Tag Archives: George Will

Barack Obama: The Anti-Keynesian?

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New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman thinks Barack Obama is an “anti-Keynesian” when it comes to economic matters.
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PAUL KRUGMAN: Can I just say, on the Reagan thing, if public-sector employment had continued to expand the way it did during Reagan’s first term, instead of falling by about 600,000 as it has, right there we’d have something like 1.4 million people working in this country.

So if you actually look at the actual track record of government spending, government employment, Reagan is the Keynesian and Obama — mostly because of political constraints, although a little bit of lack of conviction on the part of his own people, has been the anti-Keynesian. He’s been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer.

Ronald Reagan was not a Keynesian.  As Milton Friedman noted in his speech at the opening of the Cato Institute in 1993, “Reaganomics had four simple principles: lower marginal tax rates, less regulation, restrained government spending, noninflationary monetary policy.  Four cornerstones that led to the following:

Real economic growth averaged 3.2 percent during the Reagan years versus 2.8 percent during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1 percent during the Bush-Clinton years. Real median family income grew by $4,000 during the Reagan period after experiencing no growth in the pre-Reagan years; it experienced a loss of almost $1,500 in the post-Reagan years. Interest rates, inflation, and unemployment fell faster under Reagan than they did immediately before or after his presidency. The only economic variable that was worse in the Reagan period than in both the pre- and post-Reagan years was the savings rate, which fell rapidly in the 1980s. The productivity rate was higher in the pre-Reagan years but much lower in the post-Reagan years.

Yet, Obama is anti-Keynesian after spending $830 billion dollars on a failed stimulus program that had left the unemployment rate over 8% for over 38 months.  A program that would never allow unemployment to rise above 8% and would produce robust economic growth.  All of this would be induced by deficit spending. The president stated that the stimulus would create 2.5 million “shovel ready jobs” for infrastructure projects.  In fact, in an interview with Peter Baker of The New York Times, the president admitted that “he let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat, realized too late that there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects and perhaps should have let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts in the stimulus.”  In addition, his Vice President, Joe Biden, reiterated the Keynesian approach of this administration three years ago by stating that we must spend our way out of bankruptcy.

Also, to say”[Obama’s] been the one who’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer” is patently false.  Republicans aren’t for class warfare legislation, like the Buffet Rule tax reform, that institutes a mandatory 30% tax on millionaires, but leaves the charitable donation deduction.  Hence, the rich, also known and the job creating and investing class, could donate their way out of taxation.  Furthermore, Republicans never were for spending a trillion dollars on a new health care entitlement, Obamacare, that will cut 20 million Americans from their coverage while making 49 million more citizens dependent on government run medical services.

Nevertheless, it didn’t stop Paul Krugman from making more patently false remarks on ABC’s This Week.

KRUGMAN: Can I just — these are — these are — we’re talking as if $1 billion was a lot of money, and in $15 trillion economy is not. Solyndra was a mistake as part of a large program, which has been — by and large had a pretty good track record. Of course you’re going to find a mistake. I think, to be fair, that’s probably true in Massachusetts, as well.

But this is — this is ridiculous, that we are taking these tiny, tiny missteps which happen in any large organizations, including corporations, including Bain — Bain Capital had losers, too, right, even from the point of view of its investors? So this is ridiculous.

And the fact of the matter is, this president has not managed to get very much of what he wanted done. He — it’s terribly unfair that he’s being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress.

First of all, concerning clean energy initiatives, Solyndra is the tip of the iceberg.  Furthemore, it’s not just $1 billion dollars as:

CBS News counted 12 clean energy companies that are having trouble after collectively being approved for more than $6.5 billion in federal assistance. Five have filed for bankruptcy: The junk bond-rated Beacon, Evergreen Solar, SpectraWatt, AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy and Solyndra.

SunPower landed a deal linked to a $1.2 billion loan guarantee last fall, after a French oil company took it over. On its last financial statement, SunPower owed more than it was worth. First Solar was the biggest S&P 500 loser in 2011 and its CEO was cut loose – even as taxpayers were forced to back a whopping $3 billion in company loans. Nobody from the Energy Department would agree to an interview.

How safe were the loans?

[Economist] Peter Morici replied… It’s, it is a junk bond…but it’s not even a good junk bond. It’s well below investment grade. Was the Energy Department investing tax dollars in something that’s not even a good junk bond? Morici says yes. This level of bond has about a 70 percent chance of failing in the long term,” he said.”

Furthermore, Robin Millican, Policy Director for the Institute for Energy Research, has stated how the Section 1603 program has allocated $20 billion dollars in cash payments, not loans that need to be repaid, to companies that install solar, wind and geothermal properties.  Congress wants to extend this program for an additional year at the tune of $3 billion dollars.

Lastly, the president has achieved most of his domestic agenda.  Obamacare was the signature achievement in the president’s first term.  In addition, there was Cash for Clunkers, Dollars for Dishwashers, Cash for Caulkers, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  If Mr. Krugman thinks the president is dealing with a hostile congress, he only needs to look at the docket that shows this hostility has produced a multitude of legislation aimed at creating jobs and curbing the debt and deficit.  Most of the bills have been blocked by the Democratic controlled senate.

(h/t Noel Sheppard)

California’s High Speed Folly

Your Tax Dollars!

More news of the stimulus’s failure emerged this week with CBO’s report citing how it may have cost $4.1 million per job, but the story that should be on everyone’s minds concerning the Obama’s agenda is California’s high speed rail project.  Calls for a high speed rail system by the Obama administration have been enhanced given China’s successful completion of their system last summer.  However, if you look at the current California project, the scale of failure is epical and our tax dollars are being poured into it.

In a rare instance, CNN gave a rather insightful report on how this proposed high speed rail is actually three times more than its estimated cost. The railroad project itself seemed sound.  A line from Los Angeles to San Francisco spanning 2oo miles was a palatable initiative for Californians, which is why they voted for a $10 billion dollar bond measure back in 2008.  However, the original estimate was in the ball park of about $34 billion dollars. It is now  projected to cost a monstrous $198 billion dollars.  Additionally, Drew Griffin, CNN Investigative Correspondent, reported that not a single rail has been laid in the four years since the initiative was passed.

This marks another stinging failure of the domestic agenda of the Obama administration.  First clean energy, now high speed rail networks.  It fits nicely into the description George Will aptly made about American liberalism on Charlie Rose last August as”an amalgamation of appetites of parochial interests.”   The project is now revised under the new Chairman of California’s Railway Authority, Dan Richard, but it’s very different original high speed blueprint. Griffin stated:

It turns out, the latest plan could be for a much slower train, not actually the high- speed futuristic cartoon California voters approved four years ago. More of a hybrid that goes slower, makes a few more stops and doesn’t quite deliver the L.A. to San Francisco promise of just a few hours.

And that’s not the half of it. This is about to become really political. California’s high-speed rail has one huge backer — President Barack Obama — and that is where you come in. The administration has pledged $3.5 billion in stimulus money, also known as federal tax dollars, and that’s just so far. Now, California admits it will need even more, tens of billions of dollars more from federal taxpayers to finish it.

But first, you have to start. And that’s where it really gets dicey. The foundational segment, the first stretch of track, will cost at least $6 billion alone and, under the new plan, will connect Fresno to Burbank. It won’t go anywhere near San Francisco. And in the process, will dissect generations-old dairy farms, nut orchards and towns that don’t want it.

That’s not the worst of it.  Apparently, Barack Obama, who continues to be a staunch proponent of this project:

 has pledged $3.5 billion in stimulus money, also known as federal tax dollars, and that’s just so far. Now, California admits it will need even more, tens of billions of dollars more from federal taxpayers to finish it.

But first, you have to start. And that’s where it really gets dicey. The foundational segment, the first stretch of track, will cost at least $6 billion alone and, under the new plan, will connect Fresno to Burbank. It won’t go anywhere near San Francisco. And in the process, will dissect generations-old dairy farms, nut orchards and towns that don’t want it.

However, even with the inflated costs and objections by local farmers, Dan Richard and the rest at the Railroad Authority aren’t giving up.  After all, as Griffin reported, “they’ve already got the promised $3 billion of your tax dollars in federal stimulus. California may not get another dime from President Obama, but it has no intention of giving back the $3 billion already promised or the billions more from California voters.”  This Rube Goldberg project is expected to take ten years to finish.  Who’s lining up to get their first ticket?

Birther Nonsense

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While I’m not a fan of Stand Up! with Pete Dominick on Sirius XM, he’s always good to get the center-left angle on politics.  In addition, I’m a self-diagnosed politics junkie who was stuck in the wonderful Beltway traffic so I guess you can say I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  Pete’s guest, John Avalon, made a critical point today stating how significant Mitt Romney’s nomination really is to American politics.  He is the first Mormon to be nominated by a major party and the first non-protestant to be nominated by Republicans.  This comes after Mitt’s pervasive hammering surrounding his not so stellar conservative credentials.  The base may have been skeptical about him, but in the end, they choose him over the other clowns who vied for the Republican nomination. However, the mainstream media is not pushing that narrative.  Instead, they’re focused on Donald Trump’s birther nonsense.

Now, I know we should all focus on the economy and other key issues in this upcoming election, but this birther issue does get under my skin.  First of all, it’s beyond absurd.   Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and is a “natural born citizen” who is eligible for the presidency.  Even Andrew Breitbart thought this whole charade was a losing issue.  No one cares! No one cares because the narrative these people are trying to push is not grounded in reality.  It is something akin to an Alex Jones “theory”, who feels that al-Qaeda is an arm of the U.S. intelligence network, or a person who has watched Three Days of the Condor, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Parallax View one too many times.  No doubt shady stuff occurs in Washington, but birthers are so ludicrous it makes me want to hug them in empathy.

My first taste in blogging was for Western Journalism, which reports heavily on the subject.  I cannot bash the folks at Western Journalism too much, since some of them are very professional and cordial, but as the months progressed; I found myself unable to be associated with an organization that peddles, excuse me, this gross propaganda concerning Obama’s eligibility.  It’s been three years folks.  If you haven’t been able to convince the base, the heavyweights in the conservative media, and the American people, you probably don’t have the “explosive find” which you regard as the holy grail of political malfeasance.

Furthermore, like liberals, birthers get agitated, petulant, and downright nasty when people dismiss them and their ideas.  It is a temper tantrum on steroids. An excerpt from a piece on Western Journalism detailed the open letter Breitbart’s Senior Staff released surrounding their legitimate vetting of Obama which, needless to say, didn’t bode well with this writer.

Andrew Breitbart was never a ‘Birther,’ and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of ‘Birtherism.’”

Reading this makes me want to ask in bemused wonder:  How old are you?  (I could, of course, ask the same question of Anderson Cooper, Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levine, Neal Boortz, or Glenn Beck – who are clearly much older to a man.)  But seriously, how immature – or insecure, at least – must one be to be so concerned with what the cultural elites think of them?  Young Ben Shapiro (twenty-eight, and reportedly the youngest nationally syndicated writer in the country) went to Harvard Law. One wonders if he had been president of the Law Review if we would have ever seen one of his publications…but I digress.  Joel Pollak…sure enough, went to both Harvard and Harvard Law – just as I had expected.

While I must congratulate the two on emerging from that milieu with any non-collectivist values, it seems that neither of them escaped with a penchant for identifying and confronting the Alinsky staple of marginalization…or, they accept the practice so fully that they simply can’t bear the thought of being on the receiving end thereof.  Well, grow up, boys!  If what Media Matters says about you is a concern (and it clearly is), then perhaps you should choose another line of work.

I think someone misplaced their pacifier.

The real comical element about this whole movement is that there is no concrete legal definition of the term “natural born citizen.”  They have no cornerstone.  I’ve always thought that the term applied to any citizens born on American soil.  Indeed, I would stand corrected. Byron York wrote a great piece in The Washington Examiner since the rude resurrection of this issue thanks to Donald Trump, who Geogre Will aptly called a bloviated ignoramus last Sunday.  York wrote:

The Constitution specifies that a president must be a “natural born citizen” of the United States, but it does not define the term. The Supreme Court has never clarified the issue, but there is a law, 8 U.S. Code 1401, that spells out in detail who is a citizen.

The law uses the phrase “citizens of the United States at birth” and lists categories of people who fit that description.

First, there are people born inside the United States. No question about that; their citizenship is established by the 14th Amendment.

Then there are the people who are born outside the United States to parents who are both American citizens, provided one of them has lived in the U.S. for any period of time. And then there are the people who are born outside the United States to one parent who is a U.S. citizen and the other who is an alien, provided the citizen parent lived in the United States or its possessions for at least five years, at least two of them after age 14.

Since they are all “citizens of the United States at birth,” the question is, does that also mean they are “natural born citizens” in the constitutional sense?

Birthers believe a natural born citizen is a person born to two parents who were citizens of the United States at the time.  Hence, the reason why birthers have Marco Rubio, the crown prince of the Tea Party movement, in their crosshairs if he should ever be chosen as Romney’s running mate.

Well, according to Theodore Olson, Bush’s former solicitor general:

“My conclusion would be that if you are a citizen as a consequence of your birth, that’s a natural-born citizen…[Olsen] defended John McCain in a 2008 lawsuit alleging McCain was ineligible to be president. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 while his father served in the U.S. Navy there. Even though the area was under American jurisdiction and both McCain’s parents were U.S. citizens, some Democrats alleged McCain was ineligible to be president. McCain won the case, if not the presidency.

The law is really quite lenient, especially for those born outside the United States. If a child were born today in, say, Kenya, to a Kenyan father and an American citizen mother who had lived in the United States for at least five years, at least two of them over the age of 14 — that child would be a “citizen of the United States by birth” and be eligible for the White House.

However, this hasn’t stopped people like Joseph Farah of World Net Daily, who vociferously pushes the birther issue and has gone on record to say Rubio is ineligible for the VP slot due to his parents not being citizens at the time.  Washington lawyer Matthew McGill, who York cites in his column, states  “I am not aware of anyone who has contended that someone could be born in the United States and be a citizen by virtue of the 14th Amendment and nevertheless still not be a natural-born American citizen…if he is born in the United States, his parentage is not of consequence.”  No to mention that there is incontrovertible proof that Rubio was born in Miami, Florida.

In the words of John Adams, “facts are stubborn things.” Barack Obama is eligible for president, he is the president, and now we must focus all of our efforts in voting him out of office come November.  We have no time to theorize absurd notions about the “origins of his birth.”  This is time to get serious about the fate of our republic and our economy and we have zero time for sophomoric conspiracy theories whose footnote page is no longer than a kindergartner’s book report.  However, this is a free country.  You have every right to keep your opinions, no matter how insane, but I intend, along with other serious conservatives, to do everything possible in order to restore honor and dignity to the White House.  It’s game time and birthers have come unprepared.  They’re still coming down from their Paxil binge.

The Coming Entitlement Crisis

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In February of last year, conservative commentator  George Will gave a great lecture at the Navy War College in Rhode Island.  In that lecture, he detailed two major battles we will face in the coming election, which are taxes and entitlement reform. Despite what the liberal media says about conservatives, we are not trying to destroy Medicare. We are trying to salvage it.  It’s the same for Social Security.  The math simply doesn’t work anymore.  People are living longer through the advancements in medicine. This is a good thing, but it is also incredibly expensive.

When Social Security was instituted, the average length of time from retirement to death was two years.   That is no longer true.  The fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is the very elderly who are people aged 85 or older.  Furthermore, baby-boomers are retiring in droves at a rate of 10,000 a day, every day for the next two decades. This is causing unbearable tension on the already stressed Medicare and Social Security payrolls.

By 2025, there will be a paltry two workers per retiree versus the fourteen workers per retiree in 1950. 

The retirement age will have to go up and keep going up in increments to ensure solvency.  We will have to discuss the possibility of creating private retirement accounts to decrease the burden on the system.  The introduction of choice and subsequent competition are usually effective in reducing costs.  The Heritage Foundation has also released policy prescriptions for Medicare that suggests, amongst many things, raising the eligibility age to sixty-eight.  The premium support that is outlined in Congressman Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity is essential.  It injects choice, personal responsibility, and fiscal discipline into a rigid system that incentivizes waste.  In short, recipients receive a voucher to buy a plan that fits their critical needs.  It is not a wasteful one size fits all approach. With this, Americans have more of a stake in how their money is spent on their insurance and reestablishes discipline and responsibility. This is not an alien concept.  During the Kennedy Administration, the average recipient paid forty-seven cents for every dollar of Medicare spending.  Medicare, of all entitlements, is the one that needs priority attention since it carries  $37 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, which will fiscally destroy us if it is not dealt with soon.

Now, Grandma and Grandpa will fight hard to keep their welfare state intact.  They vote more often than the younger generation and will oust any politician who seeks to make these critical changes.  Democrats will try to co-opt seniors, since admitting Medicare as an insolvent program invalidates their liberal ideology, and paint Republicans as heartless. However, the “gravy train” is over.  It may have been great for our parents’ parents, but it has become a gross transfer of wealth from the young to the elderly, which in the end leaves almost nothing for succeeding generations.

In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stated that Social Security is solvent for only another 20 years.   After which, full benefits payouts to recipients will not be possible.  Moreover, the Trustees Report also included the insolvency of Medicare that will be unable to cover seniors’ hospital bills by 2024, which is three years earlier than what was projected last year.

George Will asks, succinctly, how much wealth are we willing to spend subsidizing the last twenty-five years of American life.  That is a tough question, but with new fiscally disciplined and conservative Republicans in the House, under the leadership of Congressman Ryan, we have a solution.  We are still waiting on President Obama’s proposals to seriously deal with this fiscal disaster.  So far, none have materialized.  In the meantime,  America’s young and vibrant workers are at risk of becoming trapped in a gerontocracy.

Student Loan Debt: Much Ado About Nothing

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It is starting to get quite embarrassing for the Obama administration.  They’re trailing Romney in the polls, they’ve lost the edge with women, and his 2013 budget went down in flames in the Senate today with a final vote tally of 99-0. In the words of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, “there’s no education in the second kick of a mule.”Not a single member of the president’s own party supports his budget and this pervasive campaign of self-martydrom should make everyone question Barry’s alleged political acumen.  His latest campaign to recapture the youth vote through anecdotes about his student loan debt will set the stage for another the next battle in the Hill that’s wholly irrelevant.

George Will aptly pointed out in his column that bipartisanship, the ideal that every American yearns to see with our political class, has created more problems that it has solved.

Since 2001, it has produced No Child Left Behind, a counterproductive federal intrusion into primary and secondary education; the McCain-Feingold speech rationing law (theBipartisan Campaign Reform Act); an unfunded prescription drug entitlement; troublemaking by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; government-directed capitalism from the Export-Import Bank; crony capitalism from energy subsidies; unseemly agriculture and transportation bills; continuous bailouts of an unreformed Postal Service; housing subsidies; subsidies for state and local governments; and many other bipartisan deeds, including most appropriations bills.

Now, with college debt becoming a salient issue, even though it’s minutae at the end of the day, Congress will haggle over the interest rate which is set to double by July 1.  Hence, the interest rate will increase from 3.4% to 6.8%.  It was cut in half only after the Democrats retook congress in the 2006 midterms and offered plan to subsidize the new rate by “disguising” the cost, as Will notes, as a $60 billion dollar program that now costs $6 billion a year would expire in five years.  Well, the grocery clerk is going to be sent to collect the bill.

In addition, the amount we’re about to fight over is a mere pittance compared to other areas of the federal budget that could be cut, reformed, or complexity dissolved.

The low 6.8 percent rate — private loans for students cost about 12 percent — was itself the result of a federal subsidy. And students have no collateral that can be repossessed in case they default, which 23 percent of those receiving the loans in question do. The maximum loan for third- and fourth-year students is $5,500 a year. The payment difference between 3.4 percent and 6.8 percent is less than $10 a month, so the “problem” involves less than 30 cents a day.

 Moreover, in a nation where the college-educated are grossly outnumbered, I agree with Will that if we are about to pump billions more into education subsidies; it should go to the underprivileged and minority students.  Although, I have my doubts about subsidies for anything.  Additionally, the overwhelmingly non-college educated taxpayers will be subsidizing a rate to keep their more fortunate citizens comfortable in college.  That just doesn’t make sense.   The unemployment rate for college graduates is below 5% and the average debt they leave with is around $25-30,000 dollars.  However, keeping in mind that the average college graduate earns $50,000 a year, it’s a highly manageable position.  Everyone is on a budget.  Nevertheless, we must keep vigilant on Republicans who could put up a soft defense, like George Bush, when this subsidy was first pitched to him five years ago.

America’s Destructive Lack of Realism

Last winter, when I heard John McCain drummed up support to bomb Syria, it makes me wonder if the 535 members in Washington have dementia.  We already had an unnecessary intervention in Libya, we’ve mostly concluded our business with Iraq, and Afghanistan is crumbling.  In a time where Americans are anything BUT enthusiastic or willing to become involved in another nation’s affairs, we must first ask, as George Will has, how many wars do we want to fight.

I was an unabashed neoconservative who supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq until I saw, as William F. Buckley aptly pointed out, how this movement grossly underestimates American power.  This was evident in the negligence in the post-war Iraqi reconstruction operations that followed the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government. The planning of the entire reconstruction effort, outlined in National Security Presidential Directive 24 issued in January 2003, gave the Department of Defense complete authority over the post-war operations.  It’s absurd.  Rebuilding Iraq into a modern, free market democracy in three months or less.  No wonder chaos ensued.  This whole notion of liberal democracy proliferating throughout the Middle East, in a region with no historical precedent of such values, is mind numbingly naive.

Even with our involvement winding down in Iraq, it appears the only winner is Iran since we’ve weakened the only nation in the region to curb its growing influence.  The resilience of the new democracy in Iraq and its disposition towards the United States in the future remains to be seen.  However, Syria is still holding out from the so-called “Arab Spring,” Iran still has nuclear ambitions, which would set off a regional arms race, and Egypt has fallen prey to the radical Muslim Brotherhood after we threw our good friend, Hosni Mubarak, under the bus in the hopes that a vibrant democracy will emerge there. Is this our dividend after spending $700 billion in Iraq?  Was this the best use of American political and military resources?

America’s destructive lack a realism is becoming disastrously expensive and straining our military.  Afghanistan and Iraq has cost us a whopping $1.2 trillion dollars in war expenditures.  We could be facing a $4-6 trillion dollar price tag when this whole ordeal is over.  We need to reexamine our financial stability and national interest for future engagements.

Case in point, Libya had nothing to do with American interests.  We do not receive oil from Libya. We don’t have diplomatic relations with Libya.  It was a civil war that was none of our business in a tribal society whose various clans hated Qaddafi more than each, hence the fragile display of national unity.  Like in Iraq, civil institutions were derived from one man and his family creating a power vacuum that will lead to more bloodshed.  The various militias refuse to disarmand the eastern half of the country has declared autonomy.  Did we really stop a slaughter? I feel more bloodshed will ensue because of our reckless engagement in their affairs.

People die in war, especially in the brutal theater of civil war.  Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean it’s our business. Especially when we have become involved in tribal societies before with little success.  We realists do not deny the existence of moral truths and principles, but when applied in the anarchic field of international relations, it is inherently dangerous.  It thrusts a nation, whose only purpose is to survive, into entanglements that are diplomatically obtuse, detrimental to its interests, and leads to prolonging the conflict.

If Qaddafi had squashed the insurrectionists in Benghazi, it would have been over, but we intervened, allied ourselves with rebel elements affiliated with al-Qaeda, and escalated the civil war leading to more deaths. In Somalia, our intervention culminated in the infamous Black Hawk Down incident, despite the fact it was hopeless from the start. There was no government to open up a diplomatic channel, no infrastructure, and clan ties that prevented national unity.  We lost nineteen American soldiers to help feed people in a failed state. A tragic waste of American resources.

The era of nation-building and humanitarian interventions need to end.   If our criteria for involvement is humanitarian based, we will be in a perpetual state of war.  The essence of nation-building, as George Will rightly said on Charlie Rose, is oxymoronic since it’s an organic entity that take generations to perfect.  Just because American marines are on the ground, doesn’t mean the maturation process will be accelerated.  In all, these attempts at social engineering are textbook cases of the irresponsible and arduous tasks that have drained American power over the past decade.  I’m thankful that a growing consensus in this country is starting to view such ventures as nonsensical.  It’s simply not worth the cost.

The Free Lunch Agenda

Conservative commentators and economists, especially George Will, have given lectures and speeches and have written columns about the moral hazard that is rising in the country. If you saw it, I hope you were appalled at the new study that shows virtually half of all Americans do not pay federal income taxes. Forty-nine and half percent of Americans pay no income taxes and receive most of the benefits; thus, they have no vested interest in curbing the size of government of which they are dependent on. Conservatives have known this to be a problem for some time, but liberals ignore the socio-economic consequences. They ignore it because it is an integral part of their  agenda. More people dependent on government equalizes outcome, and you do that by getting everyone to feed on a government program.  President Obama is fully behind this agenda, hence the dark day when Obamacare was passed.

I’m glad that Jack Cafferty of CNN’s The Situation Room mentioned the decrease in tax participation on his blog this past winter.  Nevertheless, the left will stringently advocate that such expansion of government programs and reliance on them are net positives.  We see this with Valerie Jarrett and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney idiotically stating that unemployment checks promotes economic growth.  However, we on the right know that such absurd endeavors offer no incentive for the unemployed to seek employment and that spending of other people’s money to keep them perpetually lethargic is fundamentally unfair.  On ABC’s This Week last January, Austan Goolsbee, the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for President Obama, had the temerity to say that the economy had a huge boom last quarter, but is being weighed down by government shrinking too rapidly.  Is the government shrinking too rapidly?

According to MyGovCost.org, which is an affiliate of The Independent Institute, the Obama administration has permanently increased the size and expenditure of government by 16.5% in four years.  In fact, the site states that government expenditure is one-sixth bigger today than originally projected four years ago.  Investors Business Daily revealed earlier this month that government dependency had increased by 23%  in two years!  That is 67 million people reliant on a federal program.  You cannot have a shrinkage of government when 67 million people are added onto a federal program and total federal spending has increased.  Mr. Goolsbee is dead wrong.

This is the left-wing dependency agenda. It’s the delivery of free lunches for 151.7 million Americans.  To make a comparison, the number of people in 1984 who did not pay federal income taxes was at a mere 14.8% or 34.8 million Americans.  If the president wants to talk about the fundamentally unfair landscape of America, he should focus on the people who don’t contribute one cent to the government coffers.  Half pay their fair share so the other half can coast through life.  It is serfdom in all but name.  Yet, the president wants to keep expanding government spending, taxation, and destroy freedom and personal responsibility in the process.  With half of the country not paying any income taxes, it makes the future passage and signage of the Ryan budget into law even more politically treacherous, even though it strives to avert inevitable fiscal disaster.  Without a doubt, the slothful will fight to keep their goody bag as we slowly become a dictatorship of the lazy.