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When was notion of shrinking government tried?

Try as he might to cut the size of the federal government, Ronald Reagan only succeeded in containing its growth (and curtailing its regulatory power).  And giving the resourcefulness of Americans and the resilience of the entrepreneurial sector, that containment was enough to foster explosive growth and extraordinary job creation.

No president, Republican or Democrat, since has even attempted to cut government as did the Gipper.  And although a spirited Republican congressional caucus helped prevent Bill Clinton from expanding government as he would have liked, they did not succeed in cutting federal spending.

Despite the increase in the amount of federal spending in recent years, some Democrats (as well as liberal pundits and left-leaning academics) still believe that the experiment in smaller government has failed.  Yesterday, with one simple question and one chart, Jim Geraghty pointed out that that experiment hasn’t even been tried (at least not in the US:

Sen. Chuck Schumer, says that America has “tried the theory” that the country can prosper by shrinking government.

When was that, exactly?

Do wonder if any reporter has ever asked the Empire State’s senior Senator to back up his claim.  Indeed, wonder if any reporter has asked any Democrat making that claim to support his argument by referencing actual federal spending.

Wonder when AOL plans to feature story on Obama record

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:36 pm - November 30, 2011.
Filed under: Media Bias,Where's the Scrutiny?

From one of the revolving lists of headlines this morning on AOL (“news” content provided by the Huffington Post):

You’d think stories about a federal government program selling guns to Mexican druglords (without informing the Mexican government or putting tracking devices on the firearms) would be just a tad more newsworthy than a Republican presidential candidate’s eating habits.

But, then again, maybe these folks are following the lead of the New York Times which, in reporting on Mr. Romney’s hair, seemed to be following the lead of magazines covering celebrities and the entertainment industry.

Seems we at GayPatriot are not the only ones taking notice.  Bruce shared this tweet with me:

Barracuda Brigade reported:

On Tuesday, the former House Speaker spoke to St. Louis radio host and Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch about this saying, “It’s a little sad to see a paper the quality of the Washington Post stoop to…the National Enquirer approach to life” adding they “would rather worry about rumors about conservatives than facts about the President”

The Republican candidate was referring to the tweet we mentioned here. Can you imagine what the president’s poll numbers would look like if our friends in the MSM subjected him (and his team) to the same time of scrutiny to which they subject Republicans on a regular basis?

Honoring Winston Churchill on his 137th Birthday

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:04 am - November 30, 2011.
Filed under: Great Men,World History

As I’m returning today from my Thanksgiving vacation, I have not had time to write an original post celebrating Winston Churchill, so will repost the piece I wrote two years ago to make the occasion as I revised it last year.

Today marks the 136th anniversary of the birth of the greatest man of the century concluded just about a decade ago. On November 30, 1874, Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace. His father was Lord Randolph Churchill, his mother the former Jennie Jerome, the second daughter of the American financier Leonard Jerome. His very parentage thus embodied the special relationship between the United States and United Kingdom.

Indeed, it was Churchill himself who coined the term to describe the relations between the two powerful Anglophone democracies.

Like a red head born almost exactly 134 years after him, Churchill was two months premature. (The combination of those two characteristics must be a sign of greatness!) Like that young Californian, the great Briton had trouble sitting still, traveling to Cuba, India, Sudan and South Africa to fight for his country (and sometimes dubious causes) before his 30th birthday. He would write about his experiences; his books would earn him fame and fortune.

First elected to parliament in 1900 as a Tory, he broke with his party over tariffs, preferring free trade and the Liberals. He would rejoin the Conservative Party in 1925, staying with the Tories, through his two terms as Prime Minister and until the end of his life. Noting that Churchill “stood for Parliament under six labels,” one of his biographers, Paul Johnson wrote that “He was not a party man. . . . His loyalty belonged to the national interest, and his own.

And Churchill saw the British national interest clearly linked to that of the United States and Western democracies.

While forever associated with the two great wars of the last century, the man himself may well have enjoyed the thrill of battle, but he was well aware of the horrors of war and did his utmost to prevent it. A warmonger he clearly was not, though he did understand that war was sometimes necessary to prevent even worse evils. (more…)

The Barney Frank embarrassment

Well, there is at least one sad aspect of Barney Frank’s upcoming retirement.  We won’t have the unhappy Massachusetts Democrat to kick around any more.  This guy is so ripe for ridicule.  It has been a lot of fun mocking his various statements, not to mention his juvenile reaction to the type of questions Republican politicians face on a daily basis.

From his relatively petty transgressions related to his personal life,” write the editors of the National Review,

to his more consequential role in enabling Fannie and Freddie, Representative Frank personifies a great deal of what is wrong with American public life. Though a highly intelligent man, he made the wrong decisions at every turn, and compounded his policy errors with the petty and vindictive style of his politics.

Barney is, in short, an embarrassment. Now, I’m sure that if I scanned the various gay blogs, I would read numerous encomia to this prominent politician. Indeed, I received one such e-mail yesterday from a gay organization.

Instead of celebrating his career and lamenting his retirement, gay people should be cheering his departure.  Simply put, Barney is not a good role model for our community.  We should not want such a mean-spirited, petty man, wrong about so much, unwilling to admit his mistakes, childish in victory as a face of gay America.  That he will no longer be the most prominent gay politician is a good thing for gay America, a very good thing indeed.

RELATED: The Best Thing Barney Frank Could Do For Gay People . . .

UPDATE:  Indeed, even today, Barney demonstrates his juvenile inability to handle the type of questions Republicans face on a daily basis.   In the Washington Examiner, Charlie Spiering reports that the retiring Democrat “lashed out against the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie this morning for asking ‘negative questions’ during an interview about his recent retirement announcement.”  (Read the whole thing — and watch the video.)

Interesting that Barney only gets tough questions from the MSM after he has announced his retirement.

This is the guy the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn once dubbed a “Minority Wit“?

Obama record in a nutshell

Last night before bed, I caught these headlines on Yahoo! Note particularly the last one:

Seems the AP is eager to tie the GOP to the Solyndra scandal, even though its reporter found no evidence that the aide in question Gary Andres, staff director of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, had ever “worked on behalf of Solyndra” nor that he was “aware until recently that Dutko [the lobbying firm where he had once worked] had represented Solyndra in 2008.

Seems the AP is trying to create the impression that the GOP too was involved in the short-sighted (and likely politically-motivated) administration decision to offer a half-billion dollar (and then some) loan guarantee to the “green energy” firm with ties to Obama administration officials and Democratic donors.

In attempting to tie a Republican to the Solyndra scandal, the AP (and the other news services which repost the article) are attempting to distract us from the real story, crony capitalism of the Obama White House where the cronies donate heavily to Democratic candidates, causes and campaign committees in exchange for federal largesse.

Just as “green energy” is at the heart of the administration’s corrupt crony capitalism, so is environmental zealotry perhaps the biggest source of burdensome federal regulations crafted during the Obama years.  Blogging about such regulations, the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s decree that “America’s fleet of passenger cars and light trucks will have to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today’s average of about 27 mpg“, Jeffrey H. Anderson gets at the heart of the record of Obama record:

This represents nearly everything that’s bad about the Obama administration:  a disdain for the normal legislative process and the rule of law; a disregard for consumer choice; a commitment to intrusive government regulations that sap Americans’ liberty and empty their wallets; and a general arrogance that this administration, not the American people, knows best. (more…)

Did Washington Post ever look for outlandish/incorrect predictions and quotes from Barack Obama’s past?

Apologies for the slow blogging.  Am spending time with some good Mormon friends in Utah.  And, no, they’re not trying to “cure” me.  They know I’m gay and have made me very welcome in their home, even allowing me to adopt their children as my niece as nephews.  Indeed, they have made me feel far more welcome than have many gay liberals upon learning I’m a conservative.

Anyway, as you can probably guess, I have much to say on the retirement of the unhappy Barney Frank.  The long and the short of it is that it is a very good thing for gay Americans.  We will no longer have this mean-spirited embarrassment as the most prominent gay politician in the country.  If we had a less biased media, reporters would note how frequently the Massachusetts Democrats has been wrong and journalists would ask him tough questions.  He has shown an obliviousness to the reality of the marketplace and the record of the Reagan era.  And has demonstrated a refusal to admit wrong and an arrogance about his critics.

He doesn’t seem to realize that this nation enjoyed an economic boom in the 1990s in no small measure to Senate Republicans’ success in filibustering the Clinton “stimulus” in 1993 and Bill Clinton’s compromises with such congressional Republicans as Newt Gingrich in the mid-1990s.

That said, I post this piece having just chanced upon this post on Drudge:

For those unfamiliar,” writes Noel Sheppard in posting this,

Blake writes for the Post’s The Fix political blog, hence the moniker “Fix Aaron.”

What would one expect from a newspaper that only five months ago called for readers to sift through former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s email messages?

It therefore isn’t at all surprising they’d be looking for dirt on the current Republican presidential frontrunner.

Wonder if Mr. Blake or any of his Washington Post colleagues went looking for dirt on the Democratic presidential frontrunner in the 2008 campaign.

SOMEWHAT RELATED:  Wonder if anybody at Mr. Blake’s paper is tweeting for help in sifting through the recent White House Visitor Log Document Dump.

BREAKING: BARNEY FRANK LEAVING CONGRESS.
Free at last, free at last…thank God Almighty we are free at last!

Via The Hill:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will announce Monday that he is not seeking re-election, ending a 32-year career in the House.

Frank, 71, is the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee and the architect, with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), of the sweeping Wall Street regulatory reform law enacted in 2010.

He is scheduled to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. in his district, according to a spokesman, who said the congressman would announce at that time the reason for his decision, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will announce Monday that he is not seeking re-election, ending a 32-year career in the House.

Frank, 71, is the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee and the architect, with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), of the sweeping Wall Street regulatory reform law enacted in 2010.

He is scheduled to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. in his district, according to a spokesman, who said the congressman would announce at that time the reason for his decision.

Hopefully his next stop will be prison for the economic crimes he has committed against the United States of America.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

HRC honored left-wing pundit who used term that earned Sarah Palin excoriation (when her daughter used it)

A few days ago, Bruce alerted me to Pat Dollard’s tweet reminding us that current MSNBC host Al Sharpton once referenced “Greek homos.”  After a quick google search, I learned that the left-leaning pundit also used a term that caused the folks at HRC to get their panties all in a bunch when the daughter of a prominent Republican celebrity used it.

Although I could find no reference online indicating that HRC rebuked the bombastic Reverend for his use of the term, they did honor him in 2005 as one of their “Top 10 Straight Advocates for Gay and Transgender Rights“.

Now, people can surely change.  And perhaps HRC did fault Mr. Sharpton when he made these statements and their rebukes are no longer online.  But, that man did, in recent years, defend a prejudiced pastor who used anti-gay rhetoric.

Wonder why HRC and GLAAD are not calling for him to publicly rebuke his past statements in order to retain his post on MSNBC.  I mean, if they called on Sarah Palin to apologize publicly for her teenage daughter’s remark.

Just sayin’ . . .

Tea Partiers Helping Undermine “Economic Sabotage” Narrative

Refusing to understand conservative objections to the president’s economic policies and reluctant to acknowledge the failures of said policies, Democrats  – and their allies in the mainstream media — have been peddling the notion that Republicans are engaged in economic sabotage, obstructing Democratic legislation in order to forestall an economic recovery and so prevent Barack Obama’s reelection.

The New York Times even called the Republican method “economic vandalism.”  Guess they missed all those bills the Republican House passed only to see them die in the Democratic Senate.  Or, maybe the paper’s editors missed the classes in college on free market economics (that is, if said classes were taught at all).

Well, some participants in free market movements aren’t waiting for Times editors to take remedial courses in free market economics.  They, like resilient individuals do in a (mostly) free society tend to do, are taking action on their own to help get the economy moving again:

Liberate Philadelphia/Liberate America, a Tea Party coalition of groups countering the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, are challenging the latest move by Occupy Wall Street protesters to occupy or boycott publicly traded retailers on Black Friday by instead encouraging consumers to shop on Black Friday to help the economy recover.

“At a time when our economy is most fragile and ratings agencies are talking about another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, it’s completely irresponsible for Occupy Wall Street to attempt to bring the U.S. economy to a halt on the busiest shopping day of the year,” Liberate organizer and a spokesman for the Tea Party, John Sullivan, stated in a press release.

Emphasis added.  (Via Instapundit.)  Wonder if any of those folks who accused Republicans of “economic vandalism” will level the same charge against the #OWS folks.

Looks like the Tea Party coalition had some success, as Glenn reports, “RETAIL SUPPORT BRIGADE SITREP: Black Friday sales up 7 percent over 2010. Some people worried that it had become a “hollow army,” but these magnificent troops rose to the occasion one more time.”

Another victory for “smart power”

Even the Huffington Post is taking note of the failures of Obama’s foreign policy:

Russia threatened on Wednesday to deploy missiles to target the U.S. missile shield in Europe if Washington fails to assuage Moscow’s concerns about its plans, a harsh warning that reflected deep cracks in U.S.-Russian ties despite President Barack Obama’s efforts to “reset” relations with the Kremlin.

Seems the more we watch this president and his team stumble, the greater appreciation we have for his predecessor and his team.  It looks like the challenges we faced abroad were not so much due to that man’s alleged incompetence, but instead to the particular nature of those very challenges, the complex situations and the particular players.

We face, as one blogger noted, a world of trouble out there, problems that a purportedly tongued-tied Republican did not create, problems that a supposedly smart silver-tongued Democrat cannot fix.

Referencing Reagan, Ann Coulter’s sensible defense of GOP reluctance to raise taxes

As diligent readers of this blog know, I have changed my opinion of Ann Coulter in recent years.  I used to think that she was a right-wing bomb thrower, saying outrageous things merely to get a name for herself.  But, when I met her, I put her “outrageousness” into context.

What Ann does, I wrote last April, “is just throw the left’s broadsides on conservatives back at them, returning with a playful smile what lefties send out with a self-righteous scowl.  She mocks in good fun and to make a point.”  Read the whole post for an insight into my shifting views of this conservative diva.

In short, I began to appreciate this particular diva by putting her comments into a cultural context.  Today, Mickey Kaus also takes a broader view of this conservative, finding “More evidence for [his] contention that Ann Coulter is really quite sensible if you don’t provoke her with liberal BS.: Here is a passage from her recent column on taxes and spending:”

As Reagan explains a little farther in his autobiography: He did accept tax hikes “in return for [the Democrats'] agreement to cut spending by $280 billion,” but, Reagan continues, “the Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts.” Maybe that’s why Republicans won’t agree to raise taxes in exchange for Democratic promises to cut spending.

For Americans who are unaware of the Democrats’ history of repeatedly reneging on their promises to cut spending in return for tax hikes, the Republicans’ opposition to tax increases does seem crazy. That’s why Republicans need to remind them. [E.A]

Read the whole thing.  H/t Instapundit.

Krauthammer Deconstructs Democratic Demonization of the latest “Emmanuel Goldstein”

In this Thanksgiving weekend, we acknowledge much for which we are thankful, including this great country.  I would add my wonderful family, including my very liberal sisters.  And a great number of other things . . .

Today, I feel like I should add Charles Krauthammer to the list of things for which I am most thankful.  I had sketched an idea related to the left’s latest, to borrow the expression of a GayPatriot reader, Emmanuel Goldstein, Grover Norquist, a man Democrats are now blaming for the alleged Republican obstructionism in debt reduction negotiations.

You see, Grover has succeeded in securing the signatures of a substantial number of Republicans on a pledge not to raise taxes.  And because, Democrats claim, Republicans won’t raise taxes, they can’t make a deal to cut the deficits.

The man to whom I am most grateful today (for making my task much easier) does a wonderful job of deconstructing (to borrow a term near and dear to the hearts of many academic leftists) the latest left-wing talking point:

So why does the myth of the Norquist-controlled anti-tax monolith persist? You might suggest cynicism and perversity. Let me offer a more benign explanation: thickheadedness — the inability to tell the difference between tax revenue and tax rates.

In deficit reduction, all that matters is tax revenue. The holders of our national debt care not a whit what tax rates yield the money to pay them back. They care about the sum.

The Republican proposals raise revenue, despite lowering rates, by opening a gusher of new income for the Treasury in the form of loophole elimination. For example, the Toomey plan eliminates deductions by $300 billion more than the reduction in tax rates “cost.” Result: $300 billion in new revenue. (more…)

NYT: Choosing to cover Mitt Romney’s hair rather than report Obama’s scandals?

Do wonder how much effort our friends at the New York Times have put into investigating the various scandals swirling about the Obama administration, you know, like politicized hiring at the Justice Department, steering subsidies and loan guarantees to “green” companies with Democratic connections, selling guns to Mexican drug lords . . . .

Maybe their reporters are just too busy covering other issues, like, you know, important things, like, well . . .

. . .  Mitt Romney’s hair.

By far his most distinctive physical feature, Mr. Romney’s head of impeccably coiffed black hair has become something of a cosmetological Rorschach test on the campaign trail, with many seeing in his thick locks everything they love and loathe about the Republican candidate for the White House. (Commanding, reassuring, presidential, crow fans; too stiff, too slick, too perfect, complain critics.)

Thanks to my oldest nephew for the tip.  Guess this is just more newsworthy than the various Obama scandals.

Giving Thanks for the United States of America

I’m glad I stumbled upon this item in the Wall Street Journal today.

Any one whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful.

This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

<....>

We can remind ourselves that for all our social discord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Denver Brunch Friday November 25

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:28 pm - November 23, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Holidays,Travel

Just a reminder about the brunch for our readers at High Noon in the Mile-High City this coming Friday, November 25, 2011.  Drop me an e-mail if you can join us as you take a break from your Black Friday shopping.

A form of left-wing hatred:
assigning collective guilt to their political enemies

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:08 am - November 23, 2011.
Filed under: Liberals,Misrepresenting Conservatives

Bryan Preston looks at film critic Frank Rich’s column in New York magazine, quipping that it “should get him ridiculed and fired; no one who is so irresponsible with the hard facts of life has any place in the commentariat.” “The title,” Preston observes, “gives Rich’s game away. It’s ‘What Killed JFK?’ not ‘Who Killed JFK?’ as it should be.”*

Yeah, better to blame a right-wing bogeyman than look at the actual facts of the case and the background of the shooter. No wonder all too many on the left buy into the conspiracy theories. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a villain taken from liberal central casting. He, Preston reminds us, “was not a mainstream Dallas man. He would not have been a Tea Partier. Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist.”

So, liberals had to find someone else to blame:

They blamed Dallas for Kennedy’s death then, and [liberal talking heads] blame Sarah Palin and conservatives for the senseless shooting in Tucson this year. The facts of the story change, but the smear stays the same. Frank Rich blames “hate” for both, but the only hate on display is his own. It blinds him to the fact that Oswald was a man very much of the left, and that the Tucson shooter had no discernible ideology at all. But men of the left such as Rich prefer to assign collective guilt on their political enemies. Without pushing that collective guilt on others, their own lives have no meaning. They cannot convince themselves of their own superiority without an inferior other to hate. And collective guilt is a useful tool to intimidate.

Interesting how so many on the left so eager to accuse conservatives of harbor such (often intense) hatred themselves for conservatives. And their hatred is not based on things conservatives have done, but on things certain liberals like Mr. Rich (and those who blamed conservatives for the Tucson shooting) project onto them, as if conservatives in general must necessarily be guilty for the actions of one lone individual (often not even a conservative, see, e.g., the Tucson shooter or Lee Harvey Oswald).

Preston’s column really merits your time and further thought.

* (more…)

Back in ’09, Biden said Jon Corzine was right;
in ’11, Corzine’s company loses $1 B in customer money

Bruce alerts me to a tweet from Michael Johns, “Remember when Biden said they used to call @joncorzine for advice?”

“The reason why we called Jon,” the Vice President said (at about 0:44 above), “is that we knew he knew about the economy, about world markets, about how we had to respond unlike anyone we knew.”  Later, the Delaware Democrat reports (at 2:00) that they talked with Corzine a “long time about what the elements of a national package should be.”

Indeed, Biden wanted to start a mantra about where “Jon was right.”  Doesn’t look like the defeated Democrat of a pretty blue state was right about this: MF Global Trustee Says Shortfall Could Exceed $1.2 Billion. According to the New York Times,

The amount of customer money missing from the collapsed trading firm MF Global may be more than $1.2 billion — double previous estimates — the trustee dismantling the firm’s brokerage unit said on Monday.

. . . .

Regulators currently suspect that MF Global — at the time run by Jon S. Corzine, the former Democratic governor of New Jersey — improperly used customer money for its own purposes in the days before filing for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 31.

Well, $1 billion is chump change to the Obama-Biden Democrats whose failed “stimulus” cost the country about 800 times that.   Can you imagine how much coverage the above clip would get if a top Republican had said this about a fellow partisan who led his company into a (possibly) billion-dollar bankruptcy?

Well, now we’re getting a better idea of what the “stimulus” failed; just look at the economic knowhow of some of the folk who designed it.

Happy Birthday, George Eliot

On this the 192nd anniversary of the birth of the greatest English novelist, let me offer, in slightly modified form, the tribute I have offered in years past.  It is also the 115th anniversary of the birth of my late, beloved Aunt Ruth.  In her life, that great lady embodied the qualities of a heroine of an Eliot novels.

A few years back in anticipation of Eliot’s birthday, I watched the BBC version of Silas Marner, perhaps her most accessible novel.  The story got to me as the book always does.  It’s odd I who love books so much and am moved cry so little when I read (yet tear up frequently when watching movies).  Wwhenever I hear the story of the lonely weaver of Raveloe, however, whether in print, via the spoken word (i.e., book on tape/CD) or on screen, I am always touched, always lose it, so to speak it.

Ben Kingsley’s Silas plea to keep an apparently orphaned child who had strayed into his home, “It’s a lone thing; I’m a lone thing. . . . It’s come to me,” is the plea of every human being who has ever felt cut off from his fellows.  Indeed, that line in quintessetially George Eliot who so understood human loneliness and recognized our need for the companionship of our fellows.

And how meaningful that companionship can we find it.  Or how powerful the presence of someone who listens to our concerns and manifests sympathy for our plight.

George Eliot so delighted in the effect of a child on an adult with an open heart:

She [that child] was perfectly quiet now, but not asleep–only soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky–before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway.

I rediscovered those words when I re-read Silas Marner a few years ago. When I opened the book I had just purchased containing the novel and some of Eliot’s short fiction, I did not quite arrive at the short story I had just begun.  I plunged instead right back into the novel, starting this time in medias res, reading well over two chapters before sleep overtook me.

Such is the power of George Eliot’s prose, the images she invokes, the ideas she presents, the emotions she expresses. She helps us find words for our deepest thoughts and shows compassion for our everyday weaknesses. She seems to see into the troubles of all our lives and finds the balm in tender relations with our fellows.

And that was how I introduced my George Eliot birthday post: (more…)

Obama lost the big-government argument in 2008 campaign

In his book, The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future, Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, contended, as his subtitle suggests, that the essential argument, perhaps the defining one, in American politics today, is between those who favor an ever-more intrusive government, regulating our economy and those who want an ever more vigorous private sector, trusting to individual initiative to build our country.

In the 2008 campaign — and still today — Barack Obama essentially punted on the question.  On the one hand, he promised a government solution to our health care woes.  On the other, he faulted the (then-)incumbent administration for its profligacy.   We’ve “been living beyond our means,” he said in the third debate, “and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.”  Yet, as president he has refused to make any, refused to offer that “net spending cut” he had been proposing “throughout this campaign”.

Simply put, he did not, in the campaign, clearly make the case for the ever bigger government he has offered since taking office in January 2009.  Indeed, in 2008, he made clear he wasn’t going to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000:

Back in August, Obama blamed the policies he “inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt“, namely, “two wars . . .  tax cuts” and “a prescription drug program . . . we didn’t pay for”.  And despite all these things W didn’t pay for, Obama pushed through an $800 billion recovery plan and increased spending without relenting on his promise not to raise taxes on those, to borrow an expression currently in vogue because of a movement he supported, in the 99%.

In short, he gave us more spending without paying for it.

By holding firm to this tax pledge, Obama is effectively asking Americans to support a bigger government that the proverbial 1% will pay for.  No wonder theDemocrats’ tax-hike obsession killed the SuperCommittee.”  This obsession of taxing the rich is all they have.

Obama and his Democrats are unwilling to make the case to the American people for big government, unwilling to ask them to shoulder the burden of the higher cost of all the goodies they’re promising. (more…)

Obama absent from debt reduction talks

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:25 pm - November 21, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Obama Incompetence

A few days ago, I asked, “what is Obama’s plan to deal with the debt? The following day I asked a similar question:  “$15 trillion in debt — and still no Obama debt reduction plan? Been reading some stuff on the web suggesting that, well, not only does the president lack a deficit reduction plan, but he’s not doing anything to help the “supercommittee” to hammer out a plan to bring our federal finances into line (i.e., not showing any leadership of one of the most pressing issues facing the country).

As Jennifer Rubin reports:

One thing that Republicans and Democrats seem able to agree upon is that President Obama’s shocking absence from any part in the supercommittee talks nearly assured its failure. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) blames Obama. At the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council, the Democratic co-chair of the president’s debt commission Erskine Bowles was exceptionally critical of Obama’s lack of leadership, beginning with the State of the Union address[.]

Rubin reminds us further that the Washington Post’s Post’s Robert Samuelson echoed “that view:”

“He has the bully pulpit, but he hasn’t used it.” Quoting from an Obama interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper, Samuelson calls the president’s responses to specific questions on his plans for debt reduction “noncommittal gibberish.”

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE:   Glenn Reynolds reports that the man Obama tapped to be his Secretary of Commerce, former Sen. Judd Gregg is asking:

Where In The World Is Obama? “The president was in Hawaii while the supercommittee hit stall speed. What is new about this? Very little. Throughout his term, President Obama has avoided leading on the issue of fiscal responsibility.”