Conservative economist Robert Higgs' warnings about the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Dependence on Government were already outdated when they were published on Thursday. The updated statistics from Heritage for 2011, published the next day, showed the situation in the United States to be even worse than Higgs warned.
Higgs noted that the so-called “ruling class” (taken from Angelo Codevilla’s book of the same name) is a tiny percentage of the total population in the country, and has in the past only been able to maintain its legitimacy through vote-buying and mainstream media credibility. The fear of the ruling class has always been that dissatisfaction and distrust would result in their expulsion from the seats of power. But Higgs notes that now there are so many Americans dependent upon the government for their very subsistence that resistance to the tyranny of the ruling class is being increasingly neutralized.
The more dependent the citizens become on their government, the less influence they are likely to have in any substantial downsizing of that government:
It was billed as a "Lincoln-Douglas -style" debate on foreign policy, though there was, alas, no Lincoln, no Douglas and, apparently, not much debating when Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and John Huntsman met at the Dana Center at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Monday afternoon. Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and later ambassador to China, spent 90 minutes in a bloodless exchange of views that bore some resemblance to a college seminar.
For a number of Americans, the Christmas season is a time for joy and love, but for others, it’s an opportunity to stage a war against Christianity. The latest battle entails a blasphemous nativity scene from a group of atheists, which they have defended as a response to counteract the Christian “War on the Constitution.”
Wisconsin is once again at the center of a major dispute, this time because Governor Scott Walker made the mistake of referring to the “holiday” spruce as a “Christmas tree.” That prompted the Freedom from Religion Foundation to call Walker “a Teabagger governor wearing religion on his sleeves.”
We’re told that Barack Obama chose the obscure locale of Osawatomie, Kansas, for his recent domestic policy speech because it was the site of a seminal Teddy Roosevelt speech 101 years ago. This may very well be true. Through the distinctively named city of 4,500, Obama could make a symbolic connection with the man who once offered Americans a Hamiltonian conception of state power dubbed the “New Nationalism.” Yet, unbeknownst to virtually everyone, Obama is connected to “Osawatomie” through another man.
Amidst all of the controversy surrounding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Obama administration attempted to paint itself as an oppositional force against the bill, threatening to veto it if it passed. Now, however, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), co-author of the bill, has said that the administration in fact heavily lobbied to have removed from the bill language that would have protected American citizens from some of the bill’s provisions, such as indefinite detention without trial. According to Levin, who is Chairman of the Armed Services Committee:
New polls released this week show near-record high fears of big government and strong support for the emergence of a credible third party to shake up Washington, D.C., largely because the Republican and Democrat parties are viewed in an increasingly unfavorable light.
According to a USA Today/Gallup survey released on December 13, around 54 percent of Americans nationwide would like to see the rise of an alternative to the two major parties. The number was 52 percent in the top 12 “battleground” states, according to a report about the poll.
The reason: The GOP and Democratic parties "do such a poor job that a third major party is needed," survey participants said. Support for a third party is even higher among moderate and liberal Republicans, as well as moderate and conservative Democrats, USA Today reported. Barely a third of conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans were “enthusiastic” about voting for President in 2012, the poll found.
Meanwhile, a separate poll released by Gallup this week revealed that fear of “big government” is far more widespread than worries about “big business” or “big labor.” When asked which of the three represented the biggest threat to America, 64 percent said an overbearing government — close to the record of 65 percent reached in 1999 and 2000.
The popular and often controversial radio host Michael Savage has not cloaked his disdain for GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, as Savage has offered the former House Speaker one million dollars to drop out of the GOP race. On Monday, Savage cautioned that Gingrich as the Republican nominee would virtually guarantee a second term for the President, as Gingrich is nothing more than "a fat, old, white man" who Obama would effectively dismantle during the presidential debates.
Dr. Savage, host of "The Savage Nation" radio program, wrote on his website that the Republican presidential contest has boiled down to two contenders, Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney — and only one of them has a fighting chance at capturing the White House.
"Mitt Romney is the only candidate with a chance of defeating Barack Obama," wrote Savage, "and there is nothing more important than that for future health, safety and security of the United States of America. Therefore, I am offering Newt Gingrich one million dollars to drop out of the presidential race for the sake of the nation."
Asserting that the "most pressing issue before America today" is the defeat of Barack Obama, Savage contended that Gingrich is unelectable, and that Romney — although not "as strong a conservative as many would like him to be" — is the only candidate capable of defeating Obama. Honing in on Gingrich’s personal ethics and his questionable record in public office, the San Francisco radio host laid out his case on his website (writing in all caps):
Responding to criticism of his “nay” vote on a supplemental appropriations bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Sen. John Kerry said in 2004, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” — a statement that came to define the Massachusetts Democrat, then running for President, as a flip-flopper with no convictions.
Eight years later another presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, finds himself in a similar gherkin. Gingrich, it seems, was for the ObamaCare individual mandate before he was against it; and his newfound opposition to the mandate appears to be less a matter of conviction than of political opportunism.
According to CNSNews.com, as far back as 1993 Gingrich was stumping for an individual mandate. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in October of that year, then-House Minority Whip Gingrich said: “I am for people, individuals — exactly like automobile insurance — individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.” In other words, if Gingrich had gotten his way, one of the central features of ObamaCare would have been enacted 18 years ago.
Washington gridlock may turn out to be the salvation of the Obama administration. Not only does gridlock allow the president to blame Republicans for not solving the financial crisis that his own runaway spending created, the inability to carry out as much government intervention in the economy as when the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress means that the market can now recover on its own to some visible extent before the next election.
Sheriff Kelly Janke was searching for six missing cows. As he searched, he came upon three armed men, requiring the sheriff, armed with nothing but a search warrant, to come back with reinforcements. Ranches spread for thousands of acres on the wide open ranges of North Dakota. The sheriff knew that better than anyone else, and he knew that the rifle-toting resisters could be waiting for him anywhere, so he came prepared. The cavalry called in to assist Sheriff Janke consisted of highway patrolmen, a SWAT team, an explosives detonation squad, and deputies from surrounding counties.