The Patriot Post Digest
“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” –Thomas Jefferson
Government & Politics
Happy Income Redistribution Day
It seems that Barack Obama’s small and insular circle of advisers has determined that his best shot at re-election lies in fomenting class warfare at every turn. Obama has always been a shameless class warrior, but he has ratcheted up the rhetoric of late, particularly on his beloved “Buffett Rule” — and just in time for Income Redistribution Day.
Speaking about the Buffett Rule, which says that all millionaires must pay at least 30 percent in taxes, the president compared himself with a predecessor who called for “tax fairness” and reform. “That wild-eyed socialist tax-hiking class warrior,” said Obama, “was Ronald Reagan. If it will help convince folks in Congress to make the right choice we could call it the Reagan Rule instead of the Buffett Rule.” Even The Washington Post couldn’t abide that disingenuous comparison, pointing out that “Reagan was barnstorming the country in an effort to reduce taxes for all Americans, mainly by cutting rates, simplifying the tax system and eliminating tax shelters that allowed some people to avoid paying any taxes at all. In other words, Reagan was pushing for a tax cut for everyone, not just an increase on a few.”
On the other hand, Obama admitted that the Buffett Rule, which would raise no more than $5 billion a year and have virtually no affect on the deficit, is nothing more than a gimmick. “There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit.’ Well, I agree.” Indeed, he says it’s about “fairness,” not sound tax or economic policy. But his campaign website says, “The Buffett Rule would reduce the deficit.” So, which is it?
Other examples of his classism include decrying those who would defund “investments” government makes in “education, research and health care” in order to “turn those into tax cuts, especially for the wealthy.” Again, as if in the natural order it’s the government’s money. He lamented, “The gap between those at the very, very top and everybody else keeps growing wider and wider and wider and wider,” which is both untrue and not the government’s responsibility to fix even if it were. He denied, however, that government “investments” were some sort of “socialist dream.”
Finally, he told a room full of wealthy donors, “If we’re going to keep giving somebody like me or some of the people in this room tax breaks that we don’t need and we can’t afford, then one of two things happens: Either you’ve got to borrow more money to pay down a deeper deficit, or … you’ve got to tell seniors to pay a little bit more for their Medicare. You’ve got to tell the college student, ‘We’re going to have to charge you higher interest rates on your student loan.’ … That’s not right.”
There’s so much that’s not right about that statement, but, in honor of Income Redistribution Day, here are a few things government “invests” in that are so crucial that Obama “can’t afford” to let you keep your money. We already have to work until April 17 just to pay for the cost of government, which just happens to be the same day returns are due, but Obama needs more of our money for these special things.
Solar Trust of America, a solar energy company in California, was unable to meet its payment obligations for another Energy Department “green energy” loan, and instead filed for bankruptcy, leaving $2.1 billion for taxpayers to cover. Solyndra, of course, has been the administration’s poster child, but this failed energy policy seems to lead, every week, to a new bankruptcy for an alternative energy producer on the federal dole. Undeterred, the administration announced that there is even more “green loan” money to be had.
According to Yahoo News, “American taxpayers own close to 200,000 vacant houses, and over the next year they will spend more than $40 million just to mow lawns at these properties. Taxpayers also foot the bills to paint walls, fix cabinets, plant flowers and more — expenses that just last year, exceeded a half a billion dollars. … [N]ow Americans are spending hundreds of millions more fixing up foreclosed homes to try and sell them.” And here you thought all those home improvement projects were going to have to wait for a better economy.
In 2002, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) bought a carwash for $1.3 million, but he has missed a few payments and now owes $1.5 million on the property including unpaid interest and late fees. However, because the Small Business Administration (SBA) backed the loan, if it goes bad now, taxpayers will get to cover $1.1 million of that debt. Anybody need a car wash on the way to the home improvement store?
Finally, speaking of waste, the Obama administration committed $5 million to a project building a “biogas anaerobic digester,” which will use cow manure to heat an ethanol plant. The project will create 15 permanent jobs, thereby overwhelming the job market with manure.
We have barely scratched the surface. While the government wastes our money by the trillions, it’s never enough for Obama and Company. Meanwhile, often overlooked is the fact that all Congress has to do is nothing for a $500 billion tax hike to hit every taxpayer on Jan. 1, 2013. All this may be why Income Redistribution Day yields a far higher rate of car accidents.
Quote of the Week
“Our fiscal commitments are unsustainable over the long run, but we cannot put our long-run fiscal challenges above all others. We have to be willing to do things, not just cut things.” –Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
Yes, heaven forbid we cut lawn mowing, car washes and cow manure from the federal budget.
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Hope ‘n’ Change: The ObamaCare Money Hole
A new report on ObamaCare spending released by Charles Blahous, the Republican trustee for Medicare and Social Security, finds that the massive new entitlement will add somewhere between $340 billion and $530 billion to the federal deficit by 2021. When the law was passed in 2010, its supporters maintained that it would cut deficits by $132 billion. In fact, Obama promised a Joint Session of Congress in 2009, “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Technically, he was correct — ObamaCare won’t add one dime to the deficit; it will add trillions of them.
The discrepancy between the early cost-savings claims and what Blahous discovered lay in the original double-counting method used to estimate costs. ObamaCare supposedly provided $575 billion in Medicare savings to keep the entitlement from becoming insolvent by 2016, and allegedly securing its solvency up to 2029. However, the money saved was counted toward both supporting Medicare beneficiaries and expanding ObamaCare to the uninsured starting in 2014. In other words, the same money was pledged to two separate things, and though it looked good on paper to Democrats and their media sycophants, in reality it leaves a titanic funding gap.
The IRS won’t have to worry about a lack of funding, though, as the Obama administration has given America’s tax collector $500 million to implement ObamaCare. These funds will be used to hire enough IRS agents to ensure all Americans have exercised their patriotic responsibility — to purchase health insurance or else. The $500 million comes out of a $1 billion general fund held by Health and Human Services for ObamaCare implementation. The fund, which has no public accounting, was established when the law passed and is already nearly empty. An upright administration might wait to see how the Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the law before investing so much money on enforcing it, but then again, an upright administration wouldn’t have created the law in the first place. And one wonders: What do IRS agents have to do with health care?
Campaign Trail: Santorum Leaves the Race
Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign this week, thus making Mitt Romney the all-but-certain GOP nominee. Santorum’s decision was based on a number of factors, most recently his youngest daughter’s hospitalization due to Trisomy 18, a rare genetic disorder for which she has already beaten the odds. Santorum is a family man first, and our prayers go out for him and his family. He was also facing a potentially devastating blow in the upcoming primary in his home state of Pennsylvania. The contest was a must-win for him, but Romney’s recent surge in the polls put that victory in doubt.
The RNC delegate count currently puts Romney at 573, half the magic 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Since Santorum suspended his campaign rather than quitting outright, he can keep his 202 delegates, though it’s uncertain what will ultimately happen to them. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both made appeals to Santorum supporters, each claiming to be the only true conservative still in the race. Paul has yet to win a single contest, but his dedicated followers will stick with the movement candidate to accomplish the goal of influence in the party. Gingrich likewise maintains that he will campaign to the end in an attempt to influence the party platform, even though he has admitted that Romney will likely win the nomination.
It’s time for Republicans to stop self-destructing and rally around Romney. Bizarre though it may be, Barack Obama will be tough to beat, and he shouldn’t be allowed to coast to re-election because his opponent comes from a fractured party.
This Week’s ‘Braying Jenny’ Award
“[Mitt Romney’s] wife has actually never worked a day in her life.” –CNN pundit Hilary Rosen
First, we’ll let Mrs. Romney respond for herself: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.” Indeed, if ever there was a “war on women,” it’s the Left’s constant attacks on women who stay home to raise their children, especially with their implication that doing so isn’t harder work than most other jobs. And Mrs. Romney did it while battling multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.
Rosen stubbornly stuck to her insulting assault, even bemoaning later that she was the victim of vicious attacks on Twitter. She also said, “It is a wonderful luxury to have the choice [to stay home]. But let’s stipulate that it is NOT a choice that most women have in America today.” How insulting to suggest that all women who stay home have the luxury of doing so when most families make great sacrifices to have a stay-at home Mom. She then denied that the White House is even using or is in any way to blame for the phrase “war on women.” Ludicrous.
Keep digging, Hilary — you’re a big help to Romney’s campaign. In fact, Barack and Michelle Obama, Joe Biden and David Axelrod all threw Rosen under the bus. She soon issued the standard politico non-apology apology, which only served to reiterate her argument and excoriate Republicans for their “phony war.”
Ironically, Obama himself just said this week that, when his children were younger, Michelle worked outside the home because they didn’t have “luxury for her not to work.” According to CNS News, “In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.” What was that about luxury?
Speaking of the Obama war on women, a new study finds that women employees in the White House make 18 percent less than male employees. Just saying.
From the Left: How to Use Voter and Donor Fraud to Win
Intrepid political rabble rouser James O’Keefe (he of ACORN video fame) and his Project Veritas group put District of Columbia voter registration rules to the test during the April 3 primary, somewhat humorously disproving Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that voter fraud is not a problem. In O’Keefe’s new video, a young man went into Holder’s polling place, claimed he was Holder and gave the polling worker Holder’s address. The worker promptly offered the man Holder’s ballot without asking for ID. When the man volunteered to produce ID, the worker advised that it wasn’t necessary, which is true in DC and a number of states. The man didn’t take or cast the ballot, having proved that voter fraud is possible.
Project Veritas has documented how easy voter fraud is on a number of occasions, demonstrating that dead people can vote in New Hampshire, and that people using celebrity names can vote in Minnesota. Both states have begun creating voter ID laws in response. Holder’s Department of Justice stubbornly maintains that these laws are a “solution in search of a problem,” and that there is no proof that voter fraud affects elections. To the contrary, Project Veritas has shown that in the absence of voter ID requirements, voter fraud is quite easy to commit. The DOJ’s response to Holder’s being a potential direct victim of voter fraud was to claim that this episode was “manufactured” and therefore proves nothing. In their view, if no one talks about the problem, then there won’t be a problem.
The Obama campaign has been similarly unconcerned about the identity of its donors. In 2008, it was discovered that the Obama campaign’s online donation system didn’t match the names of donors to the credit or debit cards that were used to make the donations. A number of specious transactions occurred, including the use of a stolen identity to make a $174,800 donation. The Obama campaign maintained at the time that it was preferable to scan for fraud after the money was already received, but doing so would not prevent such activity. They also claimed that they didn’t have the technical capability to put identity checks into the donation process, which must come as a surprise to anyone who has ever made an online financial transaction.
Secure transaction technology was in place long before the 2008 campaign, and the campaign had to weaken the security wall deliberately to make it possible for open donations. After the 2008 election, the Federal Elections Commission conducted an audit of the Obama campaign that amounted to nothing, but the Obama re-election team vowed to play by the book in the future anyway. So we can all rest easy. Right?
Unemployment Number Is Lower — So Why Are More Out of Workforce?
The numbers may not lie, but they can be used to mislead. While the headlines crowed that the unemployment rate continued its slow decline, falling to 8.2 percent in March, this number obscures the truth. Unemployment figures result from the growing number of adults not in the workforce — now at an all-time high of 88 million, or greater than the population of Germany. The Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged the number of jobs created in March as 120,000. That’s a slower pace than the one established over the first two months of the year and not enough to meet the demand for new jobs needed just by our growing population. While the number outside the workforce is swelled by those who have retired, are in college, or the like, it also includes more and more able-bodied adults who simply can’t find work.
Those who separate themselves from the job market aren’t counted against the unemployment rate. While it’s true that some jobs are being created, the bottom is falling out of the market more quickly — only 64 percent of adults are participating in the workforce, the lowest figure in 30 years. This sleight-of-hand is one reason why Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is sponsoring the REAL Unemployment Calculation Act, a bill that would change the reporting procedures to include disaffected workers. If that number were used, March unemployment would be 9.6 percent instead of the reported 8.2 percent.
Regardless of the reason, those who have a personal unemployment rate of 100 percent are truly hurting in this job market. With a weak European economy and high oil prices contributing to America’s sluggish job creation — not to mention the current occupant of the Oval Office — a significant segment of the population may find themselves jobless for a long time to come.
Regulatory Commissars: Drilling Down to Truth
The chickens have finally come home to roost on Barack Obama’s drilling moratorium. This week the House Natural Resources Committee, tired of begging the Department of the Interior to justify its ban on drilling in the Gulf, issued a subpoena demanding documents relevant to that decision. The ban was issued after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, allegedly to protect the devastated Gulf region. Studies have shown, however, that the ban has done nothing of the sort. According to Greater New Orleans, Inc, 76 percent of area businesses have lost cash revenues and 41 percent are not showing a profit at all. Two years later, the moratorium continues to have negative effects, not only on the Gulf, but on businesses across the nation.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar responded to the subpoena by stating that he is “very comfortable” with the decision to impose the ban, and that the Committee is running a “distraction in the name of politics.” This of course is code for “Not during an election year!” The House Committee Chair, Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), would like to know why no scientific, economic or technical analyses were conducted before the ban was imposed. Also curious, although Salazar claimed that the seven members of the National Academy of Engineering supported the ban, they claim that they did not support it and predicted that it would cause even worse economic consequences than the spill itself.
Clearly, Hastings and the others have broken the cardinal rule of the Obama regime: Thou shalt not question his authority. What the administration doesn’t realize is that the American people are only going to put up with bullying, lies and secrecy for so long — we just hope that they’re fed up before November.
White House Walks With the Egyptians
While initially there was hope in some quarters that the ‘Arab Spring’ might usher a free and modern civilization into the Arab Middle East, that hope continues to spring leaks, as hope always does in the Middle East. Egypt, perhaps the most important Arab player rocked by the Arab Spring, is forging ahead with a presidential election this spring. Unfortunately, the choices for Egyptians range from bad to worse.
The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which already leads the Egyptian Parliament, initially pledged not to run a candidate for the presidency, fearing a backlash from the Egyptian military, which is still the real power in Egypt. However, with a very uncertain grip on parliamentary power, the MB decided to run Khairat al-Shater as their candidate. Some believe this move to be a response to fears that the military might use the election to seat a favorite son, Omar Suleiman, Hosni Mubarak’s former intelligence chief, as a pliable president. Not to be outdone, the even more radical Salafists are running Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a hard-line Islamist who wants to abolish the peace treaty with Israel and cites Iran as a successful model. Great choices.
Meanwhile, perhaps realizing that the MB will play at least some part in Egypt for the immediate future, White House officials last week met with MB members in Washington. When asked about this, the thin-skinned White House immediately went on the defensive, pointing out that Republican senators also met with Brotherhood representatives in recent months. A testy Jay Carney, White House press flack, said, “We believe that it is in the interest of the United States to engage with all parties that are committed to democratic principles, especially nonviolence.” We’re not sure what democratic principles the MB are committed to (Sharia, perhaps?), and we’re highly skeptical of their nonviolence since terrorists fired a missile from Egypt into Israel last week. Sadly, the short-lived “Arab Spring” just confirms what realists have predicted for years about the dismal outlook for peace and freedom in the Middle East.
Warfront With Jihadistan: KSM Goes to Trial
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi are headed to trial for their involvement in orchestrating the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 Americans in 2001. All five will be tried together before a military judge in Guantanamo Bay within the next month, and all five face the death penalty.
As noted by The Washington Post, “A military commission trial of the five men began under the Bush administration, but it was stopped by the Obama administration as part of its failed effort to close the detention center at Guantanamo. The five defendants were first charged in 2008, and the case was suspended after Obama came into office.” Obama tried and failed to move the trial to New York City as a criminal case, but the public outcry and political opposition was so great that he was forced to retreat from his retreat. That KSM and his cohorts have yet to come to trial after more than 10 years is a travesty. To be sure, Obama is not fully to blame for that delay, but he bears responsibility for yet another three-plus years going by without justice.
The Trayvon Martin Saga Continues
Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old Florida teen who was killed Feb. 26, quickly became the newest martyr in the Left’s never-ending effort to divide us by race. Special Prosecutor Angela Corey announced Wednesday that second-degree murder charges have been filed against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who allegedly shot Martin during a struggle. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, but if convicted he faces life in prison.
While the court date and prospect for conviction might assuage those who are howling for Zimmerman’s scalp, the evidence for the charge appears to be weak. Beyond that, the whole situation has turned the suburban Florida town of Sanford into a circus. There are apparently inaccurate reports of neo-Nazi patrols in the streets of Sanford, as well as a student protest shutting down the town’s police station. And there’s no question professional race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are creating a racial powder keg that likely influenced Corey’s decision to forego a grand jury and file the second-degree murder charge. She may have feared that no indictment would be brought forth by a jury. We don’t know if Zimmerman, who claims self-defense, is innocent, but isn’t that supposed to be the presumption?
Meanwhile, other race hustlers around the country strutted their bigotry for all to see. After a primary victory to reclaim his seat on the District of Columbia Council, disgraced former mayor Marion Barry blamed Asians for running “dirty shops” in his neighborhood — i.e., employing security measures such as window bars — and ranted that “they ought to go.” Elsewhere, Barack Obama’s pastor of 20 years, the now-retired “Reverend” Jeremiah Wright, returned to the headlines by blasting the “ignorance and arrogance of white supremacy” driving world policy and calling for “restorative justice” against the greedy in a trio of sermons at a West Virginia church. He also claimed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “is worshiping some other God” because he hasn’t fallen into line with Wright’s core beliefs.
Americans need reminding that Barry, Wright, Jackson, Sharpton and all the other race hustlers are stomping on the grave of another black leader who sought an America no longer focused on skin color but the content of character.
Faith and Family: DOMA and Dumb Studies
In yet another attempt to dismantle marriage, a quintet of same-sex couples, each consisting of one U.S. citizen and one non-citizen, recently filed a lawsuit challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), claiming that it is unduly antagonistic toward foreigners. While opposite-sex foreign spouses of American citizens can typically secure green cards — signifying permanent legal residency — same-sex spouses cannot because the federal government does not recognize same-sex unions as marriages. The group representing the couples believes this lawsuit will jump to the forefront of several already challenging DOMA. While the House of Representatives has appointed a legal group to defend DOMA, the president — who is charged constitutionally with enforcing the laws as chief executive — announced that his administration will no longer defend the Act. No shocker there, even though DOMA was passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses and signed into law by Bill Clinton.
Meanwhile, the millions of average Americans who oppose same-sex marriage may actually be closet homosexuals themselves. Or so suggests a study published in this month’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. According to the study, those hostile to homosexuality (anyone who stands for traditional marriage is automatically labeled “hostile” to homosexuality) may harbor repressed same-sex attractions and may have grown up in an authoritarian household — in other words, a household that teaches objective morality. Using this school of psychological analysis, Barack Obama is really a closet conservative.
Climate Change This Week: Polar Bears Far From Extinct
To hear Populist Potentate of Ecotheology Al Gore tell it, the day will soon come when the last Arctic polar bear drowns after the polar ice cap melts away, its native habitat lost forever. Yet reality has a way of biting charlatans like Gore in the rear. A Canadian study on polar bears along the frigid western shore of Hudson Bay showed their numbers are plentiful. “There is no doom and gloom,” said Drikus Gissing, director of wildlife management for the remote Canadian territory of Nunavut. “The bear population is not in crisis as people believed.” In fact, Gissing continued, it’s likely the population may be at an all-time high.
Throwing more ice-cold water on Gore’s theories is a recent assessment by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Their measurements have indicated that the amount of ice floating in the Bering Sea off Alaska is the largest since records began 30 years ago. While the overall amount of Arctic Sea ice is 443,000 square kilometers below the average established by polar researchers, the Antarctic side is running a surplus of 452,000 square kilometers above average. Truly, this is an example of earth in the balance.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are congratulating themselves for the curve ball they threw the Miami Marlins. Yet we’d advise them not to pull a muscle patting themselves on the back. The Marlins sold bricks that could be engraved with various messages to be placed at their new stadium. PETA bought such a brick in order to engrave it with the following ingenious message: “Florida Is Still Hosting Incredible Night Games. Help Us Reach The Stars. Cheer Our Marlins!” That forms an acronym that directs people to the website Fishinghurts.com. PETA argues that fish are intelligent, feel pain and can die even if they are released after being caught, and the group wanted to make a statement through a sports team named after a fish. An encrypted message on an obscure brick — boy, that’ll show ‘em!
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)
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