In Don Marquis' classic satirical book, "Archy and Mehitabel," Mehitabel the alley cat asks plaintively, "What have I done to deserve all these kittens?" That seems to be the pained reaction of the Obama administration to the financial woes that led to the downgrading of America's credit rating, for the first time in history.
There are people who see no connection between what they have done and the consequences that follow. But Barack Obama is not likely to be one of them. He is a savvy politician who will undoubtedly be satisfied if enough voters fail to see a connection between what he has done and the consequences that followed.
To a remarkable extent, he has succeeded, with the help of his friends in the media and the Republicans' failure to articulate their case. Polls find more people blaming the Republicans for the financial crisis than are blaming the President.
Residents of the Windy City may have to do without their favorite ice cream for a while, and possibly for good; and they have government to thank for it. According to the Chicago Tribune, Kris Swanberg, a laid-off Chicago public school teacher who chased the American Dream by starting her own business making artisanal ice cream, was recently told by the Illinois Department of Public Health that she will have to stop selling her product, Nice Cream, until she obtains a dairy license.
Getting and keeping the license, however, may be cost prohibitive for such a small business.
Observers note that President Barack Obama seems to enjoy comparing himself to former President Dwight Eisenhower, having repeatedly claimed that he was reducing federal spending to Eisenhower-era levels. Although his assertion that the recent debt-ceiling deal would produce “the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President” proved to be false, it is easy to understand why Obama wants to be like Ike: Today the 1950s are often viewed, rightly or wrongly, as an era of stability and prosperity in America, with Eisenhower the reassuring, moderate presence guiding it all.
On one count, however, Obama may find the comparison to Eisenhower particularly unflattering. For all his willingness to go along to get along, developing New Deal programs and launching big-government initiatives of his own, Eisenhower and his equally free-spending predecessor, President Harry Truman, couldn’t hold a candle to Obama when it comes to running up Uncle Sam’s credit card.
According to the Obama administration and our country’s leading liberal media, the Tea Party is responsible for all of our present financial woes. But, as anyone with a brain knows, what has led us to this crisis-turned-catastrophe is not the Tea Party, which is of recent formation, but the endless spending by leftist politicians over the last 60 years who have borrowed big-time to finance all of this government socialism. And since almost all Americans, whether they like it or not, have been hitched to this money train, we’ve been inclined to let it all happen with blinders on assuming that our elected leaders knew what they were doing.
It is obvious that Republicans are as much to blame as Democrats. Nowhere, during this endless build up of debt, did a single Republican president say “enough is enough.” No Republican president was willing to see the train-wreck ahead and warn the American people that this unlimited spending had to stop. Reagan made a tepid attempt to abolish the Department of Education, but his fellow Republicans refused to even consider the idea. Education has become the holy of holies, and even today with the nation on the brink of insolvency, Obama wants to increase spending on “edgukashun.”
President Barack Obama has called for a luxury tax on corporate jets as a means to generate revenue to fight federal deficits. The president's economic advisers ought to be fired for not telling him that doing so is unwise and counterproductive. They might have already told him so, only to have the president say, "Look, I know you're right, but I'm exploiting the public's envy of the rich!" Let's look at what happened when Obama's predecessor George H.W. Bush signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and broke his "read my lips" vow not to agree to new taxes.
When Congress imposed a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts, private airplanes and expensive automobiles, Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes. What actually happened is laid out in a Heartland Institute blog post by Edmund Contoski titled "Economically illiterate Obama, re: Corporate Jets" (7/12/2011).
Suppose a nation was so blessed with natural resources that it almost could not be poor. Suppose that this nation led the world in gold and chromium production, that it was second in the world in platinum, zirconium, and manganese production, third in vanadium production, fifth in diamond production, seventh in iron and coal production, and produced large amounts of many other minerals and valuable elements as well.
Now suppose that this nation was also among the most richly endowed agricultural areas in the world — that it produced very large export crops of apples, apricots, pears, lemons, tangerines, grapes, and oranges, and that it also was among the world’s major producers of corn and wheat. Such a land would be even more blessed than Saudi Arabia, because as valuable as oil is today, it is affected by the market price of energy for that single resource.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), among other prominent Democrats, blamed the Tea Party for S&P’s downgrade of the U.S. government's long-held AAA credit rating. In the aftermath of this historic U.S. fiscal shift, which arrived despite the $2.5 trillion deficit reduction plan passed last week, the congressional blame game is an inevitable outcome, and Sunday shaped the springboard for Congress to indulge the media in partisan pandering.
"This is the Tea Party downgrade because a minority of people in the House of Representatives countered even the will of many Republicans in the United States Senate who were prepared to do a bigger deal," Sen. Kerry said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, referencing the Senate’s bipartisan "Gang of Six" plan, which compromised spending cuts for tax increases.
Responding to Kerry’s accusation, John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who recently called House Republicans "hobbits" for their thwarted balanced budget amendment — defended Tea Party Republicans, while congratulating them for keeping their 2008 campaign promises.
With gold bouncing up from $1,668 an ounce on Friday, August 5 to $1,778 on Tuesday, August 9, it was the biggest three-day rally since the start of the great recession in 2008. At the same time, the equities markets were falling precipitously, losing over 600 points on the Dow on Monday alone. What is the connection?
The easy answer is fear, loss of confidence, and uncertainty. A credit rating agency has taken away the United States' top-tier AAA rating on its bonds, the spreading debt crisis in the Eurozone has now reached Italy and Spain, and the assumptions tying the financial system together are beginning to be questioned. In its report entitled “On the Coming Gold War,” Redburn Partners says a “rising gold price is a warning signal: it casts doubt on the US economy…. Gold is the only asset to outperform in periods of either uncontrollable inflation or deflation: the US economy is on the knife-edge between the two … gold is a vital barometer.”
With Texas Governor Rick Perry expected to make an "announcement" on Saturday at a conservative conference in South Carolina, scrutiny of his record is more important than ever — particularly a look at his record with regard to China. In spite of posturing as an independent Christian conservative, Perry has consistently contributed to what is called the Chinafication of America.
In a video produced by Vince Wade, Wade points out that Perry “preaches less government, less taxes, and other conservative cliches,” but his record says otherwise.
Michele Bachmann is hoping to become the first presidential candidate to go directly from the House of Representatives to the White House since James Garfield made the leap in 1880. But a rapid climb up the political ladder is nothing new for the third-term Congresswoman who has gone from defeated school-board candidate in Stillwater, Minnesota, to top-tier presidential candidate in a mere 12 years. Along the way she has become a favorite with the Tea Party movement and is founder of the congressional Tea Party Caucus. A Des Moines Register poll at the end of June showed her in a virtual tie with early frontrunner Mitt Romney in Iowa, where caucus voters will provide the first test for presidential contenders in 2012. She has been among the most visible and vocal opponents of both the Troubled Asset Relief Program (the Wall Street bailout) that Congress passed in 2008 and the following year’s rescue of the auto industry that left the federal government the principal shareholder of General Motors. She has introduced legislation to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, described by the president of the American Bankers Association as a “tsunami of new rules and restrictions for traditional banks that had nothing to do with causing the financial crisis in the first place.” Above all, she seeks the repeal of the healthcare reform bill that Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress enacted last year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.