Tag Archives: liberals

The Progressives Push For New “Assault” Weapons Ban Is Bad Policy

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I stand firm with my fellow members at the National Rifle Association.  I couldn’t be more proud to be part of an organization that defends the Second Amendment, which is one of the most important rights within our Constitution.  Over the past forty-eight hours, the NRA has been slammed for being somehow complicit in the various incidents connected gun violence – with the most recent being that awful tragedy in Newtown, CT. As some in the media continue to inject hyper-emotionalism into this debate, liberals simply cannot control themselves. When it comes to gun violence, the left-wing’s end goal is the eradication of the Second Amendment from civil society.  However, as we obsess over carnage – and who to blame for it.  Let’s look at some facts.  Conservative Daily News colleague Kyle Becker posted on December 19 highlighting these interesting statistics:

  1. Mass shootings rose between the 1960s and the 1990s, and dropped in the 2000s. Mass killings actually reached their peak in 1929. (According to Grant Duwe, criminologist with the MinnesotaDepartment of Corrections.)

  2. “States that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns enjoy a 60 percent decrease in multiple-victim public shootings and a 78 percent decrease in victims per attack.” John Lott, Jr. and Bill Landes, “More Guns, Less Crime.”

  3. “With just one single exception, the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”– John Lott, Jr. Co-author with Bill Landes of “More Guns, Less Crime.”

  4. “Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.” [John Fund, NRO. “The Facts About Mass Shootings.”]

Tobacco kills almost 500,000 Americans each year.  That’s including the 49,400 deaths from second handsmoke exposure.  Traffic accidents kill anywhere from 35,000-44,000 Americans each year – and Congress hasn’t been so emotional, or energized, to support legislation to curb Americans’ right to smoke or drive.  It’s abjectly stupid – and this is why the numbers game fails.  Liberals constantly cite the 12,996 deaths caused by guns because it’s juicy.  It grabs people’s attention, and frames a false narrative against anyone against gun control as an accomplice in mass murder.  However, as the data shows, Mr. Marlboro man has killed more Americans that guns could ever muster in a single year.

On December 19, President Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, announced a new anti-gun task force to discuss the amount of gun violence perpetrated by the mentally unstable in this country.  Joe Biden is heading this commission, but made a fast and furious move towards the exit when question time from the press arrived.

It is our imperative – as conservatives – to block any suggestions this anti-gun committee produces over the next few weeks.  This isn’t about gun control.  It’s about power.  It’s about government centralizing more control over the dynamics of our society. This is progressivism after 100 years of maturation.  A point aptly made by columnist George Will last winter.

As we’ve seen on the news, Connecticut has some of the most stringent gun control laws on the books – and they worked.  Adam Lanza was unable to buy a rifle due to his age, but even if that weren’t the case.  He was unwilling to subject himself to a background check.  He had to commit a homicide and steal the guns from his mother to unleash the depraved fury on Sandy Hook Elementary last week.

As progressives and the Democratic Party readies itself to reinstate an ‘assault weapons’ ban, which infringes on our Second Amendment rights, we should have some clarification on the language that will be used when the new Congress is convened in 2013.  It shows how little Democrats, or any anti-gun activist, knows about guns.

Hans Bader at the Competitive Enterprise Institute wrote a great piece on December 19 about the futility of a new ban on so-called ‘assault weapons.’ “Semi-automatic guns, including ‘assault weapons,’ are not machine guns. They do not fire more than one bullet each time the trigger is pulled, unlike a machine gun. The sale of machine guns and fully automatic weapons has long been banned.  By contrast, much of America’s guns are “semi-automatic.” Indeed, so many guns in this country are semi-automatic — the way most cars run on gasoline — that The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney says that ‘semiauto is the norm,’ according to Bader.  He’s right.

Furthermore, he wrote that:

Congress and the president may pass an “assault weapons” ban to make themselves feel good, but I won’t expect much in the way of results for public safety if they do. As Professor Volokh notes:

So-called “assault weapons” are no deadlier than other weapons. To begin with, note that assault weapons are not fully automatic weapons (which is to say machine guns). Fully automatic weapons have long been heavily regulated, and lawfully owned fully automatics are very rare, very expensive, and almost never used in crimes. Rather, assault weapons are a subset of semiautomatic weapons, generally semiautomatic handguns and rifles. Semiautomatic handguns and rifles — of which there are probably at least about 100 million in the country, and likely more — are undoubtedly extremely deadly; but the subset that is labeled “assault weapons” is not materially deadlier than the others. One way of recognizing that is looking at the definition in the 1994-2004 federal assault weapons ban; the ban lists several types of guns by name, and then provides these generic definitions:

(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–
(i) a folding or telescoping stock;
(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(iii) a bayonet mount . . . .[see additional examples at Volokh’s web site]

Guns that fit these categories may look more dangerous; but they aren’t more dangerous. . . .

Banning assault weapons thus has basically no effect on the lethality of gun crime, or of mass shootings more specifically.

Although Volokh says that assault weapons bans would be useless, he also says that they would likely be constitutional, since “such bans leave law-abiding citizens with ample access to other guns that are equally effective, and therefore don’t substantially burden the constitutional right” to keep and bear arms.

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However, as conservatives, we should be uneasy with government banning anything.  We banned alcohol with disastrous results.  We have continued to support a ban on illicit drugs that has also produced disastrous results.  We should re-think our drug policy, but that’s for another time.

The prevalence of so-called ‘assault weapons’ was “a modest fraction of all gun crimes.’  Furthermore, the study from the Urban Institute said they:

were unable to detect any reduction to date in two types of gun murders that are thought to be closely associated with assault weapons, those with multiple victims in a single incident and those producing multiple bullet wounds per victim. We did find a reduction in killings of police officers since mid-1995. However, the available data are partial and preliminary, and the trends may have been influenced by law enforcement agency policies regarding bullet-proof vests.”

A ban on assault weapons is constitutional, but data shows that it isn’t worth the political capital that could be spent addressing the faults in detecting and treating mental illness in America.  Frankly, I’m against any measure by the government that limits the options for Americans in which they can defend themselves.  As such, Republicans should just say no to the new push to ban ‘assault weapons.’  It’s time to put this issue away, so our snobby New England brethren can never bring it back again.

Gun control laws, or at least Connecticut’s regulations, worked in preventing Lanza from buying a firearm to create havoc.  Yet, the left is still guns, bodies, and carnage obsessed.  People seem to forget he had to commit a crime to get those guns.  That’s an unstoppable situation, unless we’re living in a universe more to the liking of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report.

The first assault weapons ban had a negligible impact on reducing crime when it was enacted in 1994 – and had a negligible impact when it expired in 2004.  As such, we must ask ourselves why Democrats wish to pursue this matter – with a renewed optimism – if it weren’t to infringe on our liberty?  Do they just habitually sponsor and advocate bad policy?  It would also show how government spends an exorbitant amount of time debating bad policy that would yield infinitesimal results in reducing violent crime.  Well, that part is mostly tradition.  Just say no to new gun regulations.  Just say no to the assault weapons ban.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

Jim DeMint – Change in Washington Can Only Come From the Outside

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Great conservatives like Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Rand Paul can only be topped with a Senate majority. If so, it won’t be with Senator DeMint as he moves to the Heritage Foundation. The true fight in engaging Washington and politics in general is from the outside.

…you cannot change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside. That's how I got elected. That's how the biggest accomplishments like healthcare got done was because we mobilized the American people to speak out.

Barack Obama

 

Universities indoctrinate thousands of liberals annually, these indoctrinated students are painfully brought back to reality through life experiences. Some never leave their theoretical world, only to validate their flawed concepts. As universities place these misguided in powerful positions, our society begins to deteriorate.

Media and Hollywood reinforce these false concepts with keenly worded polls and convenient news to push political agendas. Bob Costa's choose gun control over Jovan Belchers' fractured family? How convenient a Small Arms treaty is awaiting ratification rather than the destruction of unwedded parents, raising a child in a dysfunctional home. You have the perfect contributions of Hollywood when you throw in cinematography, a famous actor and a great storyline.

MI protestCommunity organizations and unions drive similar messages. Life's hard lessons are the fault of greedy bankers loaning money to the poor or business owners providing jobs rather than bad legislation. In 2010, union workers made up 11.4% of the workforce; now only 7%. Unions see private businesses fall apart because they bargain for more power, squeezing every last profit out until no business has anything to fall back on. Community organizations (also referred to as Non Governmental Organizations) such as the Sierra Club, PETA or ACORN advocate for the distressed. If negotiating or the problem was solved, community organizations and unions would no longer need to exist.

Universities, unions, community organizations and media use groupthink, authority and compartmentalization to whip mobs into frenzies so they maintain their political power. These outside agencies influence our political system through subversion and power. They use individual actions to justify their broad, collective advocacy or propaganda.

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson

     Our Constitutional Republic was created to protect individual rights from the frenzied mobs. As they lobby the collective, the repercussion destroys the individual and any opposition. Change to Washington must come from the outside. Instead of solving problems on there own, these groups demand Washington and local governments intervene through legislation.

The true power struggle is no longer in Washington DC, we must realize the front lines are in our community. Our reality and way of life is threatened as long as universities, unions, community organizations and media maintain power through manipulation and coercion. This is why Jim DeMint made a fabulous move in moving his fight to the outside.

It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions…There are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters…

Daniel Webster

The Lonely Position of Neutral

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I hate raising taxes.  I find high tax rates immoral.  However, we lost the election.  An increase in revenue is inevitable.  What’s perverse about this whole episode is that if we fall off the cliff – Democrats will get everything they want. They’ll get their tax increases, their revenue, and defense cuts.  They would complete their decade-long project of ending the Bush Tax Cuts and gutting of the Pentagon.  They have no incentive to meet us halfway, or negotiate in a meaningful way to make sure the markets don’t tank.  They don’t need to.  They won.  In the meantime, Americans should prepare for the worst.

Since the tax hikes from falling off the cliff are far more severe, I’ve written in previously that Republicans will have to swallow the concept of raising taxes.  However, there is latitude within this debate.  Republicans should press Democrats to increase the tax rate on those making $500,000 a year, instead of $250,000.   As George Will aptly noted on This Week a few months ago, a Chicago school principal with twenty years experience, who is married to a cop with twenty years experience, is almost rich in the eyes of the Obama administration.  Cops and school principals aren’t your typical fat cats, hence this is an area where conservatives on the Hill could construct a narrative that this tax increase – within this particular income bracket – a) isn’t really hitting the rich and b) effects professions associated with the middle class.

There’s been some movement towards pushing the amount of taxable income above the $250,000 bracket, and addressing other areas relating to federal spending.  As Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane at The Washington Post wrote on December 9, continued negotiations have produced the following:

●Fresh tax revenue, generated in part by raising rates on the wealthy, as Obama wants, and in part by limiting their deductions, as Republicans prefer. The top rate could be held below 39.6 percent, or the definition of the wealthy could be shifted to include those making more than $375,000 or $500,000, rather than $250,000 as Obama has proposed.

Obama wants $1.6 trillion over the next decade, but many Democrats privately say they would settle for $1.2 trillion. Boehner has offered $800 billion, and Republicans are eager to keep the final tax figure under $1 trillion, noting that a measure to raise taxes on the rich passed by the Senate this summer would generate only $831 billion.

●Savings from health and retirement programs, a concession from Democrats necessary to sell tax hikes to GOP lawmakers. Obama has proposed $350 billion in health savings over the next decade. Boehner has suggested $600 billion from health programs, and an additional $200 billion from using a stingier measure of inflation, reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients.

●Additional savings sufficient to postpone roughly $100 billion in across-the-board agency cuts set to hit in 2013, known as the sequester, and to match a debt-limit increase. The sequester, perhaps paired with an automatic tax hike, could then serve as a new deadline, probably sometime next fall, for wringing additional revenue from the tax code and more savings from entitlement programs.

I like the fact that liberals are willing to increase the rates on those making $500,000, which we can fix if we retake Congress in the 2014 midterms.  However, concerning the entitlement spending, I want deeper cuts that are also immediate.  Nevertheless, the dynamic is the same – and it’s no love fest.

As Meredith Shiner and Daniel Newhauser of Roll Call wrote in the early morning hours on December 11:

…the primary differences between the two sides remain. Boehner’s office said the speaker is waiting for the White House to come back to Republicans with more spending cuts. And the White House says the president is waiting for the GOP to give more on revenue. Two years of fighting over how to rein in the federal debt is now coming down to two weeks of deal-making at best and he-said/she-said at worst.

“The Republican offer made last week remains the Republican offer, and we continue to wait for the president to identify the spending cuts he’s willing to make as part of the ‘balanced’ approach he promised the American people,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, who confirmed conversations with the White House “are taking place” but declined to specify the nature of those talks.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that Obama has offered specifics on cuts — pointing to the president’s original deficit reduction plan that has repeatedly been dismissed by the GOP. Carney added that the Republicans are the ones stalling talks by not giving more detail on what they would be willing to do on revenue.

Frankly, both deals are bad. I’m not happy with either of them.  I know that caving on our principles won’t make liberals like us better.  Yet, as in the 2012 election, it’s all about messaging and making the argument.  Barack Obama pervasively made the argument that Bush ruined the economy, and raising taxes will fix it.  Mitt Romney and his communications team, which was always on defense, never made the argument against this claim. Conservatives don’t have the high ground in this fight.

Montgomery and Kane wrote that “a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll last week found that a majority of Americans would blame the GOP if talks between Obama and Boehner fail to avert more than $500 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to hit in January, potentially sparking a new recession.”  Now, Pew and WaPo are left-leaning polls, but it doesn’t matter. It’s almost axiomatic that the GOP will be savaged by public opinion if we go over the cliff.  While Democrats can take cover under a cloud of legitimacy and have the sober satisfaction that they’ll get what they want anyway, even if Republicans won’t budge on tax increases.

Our movement doesn’t need anymore setbacks right now.  With the debt ceiling, that’s a different debate. But for now, we may have to hold our noses and increase taxes on people making $500,000 or more, which is the only (gulp) compromise Republicans should accept on revenue.  They should also keep pressure on the White House for more immediate cuts to federal spending.  Now, while some, like NYT’s Helene Cooper, say that Obama would own the recession if we fall off the cliff, I’m still dubious if that would happen.  Some said that Obama’s extension of the Bush Tax Cuts in December of 2010 would be an albatross around his neck during his re-election campaign.  It wasn’t.  As I’ve said, I hate raising taxes, but the alternative not to, at this time, could be more damaging than the vote for them.  It should give conservatives more incentive to win in 2014.

Right now, debt talks will probably remain in neutral as the car tumbles towards the jagged rocks below.

In short:

 

Speaker Boehner – What Are You Doing Up There?

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Is it revenge of the squishy Republicans?  It sure isn’t the reaffirmation of conservatism within the Republican Party.  On December 4, Matthew Boyle at Breitbart reported that the House GOP had begun purging conservatives from various committees.  In a time when Republicans need strong, principled conservatives to thwart the aggressive expansion of the state under Obama, Speaker Boehner and company inanely decide that they’re the problem.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  Squishy Republicans are part of the problem.  President and CEO of FreedomWorks Matt Kibbe aptly said at BlogCon Charlotte last spring that sometimes “you need to beat the Republicans before you can beat the Democrats.”

Kibbe made the same statement at a Young Republican event in Franklin County, PA in February of 2012.  It’s a saying that’s starting to become axiomatic, especially as these debt negotiations continue to have a repetitious character of a bad deal being countered by a delusional one.  The first salvo was fired at Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) on December 3 when “Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other top Republicans were huddled in a Steering Committee meeting… that panel, which is controlled in large part by Boehner, decides who sits on the various House committees,” according to John Bresnahan Jake Sherman of Politico.

Sherman and Bresnahan added that ” Schweikert — who was en route from Arizona to Capitol Hill on Monday — will now serve on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) will replace Schweikert on the Financial Services Committee. Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said a member’s voting record isn’t the sole determinant of his or her committee assignments. ‘The Steering Committee makes decisions based on a range of factors,’ Steel said” – or ones grounded in a purge list. Boyle wrote that:

in remarks to the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday [Dec. 4], Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp confirmed the existence of such a list. “We’ve heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn’t reach a particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote – which by the way, in most cases, was not the conservative position – then [they said] ‘we’re going to have to remove you from the committee,’” Huelskamp said.

“All that took place behind closed doors, which is again a problem with Washington, D.C. – whether it’s the budget negotiations, whether it’s everything else, it’s usually done behind closed doors,” he explained. “I think, as conservatives, this is where we can win: We’ve got to be willing and able to talk about things in public instead of being afraid of actual public scrutiny.”

Huelskamp later told Breitbart News he thinks House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy owe it to the American people to be transparent about this decision making process – and that they should publicly release the list.

Breitbart’s Boyle noted that the criteria within the list is unknown.  And the name of the person who initiated the purge is unknown. FreedomWorks has been urging conservatives to demand answers from Speaker Boehner.

In the final days before the start of a new Congress, John Boehner and the Republican establishment is quietly purging crucial House committees of strong fiscal conservatives, including:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS) – House Budget Committee (96% FreedomWorks Lifetime Rating)

Rep. Justin Amash (MI) – House Budget Committee (100% FreedomWorks Lifetime Rating)

Rep. David Schweikert (AZ) – House Financial Services (96% FreedomWorks Lifetime Rating)

These three principled legislators have stood with the Constitution even when it was unpopular to do so. Their dedication to the principles of lower taxes and limited government is now being punished by a Speaker who would rather concede to the big spenders in Congress instead of making the tough choices.

Call John Boehner and tell him to restore these genuine fiscal conservatives to their respective committees.

Call House Speaker John Boehner Now

Office Phone Number: (202) 225-0600

Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post wrote the conservative butcher’s bill on December 4 listing:

Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) from the House Budget Commtitee. Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) [who] lost their positions on the Financial Services Committee.

The four members are known for occasionally bucking leadership and voting against Boehner’s wishes. Amash, Huelskamp and Schweikert are popular with the conservative movement, while Jones has made a name for himself by speaking out against U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

Huelskamp and Amash were also the only GOP votes against Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan this year, arguing that it didn’t cut spending enough. The Steering Committee recently recommended that Ryan stay on as Budget Committee chairman.

Luckily, the Senate is safe from Boehner’s reach.  At least principled conservatives, like Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), remain in a blocking position.  Chris Moody of The Ticket, which reports on politics for Yahoo! News, wrote yesterday that Sen. DeMint “slammed House Republican leaders for the “fiscal cliff” proposal they offered earlier this week.”

“Speaker [John] Boehner’s $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny,” DeMint said in a statement. “This isn’t rocket science. Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it. This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”

I know I’ve said I’ll stomach slight tax hikes for now, but it seems Democrats aren’t going to budge on their end relating to families making more than $250,000 a year.  In fact, Moody wrote “Democrats dismissed it quickly, calling for a bill that would increase taxes on households earning more than $250,000 per year and more federal spending on infrastructure, which were not included in the Republican plan.”

While caving for tax hikes is one thing, purging conservatives in various House committees is another.  It’s simply irrational for Speaker Boehner to rid himself of the most vociferous defenders of freedom and limited government in Congress.  Conservatives are the vanguards against the usurpatory nature of government, and the implementation of a hyper-regulatory progressive state.  Does any rational person feel that a squishy Republican will exude the same amount of tenacity and steadfastness exhibited by a conservative?  No, they’ll cave, Democrats will gain ground, and the American taxpayer will pay for it.

Republicans can play with who is saddled with the tax hikes, and as I’ve said previously, a slight hike on anyone making over $1 million isn’t insane. But the spending cuts that follow need to be deep and enacted immediately.  Furthermore, most of those cuts need to be focused on curbing the welfare state.  However, with the climate becoming more toxic and Republican moderates declaring war on the conservative wing of the party – I’m starting to lean towards being more intransigent towards tax hikes.  If Democrats won’t come halfway, then we shouldn’t indulge them.

Nevertheless, Speaker Boehner seems to be making it all the more easier for Democrats to expand the size and scope of government.  What are your doing up there, Speaker Boehner?

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

 

 

A “Quick and Dirty” Look at Obama’s Tax The Rich Plan

I couldn’t resist. I saw the following article and I just had to write about it: http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/14/news/economy/obama-taxes-deficit/index.html?hpt=hp_t3 

Yes, I know that in the post-2012 election era, my blog will naturally pivot to more philosophical writings, but some economic analyses will come up here and there. This is an example of one of these economic analyses.

As many readers of my blog know, rarely would I conduct an analysis on a simple article such as the one listed above. Usually, as seen in this previous analysis, I prefer digging deeper and analyzing primary-source data… usually involving IRS data tables, OMB information, or anything of the like. Since this is a simple analysis of the second-hand information discussed in an article, it is officially a “quick and dirty” look.

The CNN Money article talks about Obama’s hard-line plan on raising taxes on the wealthy. At the bottom, it goes on to list the various increases in revenue for each tax-raising move. Keep in mind, these revenue figures summed up over a period of 10 years. They are:

– Letting the Bush-Era Tax Cuts Expire for High-Income Earners: $1 trillion in revenue raised over the next decade

– Limiting Tax Breaks (and, I’ll assume deductions): $500 billion in revenue raised over the next decade

– Increase Carried Interest Tax Rates: $13.5 billion in revenue raised over the next decade

– Imposed the Millionaire Minimum Tax (the “Buffett Rule”): $47 billion in revenue raised over the next decade

– Enact Business Tax Proposals: Though not explicitly clear, this would raise $240 billion in revenue raised over the next decade

Now, using simple math, these five main tax increases raise $1.8 trillion in revenues over the next decade. If divided equally over 10 years, that’s $180 billion per year. To put this in contrast, the budget deficit for Obama’s 2013 budget is between $909 billion and $1.1 trillion, depending on whose estimate you’re looking at. For conservative numbers sake, we will use the $909 billion value, and we can see that by enacting ALL the tax hikes Obama wants, he would be shrinking the 2013 budget deficit by a very small amount. In 2013, should all these tax increases work like Obama has said they would, our government would still have a $729 billion deficit. Basically, as stated numerous times throughout this blog, increasing taxes on the wealthy does very little to close the deficit. While it does have a small benefit with respect to direct revenue increases, the negative effects of increased expenses on job creators and small business owners will hurt employees’ pockets, ultimately slowing down the economy further.

There is another part of this proposal Obama has promised: spending cuts. So far, I’ve only looked at the revenue side of this plan. It’s time to look at the spending cut side. Examining the CNN article, Obama claims he will cut $4 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years. This is obviously an average savings of $400 billion per year.

Let’s now take a look as to how this all plays out. The following figures are simple linearly-extrapolated numbers based on the conditions we know currently exist in the 2013 budget:

For 2013 – Government expenditures: $3.808 trillion / Government revenues: $2.902 trillion.

According to Obama’s $400 billion per year spending cut savings, let’s assume the government will then spend about $3.4 trillion per year over the next 10 years (granted this is difficult to predict since entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare are expected to rise in cost due to the aging population). Let’s also assume that the government, based on the $180 billion per year increase in tax revenue, will take in $3.083 trillion per year over the next 10 years. The budget situation would look something like this (all dollar figures are in trillions of dollars):


*Based on current budget estimates

Again, it must be stated that assuming expenditures and revenues stay the the same year after year is a tough sell, but, being that all this discussion centers on estimated spending cut savings and estimated revenue increases, it’s semi-safe to say that this chart displays a good approximation of average values. Notice that even with $400 billion per year in spending cut savings factored in with $180 billion per year in additional revenues, significant deficits remain, and more importantly, the total national debt still balloons to over $19 trillion in 10 years. Unfortunately, as the population ages, expenditures are going to rise, and as the economy declines further because of exogenous forces like slow economic growth worldwide and endogenous forces like business-stifling tax increases, revenues are going to shrink. This chart shows very optimistic scenarios, and realistically, it’s doubtful that if passed as Obama wants it, this spending cut and tax increase plan will produce deficits smaller in size than the ones shown here.

In short, though this is a “quick and dirty” look at Obama’s budget plan proposal, it leads me back to the original conclusion: increasing taxes will do little to help our budget, and spending decreases via entitlement reform are really the budgetary remedy this country needs. If nothing is done soon, as time goes on, our entitlement spending will swallow us further into the black hole of debt oblivion.

To view the original post and see its follow-up comments, visit The Elephant in the Room: http://loudmouthelephant.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-quick-and-dirty-look-at-obamas-tax.html

Liberals: Time To Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is




The additional cost of providing ObamaCare has gone political, particularly for Papa John’s Pizza. Erin Haust and Matt Vespa and Chris Vaca have written very good CDN articles explaining why the Papa John’s dust up is important to America’s freedom. In another article, Chris Vaca says, “I bring this up because once again they show themselves for what they truly are, hypocrites.”   [emphasis mine]    While Chris’ article was primarily about information, his observations fit so well that I just had to use it.

Where are the liberals when it comes time to actually PAY for ObamaCare? This Salon article says that ObamaCare costs will add 10¢ to 14¢ to the cost of each pizza, or from 0.4 percent to 0.7 percent. Forbes’ Caleb Melby points out “that [John] Schnatter’s underlying logic doesn’t make sense when you look at the numbers.” There’s plenty of cost increase analysis, but no offers to pay for the, according to Melby’s analysis, inexpensive ObamaCare costs.

What is most ironic is that the Salon article concludes, “… the right legislative reforms could potentially reduce that trend line [referring to increasing healthcare costs that ObamaCare is supposed to stop] by more than $3,000 per employee, to $25,435.” Just the opposite has occurred. I can only conclude that ObamaCare was not “the right legislative reforms.”

This MSN article criticizes Papa John’s, saying the pizzas given away cost much more than ObamaCare. I guess the concept of advertising never occurred to MSN writers. But, again, no offer by MSN to pay for ObamaCare costs, only criticism.

Salon.com has failed to be profitable, but it is quick to criticize a profitable business. MSN, part of Microsoft, was, in 2007, not profitable. Microsoft, itself, is very profitable, making a gross profit of “only” $56.19 billion last year, but could not/would not underwrite Papa John’s increased costs. Please let me know if any liberal company/organization/website steps forward and actually pays for or offers to pay for ObamaCare.

Ultimately, as Jim Clayton says, “This ObamaCare isn’t about “really” caring for the people, it is about power.   [emphasis mine]   Nowhere in the Salon or MSN articles could I find any business effect analysis, only criticism of Papa John’s for cutbacks and not providing ObamaCare.

But the truly sad thing is that there many, many other businesses in America forced to provide ObamaCare. And who will ultimately pick up the tab? Us consumers. And there are many, many other liberal sites and businesses that could provide ObamaCare, but that would eat into their profits. Chris Vaca is correct: liberals are, indeed, hypocrites. They are quick to criticize, but never “put their money where their mouth is.”

But that’s just my opinion.

Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.

Deciphering Susan Rice Without Being Racist

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I’m almost at the mark! I’m so excited.  I just have one more jar of Ovaltine to drink before I’m able to send in my application for the James Clyburn Racial Code Word Decipher.  It’s going to be useful – as we all try to make sense of the various racial code wards that have been hurled at Ambassador Susan Rice for her incompetence less than adequate job performance.

Racism is, and will always be, an effective tool employed by liberals.  Racism is anathema to American society.  So, when one person cries racial discrimination – Blacks, Whites, Asians, and Martians come out of the bushes, like perverted voyuers, to listen.  Additionally, the person who has been accused must explain how they aren’t racist to the public.  In politics, that’s perfect.  One candidate hammering away at the opposing side’s economic record, like in the case of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, is inhibited from continuing to do so once the racism accusations start flying.

In the case of Ambassador Rice, she’s been accused of being ‘incompetent’ and ‘lazy’ from Republicans.  Democrats say that’s racist and sexist. However, no one dares think about the alternative situation where a Republican Ambassador to the UN would have been chastised heavily from Democrats – and rightfully so.  There’s no excuse to misled the American people on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Concerning Rep. Clyburn, this is how he frames the whole situation:

“You know, these are code words,” Clyburn said. “We heard them during the campaign. During this recent campaign, we heard Senator Sununu calling our president lazy, incompetent—these kinds of terms that those of us, especially those of us who were grown and raised in the South, we would hear these little words and phrases all of our lives, and we’d get insulted by them.”

The Washington Times’ Kerry Picket noted this as well.  In fact, she even went into the past, and dug up liberal accusations of incompetence that were thrown at then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Of course, you have to cite the worst of the worst, which is what Picket did quoting left-wing blowhard and editor of The Nation Katrina Vanden Heuvel – who wrote in November of 2004.

Last July, the Washington Post devoted much of its front-page to a well-reported story indicting National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice for her role in misleading Congress and the public in the run- up to the Iraq war. The bottom line: Rice was either incompetent or a liar.

Even sources described as “generally sympathetic” to the NSC adviser questioned her many shifting and contradictory statements regarding Iraq’s alleged uranium purchase and the WMD (non)threat. But Rice’s dogged loyalty to Bush served her well, and she stayed put.

Gasp! Ms. Vanden Heuvel – that’s racist!  However, this plays into the mindset of liberals, which is conservative women, especially those who are minorities, aren’t really people.  They’re the confused ‘others’ wondering through the woods, and looked down upon as semi-mentally retarded.  It’s how liberals view most people who aren’t of the liberal persuasion.  Hey, some people like to work hard, and pay taxes – I don’t blame them.

This perverse untermenschen category liberals have for conservative women extends to their affiliates in the D.C. non-profit and lobbying circle with groups like NARAL Pro-choice America and the National Organization of (some) Women.  As far as I’m concerned, conservatives should continue to hammer away at Ambassador Susan Rice, and do everything possible to block her nomination for Secretary of State.

Originally posted at The Young Cons.

Justice Alito Stresses Federalism As Refuge from Usurpatory Government

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With the Supreme Court and the future of constitutional government in doubt, it’s always reassuring to hear from the voices who espouse those views.  I’m an ardent optimist.  I have faith that the electorate will correct their decisions made on Nov. 6, and constrain this president’s pernicious agenda of implementing a hyper-regulatory progressive state.  The Federalist Society’s 30th Anniversary Gala last Thursday night featured Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who detailed how the legal opinions of those on the left threaten America’s constitutional bedrock: federalism.

To put it simplistically, the federal government is supreme in its sphere, as is the state government in their defined area.  There is overlap – and confusion.  However, Alito gave a robust defense of the doctrine.  While it’s seen better days, federalism in Alito’s view, promotes energetic and productive competition, protects liberty, and encourages experimentation.  He also reiterated that you do not have to buy the various treatises on constitutional law that run over a thousand pages –  and cost a considerable amount of money – to understand that congressional power is limited.  You just have to read the plain text of the U.S. Constitution to understand that point.

He then went on to detail various cases that have threatened this principle of federalism.  From the government being able to attach GPS monitors surreptitiously to your vehicles and calling it a search under the Fourth Amendment to facing the regulatory nightmare of having wetlands being designated in one’s backyard, the fight to keep the Madisonian experiment in limited government, and the principles of federalism un-imbrued continues with fragility.

We have four liberals, four conservatives, with Justice Alito included, and moderate Justice Kennedy on the bench, which isn’t a firm legal defense of the principles conservatives wish to see blemished.  And more fights will come.  One fight in particular that was highly salient – which was described more in depth by Justice Alito, concerned Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC.

In this case, Cheryl Perich was hired by the Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran Church and School, taught some lessons, contracted narcolepsy, took a leave of absence, and was subsequently replaced.  She sued under the American with Disabilities Act, however, the ministerial exception gave more latitude to religious institution in terms of hiring and firing processes.  The Court ruled unanimously that such an exception applied here, and therefore, discrimination lawsuits brought against religious institutions aren’t valid.

Well, The New York Times, to no one’s surprise, didn’t take too kindly to the decision.  But, the argument for Perich and The New York Times is disturbing.  Should courts be allowed to review cases, and make decisions based on legal and religious doctrines?  Is it up to a judge and jury to decide a termination?  If accepted, government would have been able to go deep into the dynamics of religious institutions, and the doctrines that guide them.  That’s gross overreach.For jurists to decide cases based solely on church doctrine, if this argument were accepted by the Court, and not law is insane.  As Justice Alito said at the dinner, it’s a “chilling” foray into this plausible episode of government intrusion.

This nation proudly and robustly defends the right to free speech enshrined in our First Amendment.  However, this case, and Citizens United, shows how some people on the left will try to alter the Constitution to fit their model on how they feel government should operate – or feel whole again.  Citizens United, the more controversial of the two cases, was boiled down to the government making the case the speech articulated or disseminated by the privileged few is protected, but isn’t for other parties in the country.  That’s perverse, and it doesn’t stop there.

Justice Alito concluded with a warning about the alternate vision we’re fighting against in the judiciary.  It’s a vision where federalism offers no refuge.  It’s an insufferable progressive state that stomps on religious institutions and freedoms.  It’s a government that can willingly seize private property.  Justice Alito vociferously made the case that the U.S. Constitution wasn’t meant to be malleable with a dependent, entitled society.  It was designed for the citizens operating within a socioeconomic fabric that stressed freedom and independence.  This document embeds certain rights, so that they can’t be easily removed from the political landscape.  Therefore, as Justice Alito alluded to, it’s integral to the survival of our freedom, and our commitment to be an open and prosperous society.

 

Government Stands In The Way of Energy Independence

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In a striking blow for the environmental left, the International Energy Agency released a report last Monday detailing how the United States is on track to outpace Saudi Arabia in oil production.  This surely puts the Obama administration in a bind concerning their green energy monomania that has dominated their energy policy for the past four years.  Heritage compiled a nice butcher’s bill of the president’s green energy investments.  However, the most important part about this development is that it proves that the United States can be energy independent, and we have the resources to achieve that feat.  However, the boot of government is trying to centralize and control those resources to expand their dependency agenda.  It’s hard to oppose someone when they have their finger on the power switch.

Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote in the New York Times on Nov. 12 that “the United States will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer by about 2017 and will become a net oil exporter by 2030…that increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.” However, it’s hard to meet that goal when the government decided to cordon off 1.6 million acres, worth about 1 trillion barrels worth of oil, for conservation

 Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), reiterated that exploration and development of federal lands is a necessity to meet our goal of energy independence. When I asked him about how this report will effect the narrative disseminated by government officials and left-wing enviroementalists, Pyle said, “unfortunately, it seems part of the divide.  Those who want restrictions have their best success in manipulating policies on public lands – the very places where they don’t live and work. High prices also get people’s attention, but then it becomes a blame game – politicians always point the finger at everybody but themselves and oil companies are probably the only group besides lawyers who are less popular than politicians.  But we are making headway!”

Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER, claimed that the political left will respond by trying “to federalize hydraulic fracturing regulation, which is being done by states in a very professional and knowledgeable way.  Take fracking away, the oil and gas production drops. They also always seek to drive up the costs of activities so as to make them uneconomic, and there is no shortage of levers they use for that.   Since the myth of energy scarcity is their justification for federal programs the like, this doesn’t fit the agenda.  They will fight it by trying to scare people.”

They’ve already begun with Jacob Weissmann’s asinine Nov. 13 piece in The Atlantic. Basically, he says that we can’t drill our way to independence, Saudi Arabia is just too good at this oil production stuff, and we need to conserve to “insulate ourselves from rising gas prices.”   Sadly, Weissmann never factored in oil + increased coal production, since we are the Saudi Arabia of coal.  Also, natural gas via The Marcellus Shale is another major area of energy development.

Weissman isn’t looking at it through a larger scope.  In 1.6 million acres alone, we have 1 trillion barrels worth of petroleum.  In 1944, we were estimated to have about 20 billion in proven oil reserves, but we’ve produced 176 billion barrels between 1945-2010.  Concerning coal, we have enough to power our country for 485 years.  We have the resources to become energy independent, but government feels otherwise. As Pyle and Kish told me before, the War on Energy isn’t about conservation. It’s about control.

Financial Crisis…a “Top Down, Bottom Up, Inside Out” Designed Collapse from Home Loans to Student Loans

As the fiscal cliff looms, it is prudent to discuss how we got here. As our crisis moves from housing to student loan and then into health care, it should be noted what, how and who got us into this situation.

“…because this financial crisis just wasn’t the result of decisions made in the executive suites on Wall Street, it was also the result decisions made across kitchen tables across America by folks who took on mortgages and credit cards and auto loans,”

Barrack Obama, Wall Street, April 22, 2010

     During a 2010 speech at Wall Street, President Obama blamed Wall Street and Main Street for irresponsible financial practices but he neglected the true culprit of the housing crisis…the federal government. When third parties such as Washington politicians, bureaucrats and community organizations get involved, it perpetuated the housing disaster in what we have today.

So, how do you collapse the housing market? You start with the philosophy of “Overloading the system” with an approach known as “Top Down, Bottom Up and Inside Out. Van Jones explains this concept below. Politicians and bureaucrats wrote legislation that entice community organizations, citizens and lawyers to force banks in giving loans they should not have given. This concept begins with the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act, then relaxing HUD policies with unrealistic goals. The Clinton Administration and Congress put pressure on banks, this represents the “Top Down” portion. This placed the legal ability for banks to make risky “subprime” loans. The “Bottom Up” is community organizations, like ACORN and lawyers who push the written law through the court system. These community organizations put pressure or extorted banks through threats of lawsuits. With Fannie and Freddie’s loan goals increased, pressure from federal agencies and community groups demanding risky loans to be made, this is the “Top Down, Bottom Up” scenario. The “Inside Out” scenario is where people within the system begin to work with the community organizations or replaced with people who are friendly to organizations that caused the problems.

So, what caused the subprime lending crisis? Let’s start with the Community Reinvestment Act.

In 1977, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) established the foundation for the housing crisis and “encouraged” financial institutions to provide loans to low- and moderate-income communities. It eliminated “redlining”, a practice where banks identify and eliminate lending to certain high-risk communities. But one of the most damaging aspects of the act was the creation of a rating system that evaluated banks on several factors, one being their subprime loan record. The CRA addressed concerns of the deteriorating conditions of cities like urban flight and declining neighborhoods, this was due to limited credit availability. After the CRA was enacted, the federal government continued to tweak previsions for the next 30 years to provide loans to risky borrowers, loosen restrictions so banks were able to give these loans and provided legal grounds for community organizations and lawyers to force these loans.

After the passage of the CRA, trends of outstanding consumer credit skyrocketed. (See chart below)

     The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 kept banks in check. It limited the affiliation between commercial banks and security firms, this also eliminated financial transactions being granted within the same credit, lending and investing institutions, also known as “too big to fail.” What this would do is tie loans to the banks physical assets. Back in 1933, this act gave additional oversight authority to the Federal Reserve. In addition, the FDIC would be able to guarantee loans up to a certain amount.

     Ben Bernanke explained that the CRA encouraged many banks to make high-risk loans to low and middle-income communities at low interest rates. The Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) publicized these CRA reports public. This allowed community organizations and lawyers to “perform more-sophisticated, quantitative analyses of banks’ records.” If a bank’s ratings were not adequate, community organizations such as Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) sued banks for the lack of loans in low income communities.

     In 1980, Jimmy Carter signed the HR 4986, “Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act” forcing banks to adhere to Federal Reserve rules. It allowed the merger of banks and raised deposit insurance from $40,000 to $100,000.

     In 1992, the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 “establish(ed) specified housing goals for each enterprise, including goals for purchase of mortgages on housing for low- and moderate-income families”. These two Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged “subprime” lending by authorizing a “flexible” criteria whereas high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans. These GSEs were intermediaries who loan to banks and not directly to homeowners. Banks were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as “valid income sources” in qualifying for mortgages. If banks didn’t accept these documents, they could face lawsuits.

     In 1994, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted a “top down” policy where ten federal agencies adopted a policy, entitled “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending”. According to the news release “The following Federal Agencies—HUD, OFHEO, DOJ, OCC, OTS, the Board, FDIC, FHFB, FTC and the NCUA—sharing a concern that some prospective homebuyers and other borrowers may be experiencing discriminatory treatment in their efforts to obtain loans, formed an Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending to establish uniform policy against discriminatory lending.”

     Community organizations increasingly used the public comment process to pretest bank applications on CRA grounds. When applications were highly contested, federal agencies held public hearings to allow public comment on the bank’s lending record. In addition, this policy “seek(s) to promote fair lending” and “seeks to prevent lending discrimination and redlining by requiring public disclosure of certain information about mortgage loan applications.” In essence, the federal government established a grading program to evaluate how these programs lent to the poor. Due to these changes in lending practices and activism, homeownership would soar as shown below.

     According to the Chicago Daily Observer, Barrack Obama represented 186 African-Americans in a 1995 discrimination lawsuit against Citibank. These individuals were not approved loans but Citibank settled in 1997. Since then, roughly half of those represented have gone into bankruptcy or received foreclosure notices. Today, only 19 of the 186 still own their homes with a clean credit record. This demonstrates how community organizations can pressure banks into giving subprime loans.

     In 1999, President Clinton and a Republican majority Congress repealed the Glass-Steagill Act. This allowed banks, lenders and investments firms to practice across different environments, reintroducing “Too Big Too Fail.”  The bill passed the house (362-57) and Senate (90-8). At the same time, the Clinton Administration put pressure on Fannie Mae to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people. HUD increased Fannie/Freddie’s subprime lending goals to over 40 percent for low- and moderate-income families.

    Bill Clinton in an interview describes how much CRA loans were given out during his time as President.

In 1999, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s Chairman and CEO stated ”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements.” “Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.”

According to Milkeninstitute, “The rate of foreclosures on subprime loans originated increased each year from 1999 to 2007 and accounted for approximately half of all foreclosures over the same period.” When the collapse occurred in the third quarter of 2007, subprime ARMs made up only 6.8 percent of US mortgages outstanding but accounted for 43 percent of the foreclosures that began in that quarter.

In November 2000, Fannie Mae announced HUD would increase the dedicated amounts to 50%. According to CSR Press Release, to expand the secondary market, Fannie Mae committed to purchase $2 billion through a suite of flexible mortgage options purchasing one-to-four unit homes. Fannie Mae injected a process where previous loans would be negotiated on an individual basis. Dan Mudd, from Fannie Mae stated “By teaming with lenders, Fannie Mae can not only help increase lending to minorities and other underserved market segments, but we also can assist depository institutions in meeting their own community investment goals and objectives. We look forward to working with our customers to create increased liquidity for Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) -eligible loans.”

In 2001, the US Department of Treasury warned, “Subprime borrowers typically have weakened credit histories that include payment delinquencies and possibly more severe problems such as charge-offs, judgments and bankruptcies. They may also display a reduced repayment capacity as measured by credit scores, debt-to-income ratios, or other criteria that may encompass borrowers with incomplete credit histories.”

Although most home loans were not subprime mortgages, their numbers rapidly grew in the early part of the 21st Century. Subprime loans accounted for 9 percent in 1996 and 20 percent in 2007, one-fifth of US home loan market. Throughout the 2000s, there were calls to reform Fannie and Freddie because they were “systemic risks”. In 2003, Barney Frank stated that Fannie and Freddie are “not in a crisis” and Republicans were crying wolf in calling Fannie and Freddie not financially sound. Democrats blocked Republican-sponsored legislation. From a servicing standpoint, these loans have a statistically higher rate of default and are more likely to experience repossessions and charge offs. Lenders use the higher interest rate and fees to offset these anticipated higher costs.

In April 2005, there was rumble of fixing the housing debacle but some lawmakers said that it undercut the ability of the CRA to “meet the needs of low and moderate-income persons and communities.” Senator Shelby introduced legislation to deal with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that was causing a “systemic risk for our financial system.” The carrot was subprime loans that would be purchased and backed by federal GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Community Organizations felt this legislation would only weaken CRA. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned of Fannie and Freddie’s debt. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk,” he said. Senator Charles Schumer (D) says, “I think Fannie and Freddie over the years have done an incredibly good job and are an intrinsic part of making America the best-housed people in the world.” No legislation would be passed to address the looming bubble.

On August 15, 2007, concerns about subprime mortgages caused a sharp drop in stocks across Nasdaq and Dow Jones. Record lows were observed in stock market prices across the the world. The US market recovered all those losses within 2 days. Concern in late 2007 increased as the August market recovery was lost, in spite of the Fed cutting interest rates by half a point (0.5%) on September 18 and by a quarter point (0.25%) on October 31. Stocks are testing their lows of August now.

On December 6, 2007, President Bush announced a plan to voluntarily and temporarily freeze the mortgages of a limited number of mortgage debtors holding ARMs by the Hope Now Alliance. He also asked Congress to: 1. Pass legislation to modernize the FHA. 2. Temporarily reform the tax code to help homeowners refinance during this time of housing market stress. 3. Pass funding to support mortgage counseling. 4. Pass legislation to reform GSEs like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

In 2008, Troubled Asset Relief Program was enacted in response to the subprime mortgage crisis. Citizens do not have access to Fannie and Freddie’s records because they are considered a GSE, so the Freedom of Information Act does not apply. Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still have an open checkbook in buying loans.

So, what changed to cause the subprime mortgage crisis? Was it a conspiracy contrived by the Fannie, Freddie, bankers, lawyers or community organizations? NO! Legislation and courts were used to position third parties such as federal agencies, community organizations, GSEs and lawyers who determined the validity of banks’ lending practices based off a banks’ CRA rating rather than the practice for each individual. These players used the law to force banks to lend money to people who could not afford it. The housing collapse was caused by third party intervention intervening into the free market…not capitalism!

According to Maxine Waters (5:08), “Under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines, everything in the 1992 Act has worked just fine. In fact, the GSEs has exceeded their housing goals. What we need to do today is focus on the regulator and this must be done in a manner so as not to impede their affordable housing mission. A mission that has seen innovation flourishes from desktop underwriting to 100 percent loans.”

According to a 2010 House Oversight Committee Report, top banks such as Countrywide, Bank of America, Chase, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo established relationships with community organizations such as ACORN. The report also stated “ACORN used provisions in the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 to challenge bank mergers and acquisitions. These challenges successfully forced banks to make lending agreements with ACORN Housing.” ACORN became a HUD approved housing counselor. According to the report, ACORN has “waged savage public campaigns and delivered subtle private threats to large banking institutions for its own financial gain, defeated former political allies…and formed powerful alliances with the SEIU, Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama.”

With federal legislation pushed banks to make high risk loans and provided upward pressure from community organizations that ensure the subprime. The problem cannot be entirely blamed on the CRA but it laid the foundation. CRA reports enabled community organizations and lawyers to force banks into making subprime loans, and this extortion probably extended elsewhere…and to some degree partnerships. Fannie & Freddie was able to guarantee and provide cheap subprime money.

Ron Paul provided some insight that the very people who was instrumental in creating the legislation are there to fix it.

The next financial  bubble will be “Student Loans” while the housing bubble’s intrinsic issues were not addressed.

OF COURSE WE SEE OUR PATH!

Demographics Poses A Challenge to Republicans, But It’s Not Unwinnable

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Demographic shifts, Hispanic outreach, and how to make inroads with the youth have dominated conservative circles after a resounding Obama win last week.  It’s a discussion conservatives must have if they are to survive as a national political force.  Mitt Romney lost Hispanics, with almost 75% of them voting for the president, and young, single women.  Again, single women voted overwhelmingly for the president 67% to Romney’s 31%.  Some Republicans say that it was Romney’s disastrous ground game, while others say it was the party’s spring to the far right.  Regardless, the shifting demographics show that Texas, a reliably Republican state, could go blue if conservatives don’t expand their grassroots and outreach operations, especially in the Hispanic community.

Chris Wilson at Yahoo! News wrote on Nov. 13 that “the Census Bureau provides detailed estimates of population growth by race and ethnicity through 2050. The Hispanic population is expected to triple between 2008 and 2050, while the total number of white, non-Hispanic Americans will remain stagnant.”  As such, the largest bloc of guaranteed electoral votes for Republicans could go to the Democrats, which would be the death knell for the party.  They would be down, based on 2012 Electoral College, 142 electoral votes just coming out of the gate.  That is if Republicans surrender Pennsylvania to the Democrats, which may be in the works.  The state hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, and has become more of a money pit in national contests.

Yet, with all the talk about how Republicans should alter their strategies to win, which is oddly enough coming from liberal media outlets, it seems conservatives knew about these obstacles eons before Barack Obama came onto the political scene.  In fact, the AEI discussion of shifting political demographics, which was hosted back in August of 2011, seems to have been prophetic in their analysis of the changing American melting pot.

Ruy Teixeira [,senior fellow at the Center for American Progress,]  argued that trends would favor Democrats. To back his claim, he cited the growing Hispanic population and the decreasing influence of religion. Michael Barone [, of The Washington Exmainer,] agreed with Mr. Teixeira, but concluded instead that demographics of the preceding decade would not necessarily continue in the same direction. In one example he referenced lower inflow of Mexican immigrants to U.S. due to economic problems.

However, it’s undeniable that the Millennial generation is the most liberal generation, who will soon give Democrats a +20 party identification advantage by 2020.  Furthermore, Americans who identify themselves as secular are the fastest growing ‘religious’ group in the U.S.  By the mid-2020s, they’ll constitute almost 25% of all adults in the country, which may make some aspects of Republican social policy unpalatable.

This is not to say that we should liberalize.  We just need to be smarter, and target certain demographics who are more malleable to the conservative cause that will produce the results we need to win.  Hispanics is where Republicans and conservative should focus their energy.  However, we must tread carefully in our messaging because they’re the Democrats’ demographic to lose at this point.

Originally posted at The Young Cons.

Liberal Brown Shirts Strike Again

It seems that free speech and truth are under assault in this country once again, it seems that Hitler’s brown shirt brigade have taken root in America. While Adolf Hitler was rising to power in Germany in the 1930’s he had a group of people dressed in brown shirts, it was their job to silence any person that did not agree with Hitler’s way of thinking, so free speech and truth did not exist, unless they were Hitler’s.

The reason I bring this up, is that this is happening today in America, except the brown shirts are now called Liberals. Believe me they are a shifty and dangerous group of people, they are the true fascists of today. You have to watch out for them, because they are the complete opposite of what they preach. They preach they are for tolerance and against hate, yet if your views differ from theirs, they are the first to attack and viciously I might add.

I bring this up because once again they show themselves for what they truly are, hypocrites. The election is over; business owners were waiting to make a move because they wanted to see who was going to win, Romney was their choice because he would have been better for business. After Obama won, many businesses around the country announced layoffs, Papa John’s Pizza announced cutbacks because of Obamacare, it is just too expensive. Right away the brown shirts, sorry, I mean the Liberals came out attacking Papa John’s for lying about Obamacare. According to them, Papa John’s was lying about Obamacare only because they hated Obama and wanted to hurt him anyway they can, so they called for a national boycott; do not buy Papa John’s pizza. Now I must say, Liberals are pretty stupid to think that a man would deliberately prevent his business from growing, just to spite Obama, morons.

Like Jack Nicholson said in the movie A Few Good Men, “They can’t handle the truth.” The fact of the matter is, Obamacare is a job killing monstrosity of a bill, the negatives outweigh the positives tenfold, but the truth must not be told because it is not the truth that Liberals believe in. In addition, who can forget the big Chick- Fil-A fiasco, because the President of the company believes in traditional marriage, as I do and millions upon millions of people of this country do as well, he was demonized and a boycott was called for.  However, the brown shirts, I mean the Liberals were stopped in their tracks when the whole thing blew up in their faces. It seems that the normal people of this country had a plan of their own, that was to pick a day and eat at Chick-Fil- A. The response was so overwhelming, that Chick-Fil-A had its most profitable day in the history of the company, three cheers for the normal people of this country.

When it comes to the brown shirts, I mean Liberals; I don’t understand why I keep confusing the two? I guess maybe it is because they are one and the same. If it is not their idea of truth, the rest of us must not believe it and God forbid we should speak out. You see free speech and truth belong only to the Liberals and if you disagree, be prepared to be bombarded with all the hate they can muster, tolerance, I do not think they know the meaning of the word, although they say that is what they stand for.

In addition, during the election, a few actresses had the nerve to say that they supported Romney for President, how dare they, can you imagine someone actually voting their conscience in Hollywood, they need to move out immediately, can’t have none of that, now can we?  These poor women were attacked viciously on Twitter, with words I have not used since I was a juvenile, but that is the mindset of a Liberal I guess, juvenile that is.

The problem is that most people back down when they are attacked, therefore the Liberals win their argument, that is how they stifle free speech. I for one made a vow years ago never to be politically correct, as a matter of fact, I go out of my way to be politically incorrect, because I know it annoys them. This is America, we are allowed to have our own views, without being attacked for them, but the Liberal brown shirts seem to have forgotten that, I guess they think they are back in Nazi Germany, I tell you, sometimes it feels like it.

Remember, Liberals, Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Marxists are all cut from the same hunk of wood.

 

This is one man’s opinion.

 

 

 

 

Repeat After Me: We Didn’t Lose Because of Social Issues

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I admit that I really haven’t become much of a social conservative until about the last eighteen months.  I mostly took libertarian position on issues like gay marriage and abortion – some of which I still maintain.  However, being an adoptee and seeing the utter rot inherent on the political left, especially when it comes to abortion – I found my libertarian ‘pro-choice’ position untenable.  Yes, I still think government regulation of the market inhibits its full potential, thereby making it a perverse action on behalf of the state.  It’s immoral for government to curb systems that lead to greater economic freedom and liberty for its citizenry.  Yet, I was also disturbed with government being in the home – and regulating social behavior amongst consenting adults.

Then, the 2012 election happened. The Democrats decided to manufacture a false narrative called the ‘War on Women,’ a consensus concerning taxpayer-funded abortion was in the works, and a thirty-yeard old liberal activist named Sandra Fluke burst onto the scene demanding free birth control.  Unsurprisingly, all of this coalesced into an orgy of depravity called the Democratic National Convention, which should have been more appropriately called Abortion Fest.  Even ABC News’ Cokie Roberts was unnerved by the abortion-centric rhetoric exhibited by liberals during the DNC.

Every decent American should, since the Democratic Party platform endorsed taxpayer-funded abortion.  However, that wasn’t an extreme position.  Republicans protecting life, even in the cases of rape and incest, was apparently the extreme position, despite the fact that such circumstances are responsible for less than 1% of all abortions.  If anything, albeit in a grotesque way, that encapsulates the “safe, legal, and rare” characterization Democrats have used to describe abortion.  A phrase that wasn’t included in their party platform in2012, although it’s been used in prior elections.

Nevertheless, after hearing Rebecca Kiessling‘s story – she was conceived during a rape – and the litany of botched abortions performed by Planned Parenthood, I’ve shifted more towards the pro-life camp.  As an adoptee from South Korea, I have no backstory concerning my conception.  I could be a product of rape.  I just don’t know.  Regardless, every life deserves a chance.  My birth mother surely exuded this virtue.  She gave me up for a better life here in the United States.

However, this brings us to the heart of the matter. Should we boot social conservatives from the movement and the Republican Party?  The answer is NO!  Yes, what Mourdock and Akin said imploded their senate campaigns, but Denny Rehberg failed to unseat Democratic incumbent  Sen. Jon Tester in Montana.  Rick Berg failed to secure his senate bid in North Dakota.  George Allen lost in Virginia.  Tom Smith got smoked in Pennsylvania.  Connie Mack won’t be going into the upper chamber representing Florida.  Are social issues responsible for all of these failed senate bids?  No. By the way, Mourdock lost to a pro-life Democrat.

Now, while Mourdock and Akin win the creepy award for 2012 ( no one likes 60+ year old men talking about rape), everyone seems to blame the people who vote reliably Republican and listen to liberals on how to reform the party.  An interesting op-ed piece was published in The Wall Street Journal on Nov.11 by Sarah Westwood, who is a rising sophomore at George Washington University.

The article articulately details the grievances that the more liberal wing of young Republicans have with the ‘Old Guard.’  Westwood states that Republicans need to do a better job reaching out to younger voters, which is true, but we also need to reach out to Hispanics and single women as well.

As a member of this all-important demographic [young voters], I know that neither I nor (almost) anybody else coming of age today supports the Republican social agenda. That’s the way the country is moving—so just deal with it. Modernize and prioritize.

Though it may be painful, though it may be costly at the polls in the short run, Republicans don’t have a future unless they break up with the religious right and the gay-bashing, Bible-thumping fringe that gives the party such a bad rap with every young voter. By fighting to legally ban abortion, the party undercuts the potential to paint itself as a rebel against the governmental-control machine.

Embracing a more liberal social agenda doesn’t require anyone to abandon her own personal values; it’s possible to keep faith and the party too. But the evangelical set essentially hijacked the Republican Party in the 1970s; now we need to take it back. Thawing the icy attitude of our most vocal, radical voices—including the raucous right (a la Limbaugh)—could let a fatally fractured party put the pieces together again.

The GOP won’t survive if it doesn’t start courting young voters. Simple math dictates that the Republican Party can wrest power away from the left only if it builds an army of fresh young members into its base. Democrats are the ones doing that now.

It seems Westwood wants to liberalize the party, return it to the Rockefeller/Thomas Dewey days, and ensure electoral disaster.  Conservatives gladly put an end to their reign after the Goldwater insurgency in 1964.  No, Goldwater didn’t lose – it just took sixteen years to count all the votes.  Nevertheless, who said we were fractured?  Our party was firmly behind Romney.  The problem was Romney’s ground game ( Project ORCA) failed miserably to maximize turnout in key states.  Yes, our coalition needs to expand to remain competitive, but it rests with smart messaging, not moderation.

And concerning purging Limbaugh – you must be insane if you think marginalizing any conservative in the media is a smart move.  If anything, we need more conservatives fighting the liberal media on a daily basis.  Westwood is right that Republicans need to change tactics and maximize outreach to expand out base of support, but moderation and becoming more liberal isn’t what’s going to bring us success at the polls.  Concerning the ‘old guard,’ Westwood is right that some folks need to go.  Karl Rove is on my list.  However, we must also factor into account that youth turnout probably won’t be as high in 2016 when Obama isn’t on the ballot.

Conservatives, like myself, take pride in staying ‘stop!’ in the face of changing times.  We say ‘not so fast’ to liberals – asking them about the efficiency within these government programs, especially if they come with a high price tag.  Coupled with inquiries about a bill’s constitutional basis and long term effects – it’s this form of inquisition that has usually been effective in demolishing liberal programs for decades.  We take pride, and idolize the Madisonian principles of limited government that was the original bedrock for our fledgeling republic.  And they’re the principles we need to resurrect after this egregious expansion of the state under the Obama administration.  This, coupled with aggressive prioritization of winning Latinos, is where we need to start.

We need to admit that in 2012 we were outplayed, outsmarted, and outmaneuvered.  But kicking out social conservatives would make the Republican Party even smaller, according to Erick Erickson. Furthermore:

Mitt Romney won about a quarter of the hispanic vote and a tenth of the black vote.

Those numbers may not sound like much, but in close elections they matter.

A sizable portion of those black and hispanic voters voted GOP despite disagreeing with the GOP on fiscal issues. But they are strongly social conservative and could not vote for the party of killing kids and gay marriage. So they voted GOP.

You throw out the social conservatives and you throw out those hispanic and black voters. Further, you make it harder to attract new hispanic voters who happen to be the most socially conservative voters in the country.

Next, you’ll also see a reduction of probably half the existing GOP base. You won’t make that up with Democrats who suddenly think that because their uterus is safe they can now vote Republican. Most of those people don’t like fiscal conservatism either — often though claiming that they do.

If you really need to think through this, consider Mitt Romney. He is perhaps the shiftiest person to ever run for President of the United States. He shifted his position on virtually every position except Romneycare. Of all the politicians to ever run for office, he’d be the one most likely to come out and, after the Republican convention, decide he’d changed his mind. He’d be okay with abortion and okay with gay marriage.

Had he done that, he’d have even less votes.

Erickson noted, “the problem is social conservatives have gotten so used to thinking of themselves as the majority they’ve forgotten how to speak to those who are not and defend against those who accuse them of being fringe, most particularly the press. Couple that with Mitt Romney’s campaign making a conscious decision to not fight back on the cultural front and you have a bunch of Republicans convinced, despite the facts, that if only the social conservatives would go away all would be fine.”  That’s simply not true.
In one last point against liberalizing the party, this is the second time in a row that Republicans have nominated a moderate candidate, who was handily beaten in the general election. Full stop.

Originally posted on The Young Cons.

 

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