Boehner chastises Conservatives in Congress to Stop Interfering with Passing the Liberal Agenda

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 15th, 2013

Week in Review

The establishment Republicans are getting sick and tired of conservatives.  Their base.  And they’re starting to speak out against them in harsher tones they rarely if ever use on Democrats (see Why The GOP Civil War Just Exploded Out Into The Open — Again by Brett LoGiurato posted 12/12/2013 on Business Insider).

On Dec. 12, House Speaker John Boehner finally conveyed the bewildered sentiment that so many Republicans shared as far back as August.

Speaking at a press conference where he said outside conservative groups have “lost all credibility,” Boehner referenced comments that Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham made toward the end of October’s federal government shutdown — one that Boehner suggested Republicans were pushed into by the “defund Obamacare”-happy outside conservative groups.

“Everybody understands that we will not be able to repeal this law until 2017,” Needham had told Fox News — as in, repeal isn’t possible until a Republican is in the White House. To Boehner, that was a tacit admission that these groups knew their strategy was unworkable.

Well, that’s the problem the conservatives have with the establishment Republicans, isn’t it?  Winning the White House.  Which they haven’t been able to do with the last two establishment Republican candidates.  Both who proudly proclaimed that they could reach across the aisle and work with Democrats.  Which basically meant that they would help the Democrats pass their liberal agenda.  By NOT trying to advance a conservative agenda.  What 40% of the electorate wants.

Being that about 40% of the electorate is conservative these Democrat-lite candidates didn’t rally the Republican base.  The 21% of the electorate that is liberal were never going to vote for a Republican.  And the moderates in the middle who lean Democrat vote for the real Democrat candidate.  Not the Democrat-lite candidate.  Always.

This is why the conservatives in Congress are a bit exasperated with the establishment Republicans.  Because they lose the election that matters.  By NOT running a conservative candidate.  And they never push back on the liberal agenda as they are so afraid that the media will say bad things about them.  Or liberals won’t like them.  It’s either that or the establishment Republicans, like liberals, want big government.  Because they, too, like the money and the power.  And don’t want any of that limited government nonsense.  That thing our Founding Fathers gave us.

When was the last time that the Republicans won by a landslide?  That’s right.  When they ran a conservative candidate.  Ronald Reagan.  Another conservative the Republican establishment didn’t like.

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Preventing Future IRS Scandals is as Easy as Changing the Tax Code

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 30th, 2013

Politics 101

The Tea Party was the Driving Force in returning the House of Representatives to the Republicans

The IRS is very powerful.  It can seize your property.  It can throw you in jail.  It can ruin your life.  There is no other arm of the government honest people fear more.  Because it is so powerful.  America did away with debtor’s prison.  Because it was inhuman to jail a person over a debt.  Unless you owe it to the federal government.  Then all of that compassion goes out of the window.

The recent scandal of the IRS targeting conservative groups is especially chilling.  For the Tea Party was the driving force in returning the House of Representatives to the Republicans.  Infuriating the Democrats.  As well as the Obama administration.  When President Obama ran for reelection in 2012 he had little to run on.  The economy was horrible.  No one was talking about Obamacare because the majority of Americans don’t want it.  It was so bad that the Democrat president had to highlight his single national security achievement—killing Osama bin Laden—while ignoring his domestic policy achievement.  Obamacare.

Then Benghazi threatened to ruin everything.  An attack on an American mission that killed four Americans.  Including a serving ambassador.  Making matters worse was that it was an al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group that was responsible for it.  This did not play well with the campaign message.  ‘Osama bin Laden is dead.  And General Motors is alive.’  President Obama had already won the War on Terror.  So he couldn’t have a terrorist attack during his reelection campaign.  So they hit the Sunday morning talk shows and said there was an anti-Muslim video on YouTube that created a spontaneous uprising.  Where average Libyans on the street then pulled out rocket propelled grenades and mortar launchers from their back pockets.  And launched a military assault on the American mission.

The IRS silenced the Tea Party during the 2012 Election by Harassing them and their Donors

You don’t hear much about the YouTube video anymore.  During the 2012 reelection campaign, though, both the president and the secretary of state pushed it hot and heavy.  Even apologized for it in a video to play in Pakistan.  And arresting the obscure filmmaker on some other charge.  And it worked.  Benghazi faded into the background.  Despite the Obama administration denying the American ambassador additional security.  And issuing a stand-down order for forces that could have gone to help the Americans under attack.  This order coming about 7 hours BEFORE the last two Americans died.  To this day we don’t know who gave that stand-down order.  And we don’t know where the president was when all of this was unfolding in Libya.

But it worked.  The misinformation spun from the White House won the president a second term.  And people started talking about what the Republicans had to do to start appealing to women and Hispanics.  For the early postmortem said that was why the Republicans lost.  They turned off women and Hispanics.  But something was wrong with that conclusion.  Because the conservative base didn’t turn out on Election Day.  That’s why the Republicans lost.  To explain that some said the problem was that Mitt Romney wasn’t a true conservative.  And he turned off true conservatives.  But that doesn’t make sense, either.  Because Romney may not have been the most conservative Republican to run for president but next to President Obama the man was practically Ronald Reagan.  There had to be some other reason why conservatives didn’t turn out like they did in the 2010 midterm elections that returned the House to the Republicans.

That was the million dollar question.  What happened to the Tea Party?  Who were so instrumental in turning out conservatives to vote in the 2010 midterm elections.  It’s as if they sat out the 2012 election.  For we didn’t hear their voice like we heard it in 2010.  And now we have a plausible explanation for that.  The IRS.  They delayed and made it so difficult to get their 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status that some just gave up trying.  Finding themselves and their donors getting IRS audits both for their businesses and their personal returns.  As well as other arms of the federal government auditing them from the Department of Labor to the EPA.

Everyone wins with a more Simplified Tax Code except those in Power who use it to Attack their Political Enemies

Did the White House coordinate this?  We don’t know.  Yet.  The IRS commissioner visited the White House 151 times.  While his predecessor visited the Bush White House about 1 time.  So that looks suspicious.  And silencing the Tea Party did help the president win reelection.  For silencing the Tea Party sure didn’t help Mitt Romney.  So it looks probable that the Obama administration used the nonpartisan IRS to attack their political enemies.  As they were determined not to suffer another Tea Party uprising like that which lost them the House of Representatives in 2010.  Right now the circumstantial evidence is pretty damning.

This is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind.  That was the point of limited government.  So it didn’t have this kind of power over people it perceived as political enemies.  And the source of this power is the complex and convoluted tax code.  That serves those in power better than the people they serve.  Allowing them to reward friends and punish their enemies.  One would almost have to believe the reason why the current administration ran the deficit up to record highs is to further empower the IRS.  By creating the need for ever more tax revenue.  And the need for more strenuous collection efforts.  Not to mention using the tax code to facilitate a permanent state of class warfare.  For the government needs this complex and convoluted tax code to make sure the rich pay their fair share.  As well as using it to reward their friends.  And punish their enemies.

So perhaps it’s time to revamp the tax code.  Some are talking about it.  As they always do.  But there is so much resistance because of the power the tax code gives those in power.  And those in power quickly shoot down any talk about a flat tax or a national sales tax as being unfair.  Regressive.  Hitting low-income earners harder than the rich.  But perhaps this is exactly what we need.  So everyone feels the pinch of the taxman.  So people won’t be so quick to give the taxman more powers.  Because a lot of low-income people don’t stay low-income.  And one of the quickest ways of raising low-income earners out of poverty is with a better and stronger economy.  And there is one thing that does that better than anything else in the world.  Low tax rates.  So let’s take a look at different tax plans for a married couple filing jointly.

Federal Taxes Current Brackets Flat Tax National Sales Tax

(For the national sales tax we assumed everything above a certain savings rate is spent somewhere in the economy.  Those who earn more can save more.  In our example the saving rates are 1%, 8%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30 %.)

Those earning only $15,000 will pay more under a flat tax or a national sales tax.  But the IRS becomes far less intrusive and far less powerful.  Because it will be so much simpler.  Giving honest people less to fear about.  And giving those in power less power to attack their political enemies.  Making it harder for them to cheat during elections.

Also, lower tax rates will bring money sheltered outside of the country back home. Which those rich people will invest here.  To get even richer.  And probably end up paying more taxes than they were before.  Because they won’t have any need to shelter it.  While all the new jobs they create will increase tax revenue further.  Because there will be more people working and paying taxes.  So everyone will win with a more simplified tax code.  Except, of course, those in power who use the tax code to attack their political enemies.

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FT170: “If liberals believed in being bipartisan they wouldn’t harass conservatives with the IRS.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 17th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

The Right should Rubberstamp Everything the Left wants Just like the Left did for George W. Bush

If you ever have watched the Daily Show with Jon Stewart you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme.  He gets exasperated.  A lot.  When it comes to the lack of bipartisan cooperation on the side of the Republicans.  And by bipartisan he means just giving the Democrats what they want.  Just to give up their core beliefs.  And vote for things that violate everything they stand for.

It’s the conservatives that really annoy him.  And Democrats in general.  Especially Tea Party conservatives.  Who just won’t buckle under.  And give the Democrats what they want.  Like the Republican establishment.  RINOs.  Who like the ruling class in Washington.  And want to be a part of it.  Unlike those Tea Party conservatives.  Who sound like a broken record.  We need limited government.  And lower tax rates.  Not an expanding federal government.  Paid for with higher tax rates.  And their opposition to Obamacare despite it being law really gets stuck in their craw.

President Obama’s reelection was a mandate.  At least that’s what the Democrats thought.  That the people approved of the president.  And everything he did in his first term.  That shellacking the Democrats took in the 2010 midterm elections?  Causing the rise of the Tea Party in the first place?  Because of those backroom deals?  That the Democrats made to pass Obamacare into law?  That was just an anomaly.  It meant nothing.  That was only some tin-hat wearing crazy people.  Tea-baggers, they called them.  No.  Real America reelected President Obama.  Because they wanted him to do more.  So the conservatives should just accept that.  And rubberstamp everything the Democrats want.  Just like they did for George W. Bush.

Based on the Demographic Numbers one Must Question if the Obama Presidency is Legitimate

Oh, wait a minute, they didn’t do that.  They fought him relentlessly.  Especially after the Democrats won big in the 2006 midterm elections.  Taking back both the House.  And the Senate.  For they hated George W. Bush.  And never accepted him as legitimate.  What with the debacle of the 2000 election.  Where to this day they say the Republicans stole that election.  Thanks to the Supreme Court.  Making Al Gore a millionaire in the process.  Peddling his global warming fear.  But poor Al Gore got robbed in 2000.  Because the Republicans cheated.  And suppressed voter turnout.  The only way Republicans can win elections.  Or so say the Democrats.

Of course the numbers don’t agree with that.  The demographics.  Then.  And now.  In 2001 liberals were at 17%.  Moderates at 38%.  And conservatives at 43%.  Today liberals rose to 20%.  Moderates fell to 32%.  And conservatives rose to 46%.  Conservatives are the majority.  Then.  And now.  (See In U.S., Nearly Half Identify as Economically Conservative posted 5/25/2012 on Gallup).  So conservatives can win elections.  Based on these numbers.  And should be able to do so easier than liberals.  So it must be the liberals.  They must be the ones cheating.  And suppressing voter turnout.

So Bush was legitimate.  Based on the numbers.  And it is doubtful the people want the Republicans to rollover.  Or rubberstamp the Democrat agenda.  For they did retain the House in 2012.  As they should have won the Senate.  And the White House.  Based on the horrible economy.  The killing of 4 Americans in Benghazi.  And Obamacare.  That the majority just doesn’t want.  Which begs the question.  Is the Obama presidency legitimate?

This Bipartisan Spirit of the Left is Fear and Intimidation of their Political Opponents

So how did President Obama win reelection?  And how did the Democrats hold onto the Senate?  Well, there was the mainstream media.  Which is liberal.  Following in the tradition of their godfather.  Walter Cronkite.  Only out of the closet.  For there are no closet liberals these days.  There’s Hollywood.  Television.  The music industry.  The public schools.  And our universities.  All liberal.  Just a small sliver of the population.  But a highly leveraged sliver.  As they have greatly amplified voices.  Which gives them legitimacy.  As television and movies sway a lot of people.  Especially the young.  Who our teachers program in our public schools.  And our professors brainwash in our universities.  Despite all of this, though, we’re still a conservative people.  While liberals still hold at 20%.  So there must be something else.

Which brings us back to cheating.  And voter suppression.  Liberals hate the Tea Party.  And conservatives.  Blaming them for their loss of the House.  In that 2010 shellacking.  Ever since then liberals have slandered the Tea Party.  Called them racists.  And every other dirty name in the book.  Including tea baggers.  They hated these people.  And were not going to allow a repeat of 2010.  With President Obama in the White House it put the liberals in charge of the executive branch of government.  Giving them power.  Which they used.  By having the most feared agency of the federal government harass the conservatives.  Especially the Tea Party.  As groups applied for tax-exempt status the IRS harassed them.  Asking them for a lot information.  Personal information.  That they could use against them.  Such as releasing the names of their major donors to liberal websites.  Who destroyed and intimidated these donors as best as they could.  Some of these people faced costly audits by the IRS.  Even suffered through costly audits from the Labor Department.  The message was clear.  If you tried to exercise your First Amendment right against the Obama administration beware.  For you will feel the wrath of the federal government.  Muzzling the opposition.  Making it easier to win.  Despite the horrible economy.  Benghazi.  And Obamacare.

This is the bipartisan spirit of the left.  Fear and intimidation.  And when that doesn’t work they speak in an exasperated voice.  Of Republicans.  And their refusal to work with the Democrats.  In a bipartisan manner.  Expressing their frustration.  That 46% of the population won’t just give in to 20% of the population.  Giving up their core beliefs.  And to just vote for things that violate everything they stand for.  Something the Democrats never did for George W. Bush.  But it is a moral outrage when the Republicans won’t do it for President Obama.

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No Money for White House Tours but Plenty of Money to give Illegal Aliens Food Stamps

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 28th, 2013

Week in Review

The sequester has hit America hard.  A reduction in the growth of future expenditures has caused the White House to stop public tours of the people’s house.  And it caused the furlough of numerous air traffic controllers.  Leading to long lines at airports.  And cancelled flights.  That just shows you how painful a cut in the growth rate of future expenditures can be.  They caused cuts in actual current spending.  Because there is just not an extra dime the government can spare to keep the White House open for tours.  Or to keep air traffic controllers at their jobs.  But there’s tons of spare cash lying around for this apparently (see Shocking US government leaflet tells Mexican immigrants they can collect food stamp benefits without admitting they’re in the country illegally posted 4/26/2013 on the Daily Mail).

A Spanish-language leaflet that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided to the Mexican Embassy in Washington advises border-crossing Mexicans that they can collect taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits for their children without admitting that they’re illegal immigrants.

Underlined and in boldface type, the document tells immigrants who are unlawfully in the United States that, ‘You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.’

The Agriculture Department says SNAP benefits are only to be distributed to U.S. citizens and other legal residents. On its website, it acknowledges an education ‘partnership’ with the Mexican government, but insists that its aim is to help educate only ‘eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States’ about nutrition benefits for which they might qualify.

Judicial Watch obtained the Spanish language leaflet through a Freedom of Information Act request. An attached email dates the document to March 2009, just months after President Barack Obama took office.

In an email, a spokesperson for the SNAP program told The Daily Caller, which first reported on the leaflet, that “non-citizens who are unlawfully present, are not, nor have they ever been, eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits…

And in a March 2012 communication, Judicial Watch said, the USDA asked the Mexican Embassy to approve a letter addressed to that country’s 50 consulates. That letter encouraged staff at those Mexican diplomatic missions to learn in another webinar how to encourage more of ‘the needy families that the consulates serve’ to enroll in the SNAP program.

Judicial Watch said Thursday that the 2012 document did not discriminate between legal US residents and illegal immigrants.

So Americans can’t visit the White House.  And can’t get on an airplane because the sequester cancelled that flight.  But we can have illegal immigrants who are non-citizens in the country unlawfully sign up for food stamps.  Kind of tells you where the administration is when it comes to immigration reform.  Instead of controlling the border they’re telling them to come on up.  Free food stamps for everyone.  But you may not be able to catch a flight once you’re in the country.  Or visit the White House.  For these costs are too great to include in the current budget.

Is it me?  Or is there something wrong with that?

Why are they doing this?  Simple.  These aren’t illegal aliens waiting for a pathway to citizenship.  These are future Democrat voters.  And President Obama wants them voting in U.S. elections as soon as possible.  For with only about 20% of the population identifying themselves as liberals while some 40% identify themselves as conservative they have to buy as many votes as they can.  And they’re hoping these soon-to-be citizens will remember who their benefactor was when they enter the voting booth.  To tip the balance of power towards the Democrats.  So they can enact their liberal agenda the majority of the people don’t want.  That’s why.

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A Government Shutdown over the Budget Debate would be Transparent, unlike this Current White House

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 7th, 2011

It is interesting the doom and gloom the White House is warning us about a potential government shutdown.  But as they make their case, it seems less doom and gloom and more of a good thing.  The truth is most of us wouldn’t even notice it.  And we’d save a lot of money we don’t even need to spend (see White House says shutdown will delay pay to troops by Richard Lardner and Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press, posted 4/7/2011 on Yahoo! News).

The Obama administration warned Wednesday that a federal shutdown would undermine the economic recovery, delay pay to U.S. troops fighting in three wars, slow the processing of tax returns and limit small business loans and government-backed mortgages during peak home buying season.

No worries here.  There is no recovery.  At least nothing worth saving.  We’ll pay the troops.  This is more of a scare tactic to scare the military wives.  Some of us may have to wait longer to write a check to the IRS for our income tax.  Those who do I’m sure will manage.  Small business loans?  Government shouldn’t be making loans.  That’s why we have banks.  And government-backed mortgages?  Really?  Come on, it was the government-backed loans that got us in the mess we’re in.  The subprime mortgage crisis wouldn’t have happened if the government wasn’t backing loans in the first place.

The dire message, delivered two days before the federal government’s spending authority expires, appeared aimed at jolting congressional Republicans into a budget compromise.

To jolt the Republicans?  Compromise is a two-way street.  Why is always the Republicans who are stubborn?  Why isn’t the other side, the stubborn side, stubborn?  What happened to President Obama’s debt commission?  The Republican budget isn’t asking more than Obama’s highly esteemed debt commission that Obama has filed away in the round file.  For he never had any intentions of making any cuts.  Because Democrats don’t make cuts.  They just talk about them.  So people can see that they’re serious.  And when people lost interest, bang went the debt commission’s report into the trash.

As the talks continued, the White House sought to put the prospect of a shutdown in terms people would care about, warning even that the beloved National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in the nation’s capital would be wiped out. The Smithsonian Institution and national parks around the country would also be closed.

Life’s hard.  People are dying in genocide in Libya (according to the Obama administration).  If it’s not quite genocide then let’s call it civil war.  And there’s a lot of that going around.  In the grand scheme of things, missing the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade just doesn’t seem as great a disaster as wholesale death and destruction.

Under long-standing federal rules, agencies would not be affected that provide for U.S. national security, dispense most types of federal benefit payments, offer inpatient medical care or outpatient emergency care, ensure the safe use of food and drugs, manage air traffic, protect and monitor borders and coastlines, guard prisoners, conduct criminal investigations and law enforcement, oversee power distribution and oversee banks.

That sure sounds like we’ll be paying our soldiers.  They’re providing national security.  And if Libya is a vital national security interest, so are the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If we don’t pay our military it is nothing more than a cheap partisan trick to scare people into hating Republicans.  No, it seems like we’ll pay most of the ‘important’ things in the event of a shutdown.  Other than parks and Cherry Blossom Festivals.

Mail deliveries would continue in the event of a shutdown. U.S. postal operations are not subsidized by tax dollars.

Really?  Our tax dollars don’t subsidize the U.S. Postal Service?  That same postal service that hasn’t shown an operating profit since I don’t know when?  Really?  Since when?  But I digress.  The important thing is that the mail will keep coming during a shutdown.

According to the shutdown scenario described by the administration, the government would have to significantly cut staffing across the executive branch, including workers at the White House and civilian employees at the Defense Department; close to 800,000 workers would be affected. Congress and the federal court system will also be subject to a shutdown.

Good.  Make Thomas Jefferson happy.  Well, make his spirit happy.  Cut the executive branch.  It has grown way beyond what any of the Founding Fathers ever envisioned.  I doubt if Alexander Hamilton would even approve of its size today.  Though he would be pretty impressed with the power of the military, though.  But that’s a different story.  Let’s slash the executive branch for awhile and see if anyone notices.  If not, here’s a chance for some real budget cutting.  Let’s make these cuts permanent.

At the Pentagon, defense officials were finalizing plans that would lay out how the department would deal with a shutdown. But they already have acknowledged that U.S. military troops — including those in war zones — would receive one week’s pay instead of two in their next paycheck if the government were to close.

Military personnel at home and abroad would continue to earn pay, but they wouldn’t get paychecks until there was a budget agreement and government operations resumed.

Cheap partisan scare tactics.  Whenever a government can’t get the tax increases they want, they threaten the teachers, cops, firemen and, now, the military, in a childish tantrum.  Gimme want I want or I will cut the things that are important to you.  Those things that, if cut, puts you into peril.  How do you like that, hmmm?

What makes this worse is that they’ll enjoy not paying the military.  They don’t like them.  Never have.  In fact, they almost regret repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because it took away their go-to excuse to keep these people off of their Ivy League campuses.

Key national security responsibilities, including operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and earthquake assistance to Japan, would not be interrupted by a shutdown, the Pentagon said.

So are they paying them?  Or just making them work without a paycheck?  Maybe our soldiers should go on strike.  Like the teachers.  To prevent unfair treatment.  You have to admit being forced into combat operations without pay is worse than being asked to contribute another fewer percentage points to your own health care.  Of course, these aren’t the same.  The Obama administration would not stand by and allow teachers to suffer an outrage like paying for their own health care.  Soldiers in combat?  The hell with them.

Social Security payments would continue to be delivered, and applications for benefits would continue to be processed, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said.

Yes, they will sacrifice the soldiers.  And why not?  Most of them vote Republican.  But senior citizens?  Dependent on Social Security?  That’s another story.  Anyone dependent on the federal government votes to keep federal government big, i.e., they vote Democrat.  So the seniors get paid.  Always.  Unless the Republicans can be blamed.

Medicare would still pay medical claims for its 48 million recipients, who are mainly seniors but also several million younger people who are permanently disabled or have kidney failure. Payments to doctors, hospitals and other service providers could be delayed, however, should a shutdown continue for several months.

Sacrifice the soldiers (many of who vote Republicans).  Protect the seniors (many of who vote Democrat).

The Obama administration said the impact on the housing market would be more severe than in 1995, the last time there was a government shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration accounts for 30 percent of the mortgage market, nearly three times the amount 16 years ago.

And the greatest financial crisis ever (the subprime mortgage crisis) to hit the United States happened after the government backed three times as many mortgages than they did in 1995.  Having the government stop backing mortgages is a good thing.

The nation’s 15,700 air traffic controllers would keep working, as would many of the Federal Aviation Administration’s 6,100 technicians who install and maintain the equipment for the nation’s air traffic control system.

The planes will still fly in the event of a shutdown.

Operation of the International Space Station would be unaffected. NASA’s Mission Control in Houston would continue to work around the clock to keep watch.

Soldiers, no.  Astronauts, yes.  Even though the International Space Station is international.  With other nations ‘watching’ the station.  And our astronauts often catch a ride with the Russians on their Soyuz rockets.  So the space coalition could survive a few months easily without us.

Among other consequences cited by the administration:

_The Environmental Protection Agency would cease issuing permits and stop reviewing environmental impact statements, which would slow the approval of projects.

_Most government websites would not be updated, unless they were deemed essential.

_Federal courts would be unable to hear cases as clerks, stenographers, bailiffs, security guards and other employees would not be at work.

At most these are inconveniences.  Unlike the out of control spending that can “herald the end of the republic.”  As Benjamin Franklin warned us about when people learned they can vote themselves money.  And that’s where we are.  They’ve learned.  And have.  Franklin’s prophetic warning is about to play out if we don’t stop spending.  This is the choice.  Keep spending and end the republic.  Or make some serious cuts.

The Democrats have not presented a budget as called for in the Constitution since before the last election season.  Why?  It wouldn’t help them win any elections.  Further out of control spending would show them as irresponsible.  Responsible spending cuts would anger their voting base.  So they abdicated their constitutional responsibility.  They punted.  Now they’re trying to run out the clock with the Republicans on offense.  Positioning them to look like the bad guys.  No matter what happens.  Pain now (cuts).  Or greater pain later (no cuts).  It will be the Republicans’ fault.  Because they’re acting like the grownups here.  While the Democrats play their childish, partisan games.  And when the Democrats break the nation with their spending, like a child they’ll say it wasn’t them.   It was the big elephant in the room.  The big GOP elephant.

But what will the Democrats do if they win this showdown?  What will become of our country?  For if they don’t cut spending they will have to raise taxes.  But not by a little bit.  For the spending cuts proffered by the Republicans still aren’t large enough to solve the impending entitlement crisis.  So if there are no spending cuts the increase in taxes will have to be huge.  Bigger than the dollars in the current debate.  So big that they will truly undermine the anemic economic recovery underway.  Pulling the nation into a deeper recession.  So deep that we may never pull out without even more ‘draconian’ spending cuts.

In the grand scheme of things, a government shutdown is the least of our worries.

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LESSONS LEARNED #38: “Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 4th, 2010

Liars Lie

Lying works.  Political spin.  Poetic license.  Fibbing.  Slander.  Libel.  Call it what you’d like.  Politicians lie.  Because it works.  Especially when you can’t win in the arena of ideas.  If they can’t win the philosophical debate what do our politicians do?  Attack the messenger, not the message.  If the history doesn’t validate their policies what do they do?  Revise history.  It never changes.  The only thing that does is the people hearing the lies.

Presidents may dream, but the House of Representatives controls the purse.  That’s why there are numerous battles between Capitol Hill and the White House.  Between Speakers of the House and presidents.  Some of the big partisan battles in recent times?  Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan.  Tom Foley and George H.W. Bush.  Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.  Nancy Pelosi and George W. Bush.  When different political parties hold the White House and the Hill, the partisanship escalates.  And the lies get more brazen.  Especially on the political fringe.

Some lies bordered on the ridiculous.  Like Ronald Reagan created AIDS to kill homosexuals.  That George H. W. Bush flew to Iran on an SR-71 to meet secretly with the Iranians during the 1980 presidential campaign.  Why?  To negotiate with the Iranians to keep the American hostages until after the election.  That George W. Bush blew up the Twin Towers to start a war that would let him invade Iraq.  No doubt there was some political damage from these lies.  But the lasting damage from these ridiculous lies pale in comparison to the Big Lies that the Left perpetuates to this day.

Trickle-Down Economics

Ronald Reagan was president from 1981 until 1989.  When he entered office, the economy was in the toilet.  Double digit inflation.  Double digit interest rates.  Unemployment at 7.1%.  Reagan wanted to cut taxes and spending.  The Democrat controlled Congress wanted to increase federal spending to ‘stimulate’ the economy (ala Keynesian economics).  The Congress fought him.  But Reagan used the bully pulpit and appealed directly to the American people.  They liked his message which brought pressure down on Congress.  They gave a little.  Reagan got his tax cuts.  The top marginal rate went from 70% down to 28% by the time he left office.  The result?  The economy boomed.  They call it the Decade of Greed.  Because we were very materialistic and greedy.  And people lived well.

Yes, but at what cost?  That’s what the Left always says to refute Reaganomics.  What they deride as trickle-down economics.  They point to military spending.  They point to Reagan’s deficit spending.  And the growing federal debt.  The Left says this is what Reagan’s tax cuts have given us.  Growth and prosperity at the expense of future generations.  Which is perhaps the greatest lie of the 20th century.  But because the Left has repeated it so often, a lot of people accept it as fact.  Even though the numbers refute this grand lie.

When Reagan entered office, federal tax receipts were $517 billion.  When he left office in 1989, federal tax receipts were $991 billion.  This is an increase of 91.7%.  Or, to look at in another way, tax receipts in 1989 were 1.9 times the amount they were in 1980.  That’s almost double.  So, despite the great lie of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts did NOT cause deficits or increase the debt.  Cuts in the tax rates brought MORE money into the federal treasury.  Excessive federal spending caused the deficits.  Federal spending increased from $590.9 billion in 1980 to $1,143.7 billion in 1989.  That’s a 93.6% increase.  Spending, too, almost doubled.  In other words, spending increased 1.9% more than tax receipts by the end of Reagan’s second term.  Washington was awash in money.  They just spent it faster than it came in.

Blame the excessive spending on Cold War defense spending or domestic spending.  The point is moot.  Because it doesn’t change the fundamental truth that Reagan’s tax cuts INCREASED federal tax receipts.  Or the lesson learned that tax cuts stimulate the economy.  Anyone saying otherwise is lying and trying to revise history.

Wither on the Vine

The Reagan decade ended prosperously.  Reaganomics were a success.  Which was a threat to those with a vested interest in Big Government.  But people liked Reagan.  And only agreed to vote for George H.W. Bush when he made the infamous ‘read my lips – no new taxes’ campaign pledge.  But Bush was no Reagan.  He wasn’t as conservative.  Or as charismatic.  He couldn’t sell conservative America (center-right) his less than conservative policies (center-left).  The Left, seeing he was no Reagan, maneuvered him into a position favorable to them on the deficit.  The Republicans wanted to cut spending.  The Democrats, of course, wanted to raise taxes.  And with the Democrats in control of the House, he caved.  He raised taxes.  And when he did, he became a one-term president.  The American people were so angry when he reneged on his ‘read my lips – no new taxes’ pledge, the third party candidate in the 1992 presidential campaign, Ross Perot, got 18.9% of the popular vote.  No third party candidate did better.  Exit polling shows he drew equally from both Bush and Clinton, though only 20% of his voters were liberal.  The rest were conservatives and moderates.  Perot brought a carnival atmosphere to the campaign.  Charts and props made for good TV.  This spectacle, though, drew critical attention away from Clinton’s past.  Parts of which moderates would have found objectionable.

Clinton ran as a centrist.  He lied.  As liberals are wont to do during a campaign in a center-right country.  Once in office, he swung to the left.  The American people were angry.  As people are wont to be when lied to.  At the 1994 midterm elections, the people spoke.  And gave both houses of Congress to the Republicans.  Newt Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.  He co-authored the Contract with America which was a Republican pledge to return America to a conservative path.  It appealed to the American people.  It’s what swept the Republicans into power.  And it scared the Left.  So they attacked it.  Called it the Contract on America.  And they attacked Newt Gingrich.  With a vengeance.

In 1995, Gingrich discussed an alternative to Medicare.  Number crunchers projected Medicare (and Social Security) to go into the red a decade or two out.  Medicare (and Social Security) is a big federal expenditure and a political third rail.  The Left uses the elderly as political pawns whenever they can.  Because that’s what Big Government does.  Get people dependent on Big Government and then scare the hell out of them by saying the Right wants to take their benefits away.  Gingrich was discussing high-deductible health insurance plans and tax free Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).  The MSAs included an annual federal subsidy for seniors.  The plan would be appealing to seniors, Gingrich thought, because they could get better health care coverage with a private plan.  The MSAs and the federal subsidies would make it affordable.  Better care without paying more.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Once people made this choice voluntarily, they would move out of Medicare into a private plan.  Those comments in 1995 included this:

What do you think the Health Care Financing Administration is? It’s a centralized command bureaucracy. . . . Now, we don’t get rid of it in round one because we don’t think that that’s politically smart and we don’t think that that’s the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it’s going to wither on the vine because we think people are voluntarily going to leave it — voluntarily.

Wither on a vine?  Talk about a hanging softball.  There was no way the Democrats weren’t going to whack that one out of the park.  It quickly became ‘Medicare benefits’ and NOT the inefficient ‘centralized command bureaucracy’ that was going to wither on the vine.  The Left ran with it.  Another grand lie.  Repeated it at nauseam.  And scared the seniors.  Gingrich’s days were numbered.  And Clinton had a new enemy to demonize.  Which came in handy when no one wanted his policies.

The Lies that Keep on Giving

Big Government depends on getting as many people dependent on government as possible.  Medicare (and Social Security) is one program that does this very well.  And when Gingrich dared to threaten it, they destroyed him.  With a grand lie.  Like the grand lie that tax cuts stimulate deficits, not the economy.  Perpetuating these lies enables unsustainable government spending.  Threatens the future of all Americans.  And the longer it takes for the truth to come out, the deeper the hole we dig ourselves into.

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