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Greece: The America of the Future?

Mark Steyn has an excellent piece over at NRO today about the degredation of Greece, and it as a model of how socialist policies there (and in Europe as a whole) have driven it to the verge of disaster. Are we headed there? Directionally, Steyn says, yes. But there’s still time to recover. It starts off:

While Barack Obama was making his latest pitch for a brand-new, even-more-unsustainable entitlement at the health-care “summit,” thousands of Greeks took to the streets to riot. An enterprising cable network might have shown the two scenes on a continuous split-screen — because they’re part of the same story. It’s just that Greece is a little further along in the plot: They’re at the point where the canoe is about to plunge over the falls. America is farther upstream and can still pull for shore, but has decided instead that what it needs to do is catch up with the Greek canoe. Chapter One (the introduction of unsustainable entitlements) leads eventually to Chapter Twenty (total societal collapse): The Greeks are at Chapter Seventeen or Eighteen.

And it ends:

Think of Greece as California: Every year an irresponsible and corrupt bureaucracy awards itself higher pay and better benefits paid for by an ever-shrinking wealth-generating class. And think of Germany as one of the less profligate, still-just-about-functioning corners of America such as my own state of New Hampshire: Responsibility doesn’t pay. You’ll wind up bailing out anyway. The problem is there are never enough of “the rich” to fund the entitlement state, because in the end it disincentivizes everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the basic survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate. In Greece, they’ve run out Greeks, so they’ll stick it to the Germans, like French farmers do. In Germany, the Germans have only been able to afford to subsidize French farming because they stick their defense tab to the Americans. And in America, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are saying we need to paddle faster to catch up with the Greeks and Germans. What could go wrong?

I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

– Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HQ)

Why Won’t Pelosi Ask Corrupt Committee Chairman to Step Down?

After Democrats won a majority in Congress in 2006, the leader of their caucus in the House, Nancy Pelosi said, “The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history“.  Well, she’s now Speaker and gets a chance to put her money where her mouth is was.

With a committee chairman admonished by a House ethics panel, she should ask him to relinquish his chairmanship forthwith since he refuses to do so on his own:

Rep. Charles Rangel said Friday he won’t step down as chairman of the powerful House tax-writing committee after being admonished by an ethics panel for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean. The public rebuke of one of the Democrats’ most outspoken leaders posed more woes for a party that had vowed to end a “culture of corruption.”

(H/t:  Instapundit.)  Instead of acting, Pelosi is refusing to act.  She may talk the good talk on ethics, but in the three years that she’s been Speaker–and seen federal deficits soar and private sector jobs disappear–we’ve seen only lip service paid to ethics reform.  “As of early January,” one blogger reports “’the most ethical Congress ever’ hadn’t punished a single congressman for ethics violations.”

Republicans should not take this lying down and should use whatever parliamentary maneuvers at their disposal to slow down the business of the House until Rangel relinquishes his chairmanship.  If this were a Republican Congress, he’d be long gone–while the media would still be in overdrive, wondering why the GOP could not police its own caucus and featuring stories on the corruption in the majority party.

But, today, we get nary a peep from the MSM.

Says, Who? Mr President, not the American people

There he goes again, bound and determined to force the American people to buy something we clearly don’t want.  The President took the airwaves to tell us that that a health care “overhaul must go forward.”  Gosh, these guys don’t give up.

Who says it must go forward?

Not the American people.  Support for the Democrats’ proposed health care overhaul polls worse that did John McCain in October 2008 and no better than Bob Dole did twelve years earlier, and behind Michael Dukakis in 1988, but about even with Walter Mondale in 1984.

More than just being unenthusiastic about the Democrats’ statist approach to health care, we’d also rather they turn their focus to other issues: “Americans overwhelmingly say that their main concern is jobs, and that they are satisfied with their current health care arrangements.”  Yet, the Democrats have devoted more legislative hours and the President has devoted more of his time to pushing health care.

Maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing.  Democrats think that they only way to create jobs is to spend more government money–and not to remove regulations which would spark private sector activity.

It’s too bad the president learned nothing from the health care summit on Thursday.  Had he paid any attention, he would have put forward a compromise approach and abandoned the statist overhaul crafted in Congress, starting afresh by building on the ideas expressed on both sides of the debate.

Howard Dean’s Odd Politics of Hate

What is it with Howard Dean and “hate.”  When Republicans are in power, it’s right and good to hate them.  When Democrats are in power, the party that we were once supposed to hate becomes the party of hate.

He claims he was taken out of context when he said he hated Republicans and everything they stood for and called the partisan differences in America “a struggle between good and evil and we’re the good.” Only when he didn’t say jsut how his remarks had been taken out of context nor did he apologize.  He did say, “I don’t hate Republicans as individuals“, then added:

But I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country.  I really do.  I hate deficits, as you know.  When I was governor, I really was very tough on fiscal responsibility.  Deficits in the long run aren’t good for the country, and they do lower our standard of living.  Every American family knows that you have to pay your bills.  I hate the dishonesty, you know, the idea that you’d put a program through Congress without telling people what it costs, I think that’s wrong.  

Guess he must really hate this Administration, but then, he can’t because, well, he’s a Democrat and right now, only Republicans do the hating.  Yet, given what Howard Dean said back in ’05, you’d kind of understand it, you know by his standards, if Republicans did start pushing the hate button, I mean, with those big deficits we’re getting from team Obama.  

He is, however, not praising them when he alleges they have the same attitudes toward a spendthrift Administration that he once did:

He also said that the Republican Party holds “untenable positions based on emotion and anger,” and that the GOP won’t be effective until they “stop pushing the hate button.”

To show just how out of touch is this former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he spouts some nonsense about the Tea Party’s views on social issues.  Guess he has a one-size-fits-all approach to conservatives.  If they oppose a Democratic Administration, then they must be like the imaginary conservative inside his head, harboring hateful views of homosexuals.

Hate to break it to you, Howard, but those Tea Party folks are pretty concerned about the things that got you hating the Republicans lo these five years ago.  Guess you just hate anyone who doesn’t have a (D) after his name and support your wayward left-wing ways.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.  This is the crusty old pot which once boasted about its thick coat of soot calling black the kettle just back on the stove after a long scrubbing with multiple Brillo Pads.