Why America Is Going Down The Tubes + More

Posted on Mon 10/18/2010 by

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The Patriot Post Brief

The Foundation

“I think all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty.” –Thomas Jefferson

Liberty

2010 Index Of Economic Freedom

“The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations — behind Canada! A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada. Don’t say it’s Barack Obama’s fault. Half the data used in the index is from George W. Bush’s final six months in office. This is a bipartisan problem. For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world’s countries on the basis of their economic freedom — or lack thereof. Ten criteria are used: freedoms related to business, trade, fiscal matters, monetary matters, investment, finance, labor, government spending, property rights and freedom from corruption. The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile. The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea. The index demonstrates what we libertarians have long said: Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment. … Why is the United States falling behind? ‘Our spending has been excessive’ [says Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis]. … ‘We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries … these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries.’ … If we want to reverse America’s decline, we’d better get to work. There’s a lot of government to cut.” –columnist John Stossel

Opinion in Brief

“The political success of liberalism is parasitic, feeding off order and prosperity that the implementation of liberal policies couldn’t possibly create. Bill Clinton’s recent bragging on the campaign trail about the budgets that he balanced in the 1990s is an illustration of this: Where did those budgets come from? Not from the policies of liberalism. Take away the significant reductions in defense spending that came from Ronald Reagan winning the Cold War, the wealth from an entrepreneurial economy that an era of tax cuts generated, and the check on Democratic spending schemes from Newt Gingrich’s Congress, and those budgets would never have been balanced. In his first term, Clinton had every intention of busting the budget with HillaryCare, but he just couldn’t get away it. If Clinton is a ‘successful’ president, as pundits these days insist, that’s because his agenda failed where Obama’s succeeded. By passing ObamaCare and a raft of other bad bills, the Democrats have made it possible for voters to measure liberal rhetoric against the grim realities it produces. The parasite got fat enough to eat the conservative host whole, and now it is dying. … Liberalism normally enjoys the demagogic advantage of appealing to emotion over reason. But in moments of crisis, people want reason over emotion.” –columnist George Neumayr

Government

“Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of ‘greed’ almost never accuse government of greed, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it. … There are escheat laws, under which the government can seize the assets of someone who has died and whose heirs have not claimed those assets after some period of time. The theory is that there is no reason why banks should get that money. On the other hand, there is no reason why politicians should get it either, but the politicians write the laws. … Escheat laws are just one of the ways governments seize money. Income tax rates have been as high as 90 percent in the top brackets. Even after you have paid the taxes on your income and saved or invested part of what is left, the government comes back to take more of that same money, after you die, with estate taxes. Perhaps one of the most unconscionable acts of greed by government is confiscating people’s homes, in order to turn this property over to other people, who are expected to build things that will pay more taxes. … The biggest beneficiaries are the politicians who get a larger amount of tax money to spend in ways that will increase their prospects of getting re-elected. Seldom, if ever, are the people whose homes are destroyed, and whose lives are disrupted, among the affluent or rich. Urban renewal may go through the South Bronx, but not through Beverly Hills. And no one calls it greed.” –economist Thomas Sowell

The Gipper

“We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick — professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, ‘We the people,’ this breed called Americans. Well, this administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunity for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. … All must share in the productive work of this ‘new beginning’ and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.” —Ronald Reagan

Political Futures

“For Obama, the worst result next month might be for Democrats to retain control of both houses of Congress. If they do, their majorities will be paralyzingly small. And their remaining moderates will be more resistant to the liberal leadership: The moderates will have survived not because of, but in spite of, those leaders. Today, if you see Obama in a political ad, you are almost certainly watching a Republican ad. … If Democrats retain control of Congress, Obama will seek re-election while being perceived as responsible for everything in Washington, where everything is perceived to be dysfunctional. And anti-Washington fever may be worse than it is today, because the 2010 elections will not seem to have changed very much. If Democrats lose both houses, Obama will seem repudiated. If they lose neither, he will seem impotent. So, if Democrats lose big, he loses big. If they lose smaller, he loses bigger.” –columnist George Will

Hope Sinks Cartoon

For the Record

“What do you call a Supreme Court that within the last few terms has ruled that carbon dioxide can be regulated as ‘air pollution’ by the Environmental Protection Agency? That gave captured terrorists and enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay the right to petition for release in federal court? That has relied on foreign law when defining provisions of the Constitution? How would you characterize a Supreme Court that said local governments can seize people’s property by eminent domain and turn it over to private developers in order to generate more taxes? That declared it unconstitutional to impose the death penalty for murders committed by killers younger than 18? And that barred the death penalty as well for the rape of young children — a decision that even Barack Obama suggested was too lenient? Well, if you’re the dean of the law school at the University of California-Irvine, you call it ‘the most conservative court since the mid-1930s.’ If you’re NPR’s Nina Totenberg, you say it’s ‘dominated by a new brand of conservative justice.’ … If you’re The New York Times, you label it ‘the Supreme Court that conservatives had long yearned for and that liberals feared.’ The Supreme Court can be something of a Rorschach ink blot: What you see when you look at it may reveal more about you than about any objective reality. … Their job is to ‘faithfully and impartially’ interpret the Constitution, and to ensure equal justice under law. It is their integrity — not their personal political tastes — that we should care about most.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

Faith & Family

“America’s Founding Fathers had differing religious beliefs but a single moral view: They believed that God, who endows all men with certain inalienable rights, has authored an unchanging moral law that all men and all government must obey at all times. Even those Founders who were not Christians believed that this universally applicable moral law — which they believed to be the only legitimate basis for the laws of the state — was reflected in the moral teachings of the Bible. Those teachings include, of course, that it is wrong to take an innocent life and that marriage is between a man and a woman. Because modern American liberals want to destroy innocent life through such practices as abortion and embryonic stem cell research, and because they want men to be able to marry men and women to be able to marry women, they are at war with the moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition that are the foundation of our free society.” –columnist Terence Jeffrey

Reader Comments

“In regard to the Digest story on campaign financing, can anyone tell me for sure that Obamas millions of dollars that he got in 2008 did not come from foreign governments? Especially from the Mid East?” –Robert

“A correction, while not major, still important. The hearing for the Fort Hood killer is correctly called ‘Article 32,’ not ‘Section 32.’ The hearing derives its authority from Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.” –Brian

Editor’s Reply: So noted and so corrected.

“Every so often, what people really think slips out and we see how the mind works. How any congressional representative could say, under any circumstance, that ‘the Constitution is wrong,’ is beyond the pale, since his oath was to uphold and defend the Constitution. He should be immediately removed from office.” –JasRandal

Re: The Left

“Back in January, the president attacked the Supreme Court for ruling that corporations and unions have First Amendment speech rights and pointed to the possibility that foreigners might try to influence American election outcomes. Now he and his spokesmen on the campaign trail and on Sunday interview programs are charging that outfits like the Chamber of Commerce are smuggling foreign money into the campaign. Their evidence? Well, there isn’t much…. But Obama uberadviser David Axelrod says it’s up to the chamber to prove it’s innocent. … There are a couple of odd things here. One is that the 2008 Obama campaign, by deliberately not using the address verification software most enterprises use to determine it’s really your credit card, took in a lot more illegal foreign money than its rivals. The Obama folks may be projecting their own sins on their opponents. The other is that this charge of foreign money doesn’t fit into any familiar political narrative. At least when the Obamaites attack evil rich people, some voters think of 19th-century caricatures of fat cats (and ignore the fact that Obama carried voters with incomes over $200,000 in 2008). … I seem to remember that it was candidate Barack Obama (not John McCain or Hillary Clinton) who gave a big election year speech in the Tiergarten in Berlin. It was Obama cheerleaders who told us that foreigners would love us once again if we sent George W. Bush back to Texas and installed their multicultural champion in the White House. Back in 2008, we were supposed to vote for the candidate foreigners loved. Now, in 2010, we are supposed to vote against the party foreigners support.” –political analyst Michael Barone

The Last Word

“So, who’s left to demonize? The Girl Scouts? Rotary Clubs maybe? We’re running out of devils to distract us. Then again, the Obama administration’s preposterous attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce does nothing to help Democrats and everything to reinforce the moderate voter’s perception that the president’s party has gone bonkers. A recent ad by Democrats makes the charge — dutifully echoed through the blogosphere and by talking heads — that the chamber was part of a cabal out to ‘steal our democracy,’ accepting foreign cash and then using the funds to campaign against candidates on the Left. Though, admittedly, they have no proof of any wrongdoing, Democrats have threatened that investigations will soon uncover this reprehensible criminal activity. Inquiry to come post-election, no doubt. ‘Stealing democracy,’ as you may know, loosely translated, means: Holy crap, Republicans are going to win an election. You’ll also notice that the insidious sway of outside political money always seems to blossom into a critical threat to the future of democracy about the time misguided conservatives start to get the upper hand on Democrats. … But let’s face it; no one is really buying the argument. Though, a perceptive voter might ask himself this: If the United States Chamber of Commerce — composed of some of the most moderate, milquetoast, government-friendly saps in the country — is now on the enemies list, who exactly does the president think is reasonable? If the crony capitalists aren’t good enough for Barack Obama, who is?” –columnist David Harsanyi

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(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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