Category Archives: economy

Cal. legislature declares budget crisis over, looks for ways to get rid of excess cash

From KCBS radio in California (via Michelle Malkin):

A key legislative committee in California revived a bill Thursday to create a government-run health care system in the nation’s most populous state, two days after Massachusetts elected a senator who opposes the president’s national health care plan.

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the bill for a vote by the full Senate next week. The legislation had been held over from last year because of the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

So that must mean the “ongoing budget crisis” is over, time for another bloated government entitlement from the CA legislature!

[State Senator Mark] Leno said the system could be funded with a payroll tax along with existing state and federal money and increased efficiencies from a state-managed system …

Oh yes, because we all know how efficient state-managed systems tend to be. And increasing payroll taxes sure will help the state’s unemployment rate, which is higher than the national rate of 10 percent.

But this plan has at least one advantage over the proposed “health care reform” bills being debated in Congress – it will be inflicted on only one state rather than on the entire nation. This is the beauty of federalism, and one more reason to defeat ObamaCare.

Cap-and-Tax cheerleading from the Associated Press

The opening line of an AP report on the ongoing attempt by House Democrats to shove through the Cap (our economic growth) and Trade Tax bill:

House Democrats have narrowly won an important test vote on legislation to combat global warming and usher in a new era of cleaner energy.

Doesn’t that sound a lot more like a press release from the White House or Speaker Pelosi’s office than a straight news account? Another day, another instance of DeMSM bias.

Update: The Obama tax increase on 100% of Americans passed the House of Representatives, 219 to 212.

Democrats argue for and against the same point on Meet the Press

Democrats have a particular knack for shamelessly making completely conflicting arguments at different times, as political conditions of the moment require. They’ll passionately argue a point one day, and just as passionately argue the exact opposite later, as needed for principle-free political effect. If the DeMSM held them accountable for any of this, it wouldn’t work, but we know (and they know) that’s not going to happen.

A particularly egregious example of this occurred this morning on Meet the Press.

Here’s Congressman Barney Frank, in response to a point by Senator John Ensign of Nevada, condemning “bloated spending” during Republican control of the White House and Congress:

SEN. ENSIGN: … But the other thing, to get back to what Congressman Frank said, is that, you know, we’re going to be laying off teachers and firefighters. You know, that’s just fearmongering. We’re not going to be doing that in any of the states. The states have grown, in their budgets, faster than population growth, faster than inflation for the last several year–actually, probably about the last 15 years. Their budgets are bloated, the federal government’s budget is bloated. What we should be doing is cutting back.

REP. FRANK: Well, first of all, on the bloated spending, this comes from a man whose party controlled the federal government–House, Senate and White House–for six years. We’ve had it for two. And in fact, we didn’t have the presidency. So the bloated spending, once again, you’re getting…

But just a moment later, here’s Senator Claire McCaskill:

SEN. McCASKILL: I, I, I do think that there was some spending in the [so-called stimulus] bill that was makeup for a starvation diet under the Bush administration, some important priorities of our party; frankly, of the American people. …

Was the federal budget in the last eight years “bloated” or on a “starvation diet”? Two Democrats, sitting at a table right across from each other, can make both arguments at the same time, all for political effect. It’s all about scoring points at that moment; without any regard for intellectual consistency or truth. And in any case, it’s ridiculous to suggest that irresponsible spending now is justified by alleged irresponsible spending in the past.

Incidentally, why does Congressman Frank assume that the first budget items states are going to cut will be cops, firefighters, and teachers? What responsible elected official is going to put those things at the bottom of the budget priority list? Frank appears to have a pretty low opinion of state and local officials. Of course, Senator Ensign is right, this is just pure fear-mongering. But for Frank, whether it’s true or not is irrelevant.

Airbrushing history at the SF Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle opens an editorial today with this line:

On Jan. 20, President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress will have their hands full with two wars and the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression.

By what measure is that statement true? Has every lefty “journalist” in America forgotten, or do they purposely wish us to forget, the Carter years? By what objective numerical measure is the current economy worse than the economy of the late 1970s? Democrat politicians routinely call the economy under any Republican “the worst since Herbert Hoover.” Bill Clinton did it, Gore did it, Kerry did it, and Obama did it. It’s the job of the press to call them on this nonsense, but instead they aid and abet the revisionism by simply repeating the partisan talking points.

Colin Powell endorses Obama

Colin Powell has for a long time struck us as a mushy moderate, David Gergen type, and not much of a deep thinker on most issues, way too concerned about what the “world community” (i.e. pacifist, welfare statist Europe) thinks, and his comments today did nothing to change that assessment. We won’t dwell on his endorsement of Obama, which is really not a surprise at all.

First, a bit of positive – in Powell’s area of expertise, which is military matters, he remains stalwart on the liberation of Iraq, to his credit:

I’m well aware of the role I played. My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn’t get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I’ve never blinked from that. I’ve never said I didn’t support a decision to go to war.

And the war looked great until the 9th of April, when the statue fell, everybody thought it was terrific. And it was terrific. The troops had done a great job. But then we failed to understand that the war really was not over, that a new phase of the war was beginning. And we weren’t ready for it and we didn’t respond to it well enough, and things went very, very — very, very south, very bad.

And now it’s starting to turn around through the work of Gen. Petraeus and the troops, through the work of the Iraqi government, through our diplomatic efforts, and I hope now that this war will be brought to an end, at least as far as American involvement is concerned, and the Iraqis are going to have to be responsible for their own security and for their own political future. …

How Powell squares that view with Obama’s opposition to the successful surge, and his desire to pull out regardless of conditions on the ground, Powell didn’t say.

But when you get outside of national security matters, Powell seems to understand things less than, say, Joe the plumber:

Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who paid them, in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there is nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that that makes you a socialist, I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn’t accurate.

Of course taxes are necessary, and of course John McCain has never said nor implied otherwise. But to suggest that “all taxation is redistribution” is just asinine. It should be obvious to anyone, even to Colin Powell, that paying to build a road in no way compares to Obama’s plan to take money away from some Americans to send unearned checks to other Americans (for the purpose of buying their votes).

(It would have been nice to hear a good follow-up question for Powell, to ask him how much “the rich” now pay, in order to gauge his understanding of the issue. Answer: “The rich”, i.e. the top 5% of earners in America, pay 60 percent of all federal income taxes. It would be really nice if someone asked Barack Obama or Joe Biden, or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid for that matter, that question. But which reporter would want to put their guys on the spot?)

And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers and these trivial issues, for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorist inclinations, I thought that was over the top.

….

And to sort of throw in this little Muslim connection, you know, “He’s a Muslim and, my goodness, he’s a terrorist” — it was taking root. And we can’t judge our people and we can’t hold our elections on that kind of basis.

But no one in the McCain campaign, certainly not John McCain or Sarah Palin, has said nor implied that Obama is a terrorist or has terrorist inclinations, or that he’s a Muslim. Barack Obama has a long and consistent pattern of allying himself with far left, radical individuals and groups. Of course that’s relevant to the campaign. Of course the DeMSM would be all over it, non-stop, if John McCain had similar associations with any far-right equivalents of Ayers, Wright, Khalidi, etc.

And notice that Powell didn’t show any discomfort with all the “negativity” coming from the Obama campaign and his allies in the press. In what moral universe is it worse to point out Obama’s ties to a parade of radicals, which are true, than to compare John McCain to George Wallace, which is nothing but a despicable slander of the lowest kind? And how in the world does Powell think Obama is going to bring Americans together again by accusing anyone of racism who dares to criticize him?

Barack Obama doesn’t want to talk about the real issues

From the AP today:

Barack Obama said Monday that John McCain is trying to shift attention from the troubled economy because the issue is bad for the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign.

And from Senator McCain, finally, the reality:

Our current economic crisis is a good case in point. What was his actual record in the years before the great economic crisis of our lifetimes?

This crisis started in our housing market in the form of subprime loans that were pushed on people who could not afford them. Bad mortgages were being backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and it was only a matter of time before a contagion of unsustainable debt began to spread. This corruption was encouraged by Democrats in Congress, and abetted by Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed. But the truth is I was the one who called at the time for tighter restrictions on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that could have helped prevent this crisis from happening in the first place.

Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, “a good idea.” Well, Senator Obama, that “good idea” has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

To hear him talk now, you’d think he’d always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did. He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign. He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn’t he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won’t tell you, but you deserve an answer.

….

Who is the real Senator Obama? Is he the candidate who promises to cut middle class taxes, or the politician who voted to raise middle class taxes? Is he the candidate who talks about regulation or the politician who took money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned a blind eye as they ran our economy into a ditch?

Barack Obama says McCain doesn’t want to talk about the economy on the very day McCain delivers a speech on the economy. But the evidence shows it is Barack Obama who’s trying to “shift attention from the troubled economy.” Classic Obama – say anything.

obama - words are cheap

Fannie Mae’s Democratic friends in Congress

Here’s a really good ad from the National Republican Congressional Committee:

John McCain, Sarah Palin, and all the Republicans in Congress need to make these points every single day through election day.

Democrats’ Culpability in Mortgage Crisis

Here’s a good summary from Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe of the Democrats’ culpability in the mortgage crisis, and their current efforts to weasel out of their responsibility:

…while the mortgage crisis convulsing Wall Street has its share of private-sector culprits they weren’t the ones who “got us into this mess.” Barney Frank’s talking points notwithstanding, mortgage lenders didn’t wake up one fine day deciding to junk long-held standards of creditworthiness in order to make ill-advised loans to unqualified borrowers. It would be closer to the truth to say they woke up to find the government twisting their arms and demanding that they do so – or else.

….

…Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape. Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that “these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis.” When the White House warned of “systemic risk for our financial system” unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.

The remaining question: Will the DeMSM be able to keep the truth under wraps until November 5th?

Republicans and Taxpayers vs. Democrats and ACORN

As we all learn the details of the proposed federal government bailout of Wall Street, one important point needs to be remembered. All parties have agreed that this is a real crisis, that threatens to possibly throw the U.S. economy into a deep recession or even a depression. In the midst of trying to negotiate legislation to help fix the problem, the Republicans in the House tried very hard to keep American taxpayers off the hook for as much of this $700 billion bailout as they could. The Democrats tried to inject various pay-offs to their left-wing political cronies, like union bosses and ACORN-type Democrat-allied political organizations.

This is truly scandalous, a gross violation of the public trust. Just try to imagine the outcry if Republicans had worked to give billions of taxpayer dollars to right-wing political activist groups in a bill to fund the cleanup and rebuilding after hurricane Katrina. It’s absolutely shameful, and the public ought not be allowed to forget it (Certainly Barack Obama, who once worked for the corrupt ACORN, ought to be asked about it).

The Republicans need to drive this point home at every opportunity from now until November 4th, and beyond.

Sarah Palin vs. Katie Couric

A few quick points on Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric on CBS News today:

1) The question about Rick Davis being a [former] lobbyist is a canard designed to deflect attention from Obama’s ties to Fannie Mae. Couric asked the question twice, and Palin answered it twice, hesitating the 2nd time because she had already given an answer. It’s McCain’s position that matters, not Davis’, and McCain has a record of calling for more oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On the other side, Barack Obama has received big campaign donations from Fannie Mae, has had former Fannie Mae CEOs as advisers, and has done nothing whatsoever about oversight of Fannie Mae, or much of anything else for that matter. Did Couric ask Joe Biden to rattle off a few of Obama’s major accomplishments the other day?

2) Palin will receive some criticism, especially from the DeMSM, for alluding to the Great Depression. But she was responding to the reference in a loaded question from Couric.

3) A dumb question:

Couric: You’ve said, quote, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

It isn’t reasonable or fair to assume Sarah Palin would have detailed knowledge of McCain’s Senate voting record. It would have been fair to ask what kind of oversight they advocate going forward. It would have been a fair question earlier when Couric interviewed John McCain. Couric’s question also contained the assumption that more regulation is by definition better than less regulation. So should we just count the number of pages in the Federal Register to decide how well the economy is doing then? Palin should have responded to the effect that more regulations do not necessarily solve problems, and can in fact create additional problems, including a slower economy.

In short, Palin’s mistakes in the interview were mostly related to her inexperience in dealing with a hostile, biased mainstream press, not on the substance of her policy positions.