand near the point of no return.

Support Class Envy!I've addressed this lopsided situation before in a post on war funding, but this is a much more general discussion.

The federal government levies taxes on some of us, and it sends handouts to some of us. Some Americans pay more in taxes than they receive in handouts. I'll call them "givers." Others receive more in handouts than they pay in taxes. I'll call them "takers."

The Tax Foundation studied taxes and handouts from 1994-2004 (see the FAQ), and came to some startling conclusions. Below you'll see a diagram of their 2004 breakdown of dollars received in handouts per dollar taken in taxes. Pay special attention to the blue bars (the total handouts per dollar of taxes). Look at the bottom 3/5ths of our population. Those groups get more in handouts than they pay in taxes; they're the takers. The top 2/5ths are paying more in taxes than they get in handouts; they're the givers.

Spending per dollar of taxes

Since the American form of government (thankfully a representative republic, not a democracy) responds fairly quickly to the will of American voters, we have the ability to force our elected representatives to give us tax dollars as handouts. If our representatives refuse our demands for goodies, a majority of us can replace them with more pliable politicians.

So what happens when the takers outnumber the givers at the polls on Election Day? We hit the "tax tipping point." Since everyone gets one vote (unless ACORN is involved) regardless of their tax-to-handout ratio, the takers force the government to soak the givers. Eventually, the givers get tired of being punished for their success. The result is predictable:

Calculating how far society's top earners can be pushed before they stop (or cut back on) producing is difficult. But the incentives are easy to see. Voters who benefit from government programs will push for higher tax rates on higher earners -- at least until those who power the economy and create jobs and wealth stop working, stop investing, or move out of the country.


...

The sequence is always the same. High-tax, big-spending policies force the economy to lose momentum. Then growth in government spending outstrips revenues. Fiscal and trade deficits soar. Public debt, excessive taxation and unemployment follow. The central bank tries to solve the problem by printing money. International competitiveness is lost and the currency depreciates. The system stagnates. And then a frightened electorate returns conservatives to power.

Barack Obama claims he'll give a "tax cut" to 95% of Americans (for the sake of argument, let's ignore the impossibility of doing that while also paying for his massive expansion in government spending). His magic "tax cut" for those who pay no income taxes is really a tax credit. That's a handout to the takers, funded by higher taxes on the givers. The chart above will get more lopsided, with the blue bars on the right shrinking and the blue bars on the left growing.


Redistribute Wealth!America cannot keep confiscating more and more money from the givers and sending it to the takers. There's no such thing as a free lunch. If you're one of the givers creating jobs and capital, you'll only tolerate punishment for so long before you take rational steps to reduce your vulnerability. You'll start shifting your capital away from productive uses and into tax shelters dictated by loopholes in the law. You'll cut costs by hiring fewer employees or getting rid of current employees. You might even decide to escape the punishment of the takers by closing down your business or moving it overseas to a country with friendlier tax policies.

Now multiply this scenario to include all of America's private sector, and you'll start to understand the inevitable result of a tax-and-spend policy like Barack Obama's. He believes he can tax and spend his way to prosperity, but he can't (or won't) see that he'll push our economy over the tax tipping point and into either a severe recession or an actual depression. Our current economic downturn is already worsening as Obama's victory grows more probable, and one hundred top economists recently warned of the impending disaster of Obamanomics.

Barack Obama is more than Jimmy Carter on steroids. He's about to repeat Herbert Hoover's tragically foolish response to an economic downturn. If Obama wins this election, he will drive us into a Second Great Depression.

Barack Obama, socialist

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Trevor Loudon of the blog New Zeal has more details on Barack Obama's membership in The New Party, a socialist political party in Chicago.

This post is for journalists who care about the future of their country more than their careers.


I have previously posted about Barack Obama's involvement in the socialist led Illinois New Party here, here and here.

Below are scans from New Party News Spring 1996.

They prove that Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois New Party and was endorsed by them in his 1996 Illinois State Senate race.

Here's the first of several screenshots from the New Party News. Click to enlarge:

Read the rest and ask yourself why the American media continues to avert their eyes from this relevant background information about Barack Obama, the socialist.

To understand the New Party's "fusion" strategy, and their connection to ACORN, read Stanley Kurtz.

H/T: Power Line

His tricks, their treats

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Barack Obama's socialism illustrated:

His tricks, their treats

Foolish peasant. The Obamessiah knows how to spend your money better than you do.

What follows is a re-post of Matt Hurley's original piece.



Rough Transcript:
Senator Obama, you are Number One.

Your 2007 voting record makes you the most liberal member of the US Senate. Left of Hilary Clinton, Left of Ted Kennedy, and even Left of your running mate, Joe Biden -- Barely. He was Number Three. You, Senator Obama, are Number One.

What happens when we elect America's most liberal Senator to the White House? Please America, let's never find out.

Paid for by Let Freedom Ring, which is responsible for the content of this ad.
HOPE-ON ProjectIt is actually worse than the ad makes it sound. Obama isn't just a liberal, he's to the left of the only declared socialist in the US Senate!

Last week, Ohio Senator George Voinovich was quoted saying that Barack Obama was to the left of Ted Kennedy and that Obama was, in fact, a socialist. Governor Mitt Romney, an actual McCain-Palin surrogate, might have a problem with that (see clip) but I think that the evidence exists to make a pretty strong case that Obama is a socialist.

What shall we use as a measuring stick? How about a politician who is a declared socialist? There is one in the United States Senate and his name is Bernie Sanders. The National Journal has Sanders ranked #4 in 2007. Barack Obama was top of the class. But it might interest you to know who else was "to the left" of the socialist. Barack Obama chose him to be his running mate: Joe Biden finished third. Even George Voinovich gets this one:
"There's a guy in the senate, Bernie Sanders" said Voinovich, "who brags about being a socialist. And if you compare Barack Obama's record with Bernie Sanders' record, they're not too far apart."
Obama's response to Joe the Plumber's question about why Obama wanted to punish him if he were to achieve the American Dream and achieve success was that he wanted to "spread the wealth around." If that isn't a restatement of the socialist doctrine of redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is.

Let's not find out, America...

An early American experiment with socialism

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You've no doubt heard the well-known story of the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you know that what you've heard is drastically inaccurate?

According to the writings of William Bradford, the colony's first governor, the hardships and near-starvation of the entire population occurred because the colonists turned their backs on capitalism. They believed the old lie that an economy based on the concept of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" can actually work. They instituted a socialist system, and found out that socialism causes disaster:

The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God." Thereafter, he wrote, "any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened?

After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop." They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that "all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means" were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, "all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock." A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

This "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that "young men that are most able and fit for labor and service" complained about being forced to "spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children." Also, "the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak." So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

For more on the lessons the pilgrims learned, see this piece by Rick Williams, Jr.

From Alfonzo Rachel's mouth ...

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... to God's ears.

H/T: Neptunus Lex

Update: More from Alfonzo Rachel.

Update 2: And from Barack Obama's mouth ...

Obama worked for ACORN

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Though he may deny it, Barack Obama worked for ACORN, the fraud-riddled left-wing community organizers' association. His former employer, Project Vote, is a front group created and run by ACORN.

ACORN fraud revealed in Las Vegas

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Barack Obama's favorite community organizers are at it again:

The secretary of state's office launched an investigation after noticing that names did not match addresses and that most members of the Dallas Cowboys appeared to be registering in Nevada to vote in November's general election.


"Some of these (forms) were facially fraudulent; we basically had the starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys," Secretary of State Ross Miller said. "Tony Romo is not registered to vote in Nevada. Anyone trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot."

Agents with the secretary of state and state attorney general offices served a search warrant on the headquarters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, at 953 E. Sahara Ave. shortly after 9 a.m. They seized voter registration forms and computer databases to determine how many fake forms were submitted and identify employees who were responsible.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ... especially when it's "lazy crack-heads" helping Obama get elected.

More here and here.

The playlist below contains the full video "Obama & Friends - History Of Radicalism", aired just this past weekend on Hannity's America. As each segment ends, the next one should start automatically. If there's a hitch between segments, just click the big arrow that will appear at the right side of the box and you'll manually fast forward to the next segment.

Barack Obama's defenders accuse arguments like this one of irrelevance or unfairness. Assigning guilt by association can certainly be unfair to someone with an unsavory friend or two, especially if the target of the accusation clearly doesn't share the lowlife's beliefs or actions. Every nationally-known politician has a lot of friends and associates, so it stands to reason that some of those people will be less than stellar examples of moral uprightness. The law of averages plays a part in the makeup of any large group of people.

But some politicians surround themselves with crowds of bad people. Consider Richard Nixon, the former Republican President who resigned in disgrace to avoid impeachment. He selected the advisors and political operatives who helped him climb the political ladder all the way to the top. These surrogates were masters of dirty politics, who committed the Watergate break-in that brought down Nixon's administration.

When Nixon uttered his famous "I am not a crook" line, nobody took him seriously. While he didn't personally break into the Democratic Party offices at the Watergate Hotel, he surrounded himself with the crooks and scumbags who did. He knew exactly how immoral and un-American his friends and associates were, so he delegated the dirty tricks to them. He hoped to keep his own hands clean by claiming he had nothing to do with a few overzealous bad apples, but Washington Post journalists Woodward and Bernstein exposed the truth: Nixon's friends and associates were a barrel full of bad apples.

There were far too many shady characters around him for Nixon to claim it was all happenstance. Either he was incredibly naive and stupid when it came to his executive responsibility to select and lead his subordinates, or he craved the power of the presidency so much that he would do anything to maintain it. Either way, Nixon was unfit to remain in office.

A president's character is reflected by the character of his friends and associates. Keep that in mind as you watch the video above. What does the character of Barack Obama's friends and associates say about his character?

Let's apply the same standards to everyone seeking the presidency.

We're going to regret this

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President Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This will not end well. Socialism never works for long.

A Democrat recession

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Here's your answer.

Guess who took $105,849 from Fannie Mae? Look who's at #3 on the list of pigs at Fannie's trough: Barack Obama.

Obama took hush money from the people who crippled the home mortgage market through fraud, and he did nothing to regulate them. His friends enriched themselves while running Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into the ground, and as a result we're now stuck with that obscene $800+ billion dollar taxpayer-funded bailout bill. Worse still, three of Fannie Mae's wealthy scammers advise Obama on everything from running mate selection to the details of housing policy.

That's right; Obama seeks critical economic and political advice from the very people who ruined the mortgage market and caused the current financial crisis.

   

Why in the world would anyone trust Barack Obama to fix this financial mess, when he and his friends are the ones who caused this economic crisis in the first place?

If you want a ten-minute primer on how this mess happened, here you go:

9/17 Update: When you think "ACORN", think "Obamacare."

--

9/11/2009 Update: Child prostitution!

--

Barack Obama prides himself on his career as a community organizer. Back then, he worked for an organization called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), to which he still has extensive ties. Before digging into Obama's links to ACORN, it's important to understand exactly how corrupt and anti-American this organization truly is.

I've dug around through tons of resources online to come up with this collection of information that reveals the vast corruption perpetrated by ACORN. Take a few moments to read through the reports and learn about the organization that created Barack Obama.

ACORN's Hypocritical House Of Cards: How One "Community" Group Helped the Housing Crisis Harm Taxpayers (Consumers Rights League):

This report focuses on the troubling record of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and its tax-exempt offshoot, the ACORN Housing Corporation (AHC). The ACORN/AHC version of consumer advocacy has consisted of a three-decade assault on free enterprise and a history of extracting resources from financial lenders seeking abatement of ACORN's public relations assaults. Specifically, this report examines ACORN's impact on the housing problem. Documents provided by internal whistleblowers, cross-checked with public records and recorded events, expose hypocritical lending recommendations tied to ACORN Housing Corporation's agreements with major banks--agreements that end up harming consumers.

Media reports, combined with information provided by former ACORN employees, show that:

  • ACORN leveraged the Community Reinvestment Act in order to attack lenders' reputations and secure financial resources for itself; it has also endorsed loans offered by companies that fund ACORN operations
  • ACORN's decades of lobbying and publicity seeking have contributed to the current housing crisis by lowering lending standards
  • Despite raking in a troubling 40 percent of its revenue from taxpayers over the last three years, ACORN Housing Corporation's actions range from controversial to borderline illegal:
  • AHC has worked to obtain mortgages for undocumented workers
  • AHC relies on undocumented income, "under the table" money that may not be reported to the Internal Revenue Service
  • ACORN's "financial justice" operations attack lenders for "exotic" loans, but AHC has recommended ten-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and reverse mortgages (which can be detrimental to senior citizens)
  • AHC may have violated federal law by failing to maintain a proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and the aggressive political activities of ACORN

Voter Turnout or Voter Fraud?: Interest Groups Push for Election Reform (Johnathan Bechtle, Capital Research Center):

In 2004 liberal advocacy groups focused their activism on "getting-out-the-vote." The groups typically urged all Americans to vote, but their real goal was more explicit. They wanted to count as many anti-Bush votes as possible. At what point did voter turnout become voter fraud?

...

ACORN makes a point of asserting that lawsuits brought against it have been rejected or withdrawn. But in 2004 its employees were the subject of numerous reports of registration fraud in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Wisconsin. Project Vote [a group created by ACORN and led by Barack Obama] denies that it deliberately orchestrated any registration fraud. But a stream of television and newspaper stories reported on the shady practices its workers used to register people to vote.

...

To make matters worse, taxpayers indirectly pay for these shady efforts. ACORN has a number of affiliates providing mortgage financing and counseling for low-income persons. The principal affiliate, the ACORN Housing Corporation, received over $2.6 million in government grants in 2003-2004. Some state-based ACORN housing affiliates receive smaller amounts of government funding. With this base of taxpayer support, ACORN is free to channel its member dues funds and donor gifts to political activities. Despite its claim to nonpartisanship, ACORN ran a minimum wage ballot initiative drive in the 2004 Florida election that, according to an internal memo revealed in a 2005 report by the American Center for Voting Rights, was run "to help defeat George W. Bush and other Republicans by increasing Democratic turnout ..."

Rotten ACORN: America's Bad Seed (July, 2006, Employment Policies Institute):

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is registered as a non-profit corporation in Arkansas, which does not require public financial disclosure. According to labor activist and scholar Peter Dreier, ACORN's annual operating budget is around $30 million. The New York Times subsequently reported that the figure is closer to $37.5 million, excluding the non-profit research and housing organizations the group runs. Even this estimate likely does not include the vast resources of the ACORN-run unions or reflect election-year resources given to its ostensibly non-partisan get-out-the-vote efforts.

Because it operates a virtual self-contained economy, ACORN entities exchange millions of dollars every year for goods and services. The scant financial documents available for public inspection paint a picture of a spider web of ACORN-run organizations that trade loans, leases, payments, and grants.

...

ACORN's no-holds-barred take on politics originates from its philosophy, which is centered on power. An internal ACORN manual instructed organizers to sign up as many residents as possible because "this is a mass organization directed at political power where might makes right."

...

The frequency with which ACORN employees are caught turning in fraudulent or erroneous documents indicates the group cares less about obeying laws than pushing its political agenda. When it is periodically forced to answer allegations of fraud, ACORN downplays the harm of its crimes or shifts blame to supposedly rogue employees, whom the organization then fires.

$1 Million Scandal Latest To Hit ACORN (release from the Consumers Rights League):

ACORN and its affiliates have a multi-decade history of fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds. Recently, the Consumers Rights League released a whistleblower report that uses internal ACORN documents to highlight alleged misuses of taxpayer money by ACORN Housing Corp, which took in 40% of its funds from the government and sent more than a million dollars to ACORN's affiliate, Citizens Consulting.

Now, The New York Times reports ("Funds Misappropriated at 2 Nonprofit Groups," June 9)that ACORN has hid since 2001 the embezzlement of nearly $1 million by the brother of ACORN's founder from that same organization--Citizens Consulting.

Additionally, ACORN is currently under investigation for potential voter fraud all across the nation. With millions of dollars transferred from AHC to these affiliates, it is entirely plausible that taxpayer funds are funding much of this fraud.

...

ACORN and ACORN fraternal organizations' multi-decade record of partisanship and misusing public funds is a prime example of a broken system. They continuously turn in faulty, if not false, voter registration forms that threaten to disenfranchise voters on Election Day. They have repeatedly used taxpayer funds to bolster their own political ends. Eventually, taxpayer money ended up in the pockets of the brother of ACORN's founder and ACORN attempted to hide the truth for years.

Written Testimony Of James Terry, Chief Public Advocate, Consumers Rights League (Wednesday, September 24, 2008):

My name is James Terry and I am the chief public advocate at the Consumers Rights League, a non-profit education and advocacy organization dedicated to preserving consumer choice in a broad array of issue areas.

...

The Consumers Rights League provides an alternative voice from those organizations that argue for reduced consumer choice or increased government intervention as a policy of first choice. CRL supports all aggressive efforts to educate, motivate, register, and assist all citizens in voting so long as those efforts are legal. Unfortunately, there are some groups that do not seem to share this concern.

As part of CRL's mandate, we monitor policy debates, news trends and the activities of organizations that style themselves as consumer advocates. Unfortunately, due to their long track record of questionable or corrupt practices with respect to housing and electoral activities, we are constantly forced to act as a watchdog for abuses by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. To be sure, there are some well-meaning individuals who are a part of ACORN.

Unfortunately, they do not appear to be the ones in control. Firsthand accounts from current and former ACORN employees, major news stories, and court cases across the country, expose corruption at every level of ACORN including embezzlement, cover-ups, misuse of taxpayer funds and voter fraud. While all of the reported allegations noted in my statement are found in the public domain, such reports often go unnoticed by the national media.

Whistleblower Documents Reveal ACORN's Apparent Misuse Of Taxpayer Dollars to Pursue Profitable Political Agenda (June 18, 2008 release from the Consumers Rights League):

Today, the Consumers Rights League (CRL) published a collection of whistleblower documents that suggest the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has reaped substantial financial gains by misusing taxpayer dollars for political ends and by attacking lending corporations for the same "predatory" lending practices it regularly engages in.

The ACORN Housing Association (AHC), an ACORN affiliate that receives over 40% of its funding from government sources, claims to be a consumer advocate. In a newly-released report from CRL, however, a series of documents obtained from a whistleblower source reveals hypocritical and potentially illegal use of taxpayer dollars by ACORN and its related organizations. These documents - which include staff emails and internal organization policies - suggest that ACORN has failed to maintain a proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive political activities.

The facts behind the current economic crisis

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If you've asked yourself "What caused the bank crisis?" or "Who is responsible for this financial mess?" ... here's the answer.

This is a prime example of what happens when Barack Obama's core beliefs are enacted as economic policy. In the name of "affordable housing for all", Washington liberals ruined the mortgage market with foolish regulations, caused countless home foreclosures, and stuffed their own pockets with money in the process.

Children sing to Obama and Kim Jong-Il

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Children sing to their respective Dear Leaders:

   

Elect Obama and we'll all live in happy socialist comradeship under the wise guidance of The One! After all, North Korea is a workers' paradise, and we can start down that road too. To borrow a phrase: "Yes! We can!"

Obama's Kool-Aid

Drink the Hopenchange Kool-Aid, Comrades.

To get a bailout bill passed, the Treasury Department needed a big, scary figure ... so they made one up. Tom Blumer has the details.

The Obama Effect: unemployment and recession

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An e-mail to Jay Nordlinger shows what will happen to small businesses if Obama is elected:

Just thought I'd send some thoughts from small-business America. My husband's business is a canary in the coalmine. When tax policies are favorable to business, he hires more guys, buys more goods, etc. When he is taxed more heavily, he fires people, doesn't buy anything new, etc. Well, duh. So, at the mere thought of a President Obama, he has paid off his debt, canceled new spending, and jotted a list of whom to "let go."


The first of the guys will get the news tomorrow. And these are not minimum-wage earners. These are "rich" guys, making between $200,000 and $250,000 a year.

My husband will make sure that we're okay, money-wise, but he won't give himself a paycheck that will just be sent to Washington. He'll make sure that he's not in "rich guy" tax territory. So, he will not spend his money, not show a profit, and scale his workforce down to the bare minimum.

Multiply this scenario across the country and you'll see the Obama effect: unemployment, recession, etc. No business owner will vote for this man, but many a "middle-class worker" will vote himself out of a job. Sad the Republican can't articulate this.

Very sad. Don't be surprised if things get worse, thanks to ignorance about capitalism versus socialism.

Warning: do not underestimate Obama

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Kyle-Anne Shriver's post at The American Thinker today looks beyond the frenzy over Barack Obama and examines his past. If you think Bill Clinton's the most opportunistic and amoral schemer in recent history to run for president, you're in for a shock.

These personal qualities are not the sole reason he is where he is, and I suspect the wily Mrs. Clinton knows this full well. I suspect it must bother her that Obama also appears to have mastered the playbook used by her own political teacher, the legendary amoral guru of left wing activism, Saul Alinksy.


Hillary has met not only her match in Alinsky tactics, she has met the master of bloodless socialist revolution, in my opinion.

...

Barack Obama had just graduated from Columbia and was looking for a job. Some white leftists were looking for someone who could recruit in a black neighborhood in the south side of Chicago.

Obama answered a help-wanted ad for a position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Obama was 24 years old, unmarried, very accustomed to a vagabond existence, and according to his memoir, searching for a genuine African-American community.

Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to "rub raw the sores of discontent," in Alinsky's words.

One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method was Mike Kruglik, who had this to say to an interviewer of The New Republic, about Obama:

"He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."

The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.

Is it any wonder, then, that Obama's Alinsky Jujitsu is making mincemeat of the woman who merely interviewed Alinsky, wrote about him, and spent the next 30 years in corporate law and in the lap of taxpayer-funded luxury in government mansions?

Read the whole thing and let the implications soak in. This guy's no amateur, and he plays hardball. Our nominee's going to face the fight of his political life this year.

We conservatives would also be wise to reacquaint ourselves with the political tactics of Saul Alinsky, a true leftist revolutionary.

A bunch of UN bureaucrats threaten to pitch a hissy fit over America's administration of the Internet:

When hundreds of technology experts from around the world gather here this week to hammer out the future of the Internet, the hottest issue won't be spam, phishing or any of the other phenomena that bedevil users everywhere.

Instead, ending U.S. control over what's become a global network will be at the top of the agenda for many of the more than 2,000 participants expected at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, which begins Monday.

...

Yet to many foreign government officials and technology gurus, the United States has too much control over a tool that's used by more than 1.4 billion people worldwide. Brazil, China and other countries have proposed transferring oversight to an international body.

We Americans created the Internet, expanded it, left it untaxed, and left it basically unregulated. Butt out, you sniveling socialist cockroaches. Or would you rather give up a quarter of your juicy budget?

How not to fund a war

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SisyphusMy good friend and co-blogger Too Short and I got into an argument yesterday over whether President George W. Bush's administration will go down as one of the worst in American history. Among other things, Too Short objected strenuously to the income tax cuts that President Bush shoved through Congress a few years back. Evaluating the alternative takes some mental heavy lifting, so get ready to push uphill against the big-government mindset.


To my buddy's way of thinking, income tax cuts for "the rich" are a Bad Thing™ in a time of war, and we Americans should follow our grandparents' example during World War II and "sacrifice for the war effort" ... translated as "pay more taxes." Now I don't recall Too Short advocating a revival of programs like rationing and price controls and the WPA, which all went together with the 1930s-1940s package. Then again I might have just missed it when he said it. He wouldn't be the first to substitute wishful thinking for free market realities.

Squeezing blood from a stoneI argued that income tax cuts in wartime are not inherently a Bad Thing™. When taxes in general are excessively high, economic activity tails off as people lose their incentive to work, save, and invest. Next, government revenues shrink because the total amount of money available for taxation has shriveled. The big government advocate instinctively responds by raising taxes, which deepens the downward spiral (the Laffer Curve illustrates the general concept nicely).


If you're a government official trying to fund a wartime military machine, having no tax revenue is truly a Bad Thing™. A logical government in that situation lowers tax rates to stimulate the economy and raise tax revenues. Now it can buy guns and butter and F-22 Raptors. Pretty straightforward stuff so far, right?

My compadre Too Short retorted that I wasn't figuring in federal payroll taxes, which tend to hammer the poor. It was a point well taken since so far I was only talking about income tax cuts. I couldn't puncture his counterclaim because I didn't have the necessary data at my fingertips, so I asked for a temporary ceasefire.

I went looking for ammunition, and to my surprise I found that I was far more right than I realized.

The Tax Foundation pored over the dry, dusty tax and spending data collected by all levels of American government between 1991-2004, and they found that for every $1.00 of taxes that the poorest Americans forked over, they got $8.21 back.

There's more:

While the U.S. tax system is progressive, the distribution of government spending makes the overall fiscal system more progressive than is apparent from tax distributions alone. Using a microdata model we estimate the distribution of federal, state and local taxes and spending between 1991 and 2004. We find households in the lowest quintile of income received roughly $8.21 in federal, state and local government spending for every dollar of taxes paid in 2004, while households in the middle quintile received $1.30, and households in the top quintile received $0.41. Overall, tax payments exceeded government spending received for the top two quintiles of income, resulting in a net fiscal transfer of between $1.031 trillion and $1.527 trillion between quintiles. Both taxes and spending appear to have large distributional effects on households, and these effects have grown since 1991. The results suggest tax distributions alone are an inadequate measure of progressivity, and policymakers should examine both tax and spending distributions when judging the overall fairness of policy toward income groups.

Did you catch that? Yes, payroll taxes hit poorer people harder than they hit rich people. But when you account for all federal, state and local taxes and government spending on entitlements, my pal Too Short's idea of "increasing our sacrifices" via higher taxes on "the rich" just doesn't cut it. The folks at the lower end of the income scale more than make up for their payroll tax losses, and the folks higher up the line get royally hosed.

Remember that those dastardly "rich people" that our leftist friends love to hate are the very ones who risk their capital to create businesses, conduct research on new technology, and hire the rest of us. Without "the rich" we don't produce the best bullets and boots and cell phones. Without "the rich" our economy loses its advantage over the rest of the world.

Look at how we punish success:

Tax burdens and entitlement windfalls

Let that sink in for a moment. Does that seem like a wise idea in peacetime? How much less so in the middle of fighting a war!

Now look at it another way. Focus on the blue bars below:

Entitlements minus taxes

Don't repeat my initial mistake by looking at tax rates alone. You'll miss the big picture. Always, always, always figure in government spending when you're trying to figure out how to pay for a war. Our steeply progressive tax-and-spend system takes money from America's most productive people and showers it on the least productive. While you can make a good argument for keeping some parts of the social safety net, we're way beyond the point of absurdity now.

Here's a slightly more detailed summary of the report:

While many studies answer the question of who pays taxes in America, the question of who gets the most government spending is often overlooked. Just as some Americans bear a larger portion of the nation's tax burden than others, some Americans also receive a larger share of the nation's government spending.

This report summarizes the key findings of a comprehensive 2007 Tax Foundation study of federal, state and local taxes and government spending. The results show that when we consider the distribution of government spending as well as taxes, it provides a dramatically altered view of how U.S. fiscal policy affects Americans at different income levels than is apparent from the distribution of tax burdens alone.

Overall, we find that America's lowest-earning one-fifth of households received roughly $8.21 in government spending for each dollar of taxes paid in 2004. Households with middle-incomes received $1.30 per tax dollar, and America's highest-earning households received $0.41. Government spending targeted at the lowest-earning 60 percent of U.S. households is larger than what they paid in federal, state and local taxes. In 2004, between $1.03 trillion and $1.53 trillion was redistributed downward from the two highest income quintiles to the three lowest income quintiles through government taxes and spending policy.

These findings suggest tax distributions alone do not tell Americans how much the nation's fiscal system is helping or hurting low-income households. To answer that, we must look beyond tax burdens to government spending as well. Lawmakers who ignore the distribution of government spending risk making policy judgments based on an incorrect set of facts about the United States fiscal system.

In my buddy Too Short's defense, he joined me in criticizing runaway federal spending that makes drunken sailors look frugal. Reasonable folks are tired of creeping socialism, and we expect to see some real spending cuts before 2009's over. And I'm not talking about the Washington version of "cuts."

So what's the bottom line? Income tax cuts are still a good idea, and so are cuts in entitlement spending. If we do both, the economy will surge forward and government revenue will increase along with it. That translates into much more money available for the military. Seventy-year-old notions of "sacrifice" will punish the most productive Americans and further erode our military readiness.

Sorry, old buddy. You lose this round.

More info:
Tax Foundation report and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions

--

Update: TooShort's response

James Lewis examines the Neocommunist Left and reaches some startling conclusions.

Today the voters have not yet caught on to the real radicalism of the Left. If they do, Democrats will once again have to choose between the totalitarian impulse and being small d-democrats. Because our Democrats are emphatically not small-d democrats. They will use and manipulate their voters, but they don't listen to them. Whenever possible, they accomplish unpopular policy initiatives through the courts, our least democratic government mechanism, one never designed to lead in formulating social policy.

The NeoCommies may not be conspirators, but they are heirs to an international political movement that was built on conspiracies.

...

The methods of Neocommunism parallel those of Old Communism to an astonishing degree.

The routine use of orchestrated group lying (so that many different people are suddenly making the same accusation);

The constant use of innocent-sounding front groups like MoveOn.org and Media Matters;

The use of stooges (like military retirees, both real and phony);

The need to whip up the rage of the faithful with constant disinformation about the enemy (i.e., America and conservatives);

The infiltration of media and government. Members of the seventies left are sprinkled throughout these institutions, carrying out the long march. These tricks are all straight out of the old, old playbook. Karl Marx really was a genius agitator and revolutionary plotter, though nothing else. Marx is still the model.

Hmmmm ...

Defeat HillaryRedefeat Communism

Break out your hip waders, people. Governor Strickland's first crack at re-regulating Ohio's energy industry just hit the legislature as Senate Bill 221, and the B.S. is knee-deep and rising.

Turd mealThe bill's long, jargon-packed, and hard to understand, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with government's attempts to extend its tentacles further into our lives. I know that legislation is mind-numbingly boring and makes your eyes glaze over. Believe me, I feel your pain. But if you're worried about your electricity bill going up and yet you don't want to experience the joy of rolling blackouts, you need to pay attention to this stuff.

Here's a change to Section 4928.02 of the Ohio Revised Code that jumped out at me when I skimmed the bill (deleted text is struck through, added text is in boldface type):

Sec. 4928.02. It is the policy of this state to do the following throughout this state beginning on the starting date of competitive retail electric service:


(A) Ensure the availability to consumers of adequate, reliable, safe, efficient, nondiscriminatory, and reasonably priced retail electric service;

(B) Ensure the availability of unbundled and comparable retail electric service that provides consumers with the supplier, price, terms, conditions, and quality options they elect to meet their respective needs;

(C) Ensure diversity of electricity supplies and suppliers, by giving consumers effective choices over the selection of those supplies and suppliers and by encouraging the development of distributed and small generation facilities;

(D) Encourage innovation and market access for cost-effective supply- and demand-side retail electric service including, but not limited to, demand-side management, time-differentiated pricing, and implementation of advanced metering infrastructure;

(E) Encourage cost-effective and efficient access to information regarding the operation of the transmission and distribution systems of electric utilities in order to promote both effective customer choice of retail electric service and the development of performance standards and targets for service quality for all consumers, including annual achievement reports written in plain language;

(F) Recognize the continuing emergence of competitive electricity markets through the development and implementation of flexible regulatory treatment;

(G) Ensure effective competition in the provision of retail electric service by avoiding anticompetitive subsidies flowing from a noncompetitive retail electric service to a competitive retail electric service or to a product or service other than retail electric service, and vice versa;

(H) Ensure retail electric service consumers just and reasonable rates and protection against unreasonable sales practices, market deficiencies, and market power;

(I) Preclude imbalances in knowledge and expertise among parties in a proceeding under this chapter to eliminate any appearance of disproportionate influence by any of those parties;

(J) Ensure that consumers and shareholders share the benefits of, as well as the responsibility for, electric utility investment in facilities supplying retail electric generation service;

(K) Provide coherent, transparent means of giving appropriate incentives to technologies that can adapt successfully to potential environmental mandates;

(L) Protect at-risk populations when considering the implementation of any new advanced energy technology;

(M) Encourage implementation of distributed generation across customer classes through regular review and updating of rules governing critical issues such as, but not limited to, interconnection standards, standby charges, and net metering;

(N) Facilitate the state's effectiveness in the global economy.

What's that warm and fuzzy bilge in part (H) about "just and reasonable rates", you ask? Why, that means government-imposed price controls of course. Price controls cause shortages. Are you ready for brownouts?

I have no idea what part (J) is supposed to do. Consumers already benefit from utility company investments in new power generation facilities: they get more power produced more efficiently. As for "sharing responsibility", consumers do that now by paying their electric bills, which helps to fund capital improvements by utility companies. So what new consumer "benefits" and "responsibilities" are we talking about here?

Parts (K) and (L) look like euphemistic ways of saying to utility companies: "We'll make it crystal clear that if you don't appease environmentalist wackos (including government officials), we'll hurt your business." Say hello to higher taxes and burdensome new environmental regulations. Such costs would normally be passed on to consumers in the form of higher rates, but with price controls that won't happen now. Instead, these government-imposed costs will eat into the utility companies' profits. If there's no way to recoup the losses by increasing the rates charged to consumers, the power companies can't provide enough power. Now throw in the other predictable effect of price controls on electricity: artificially high demand for power. What we'll get is a repeat of California's blackouts in 2001. Among sentient humans, this is commonly referred to as "a bad thing."

I don't understand the jargon in part (M). Can anybody translate it into plain English for me?

This is Ted Strickland's idea of "improving" the production of electricity in Ohio. God help us.

HillaryCare

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Now that HillaryCare is published, I hope all Americans will clue into how ridiculous her plan is.  This might be fun for American Health Choices Plan proponents: an 'apple to apple comparison': HillaryCare to Wal-Mart: BIG COMPANY (big companies are good, right libs? oh, wait government doesn't qualify as a government), AVAILABLE (they will both be everywhere with long lines), AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE (consistently low prices, and lousy quality).  But then again, we all know how much liberals love Wal-Mart, so I'll have to think of a new comparison...

Socialized medicine totters in Canada, UK

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John Stossel explains why "universal health care" is neither free nor an improvement:

HillaryCare is coming One basic problem with nationalized health care is that it makes medical services seem free. That pushes demand beyond supply. Governments deal with that by limiting what's available.

That's why the British National Health Service recently made the pathetic promise to reduce wait times for hospital care to four months.

The wait to see dentists is so long that some Brits pull their own teeth. Dental tools: pliers and vodka.

One hospital tried to save money by not changing bed sheets every day. British papers report that instead of washing them, nurses were encouraged to just turn them over.

Government rationing of health care in Canada is why when Karen Jepp was about to give birth to quadruplets last month, she was told that all the neonatal units she could go to in Canada were too crowded. She flew to Montana to have the babies.

...

Most Canadians like their free health care, but Canadian doctors tell us the system is cracking. More than a million Canadians cannot find a regular family doctor. One town holds a lottery. Once a week the town clerk gets a box out of the closet. Everyone who wants to have a family doctor puts his or her name in it. The clerk pulls out one slip to determine the winner. Others in town have to wait.

But never fear, dear American voter. HillaryCare would be, um, different. Somehow. Yeah. That's the ticket.

Part I of John Stossel's interview with Michael Moore on the topic of socialized medicine:

More at NewsBusters.

Whenever someone pines for a government-run health care system, ask them why they want to entrust medical treatment to the folks who bring us the joys of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Hat tip: Thespis Journal

Socialist water

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Why must your water be provided by government? Good question.

Ol' Fidel has been hard to spot lately. I think I'll run a photo shopping contest to answer the question of his whereabouts.

Castro as Waldo

Any suggestions for prizes?

Update: Val Prieto has agreed to be a guest judge.

Also, my budget is $300. C'mon, folks ... suggest some prizes!

Update 2: Kevin Aylward just agreed to be a guest judge too.

Update 3: Michelle Malkin will join in the judging.

Is Fidel Castro dying?

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I sure hope so!

When he finally takes his overdue dirt nap, watch for a massive wave of refugees headed north toward Florida. The Coast Guard is ready for it, having planned its response for years.

Time for a momentary diversion. Here's an old (by Internet standards) essay by Mart Laar, a former Estonian Prime Minister. If you think the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania might someday get an apology from Russia or from former communists for all that the Baltic countries suffered at the hands of the USSR, don't hold your breath:

The crimes of communism are not condemned. During most of its existence, the Soviet Union denied even the existence of the secret protocols of Molotov-Ribbentrop, not to mention the crimes against humanity that are directly attributable to this pact, such as the massacre of thousands of Polish officers at Katyn early in the war. And even when the existence of secret protocols was recognized, first the Soviet Union and then Russia refused to undo the results of the pact. For instance, only after enormous international pressure was exerted on Russia did Moscow withdraw all its troops from the Baltic states on Aug. 31, 1994. This day is now marked as the end of World War II for these countries, with celebrations each year.

...

To this day, Russia maintains that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were never occupied by the Soviet Union. This month, Russia refused to apologize for standing by, just outside the city, as the Nazis crushed the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, because Moscow hoped the Nazis were, in effect, smoothing the way for a communist takeover of Poland in 1944. Worse yet: Russia refuses to say three simple words to the victims of communism: We are sorry!

Those words can help heal many wounds and remove existing mistrust. But an apology isn't as important even for the victims of communism as it is for Russia itself. When a nation cannot face up to its history, it will live like a human being suffering from a permanent neurosis. Nations that cannot make peace with their past cannot build a future. It looks increasingly as if this is one of the reasons why democracy is not thriving in Russia and why this great country hasn't developed as hoped after the fall of the Soviet Union. We all must encourage and support Russia to follow this difficult path.

No matter how cozy Putin and Bush get, I will always cast a jaundiced eye eastward past the Urals.

UK to tax drivers into oblivion

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George Turner over at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler presents (and efficiently guts) a UK government plan to reduce highway congestion by charging drivers a tax of £1.30. Per mile. This is a must-read.

Michael Moore Hates America

Quick, get that on tape!

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In her remarks at a Democrat fundraiser in San Francisco on Monday, Hillary Clinton revealed her agenda:

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

She goofed and told the truth. Hillary, meet Mr. Woodshed.

Leftist thugs

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Wizbang links to a story about a Fahrenheit 9/11 moviegoer getting pounded by MoveOn.org thugs.

Which side of the culture war is the one with the brownshirts? I forget.

Cuba ´┐Żber alles

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Life in Cuba sucks. Everybody knows it. The economy's a basket case, political dissent is stomped on, and cubans keep trying to get out any way they can. So what do the brilliant minds in charge of the socialist workers' paradise offer as a solution to their problems?

More socialism.

I guess the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is that the right people haven't been in charge. Right, compadres?

When enough information leaks out about conditions in North Korea, the world will recoil in horror. I hope that our intelligence services are hard at work undermining Kim Jong Il's nightmare playground.

See the North Korea Freedom Coalition web site for eyewitness accounts, and try the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea for that and more, including satellite photos, snapshots and video documentation of North Korea's concentration camps.

Prosperity Ex Nihilo

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This little article on North Korea's attempts to build wealth on rhetoric would be funny if it weren't so sad.

North Korea must make "leaping progress" in 2004 in expanding exports, boosting output of food and other consumer goods and running firms profitably, the impoverished country's prime minister has told parliament.

Premier Pak Pong-ju told the Supreme People's Assembly on Thursday at a one-day annual session the communist state aimed to raise dietary and living standards, hike electricity output and absorb foreign technology, the official KCNA news agency said.

"All domains and units of the national economy should wage a mass movement to build their own strong export bases, expand and develop foreign trade in a multi-faceted manner and encourage equity and contractual joint ventures on an extensive scale," KCNA quoted Pak as telling the assembly in a work report.

...

North Korea depends on foreign aid to feed about a quarter of its 23 million people. A famine in the late 1990s is estimated to have killed more than one million people and caused up to 300,000 North Koreans to seek refuge in neighboring China.

What're they going to export, the grass and tree bark that their starving citizens haven't eaten yet? Earth to Mr. Pak: you can't just magically decree increased profitability. You need to start with basic stuff like private property rights and individual liberty.

But hey, maybe you guys will be the first bunch in history to make socialism work. Good luck, Canute.

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