Tag Archives: naivete

O’Reilly and Beck Completely Miss the Point

Last night on The O’Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck responded to O’Reilly’s stupid idea for a two percent “temporary” national sales tax by proposing an even more asinine idea.  Beck suggested a two percent Value Added Tax (VAT) instead, apparently feeling a need to one-up O’Reilly’s ridiculous and naïve idea.  After taping the show, they probably left the studio to go play chicken with each other in fast cars on some quiet suburban street full of children.

Clearly, anyone who is not watching the turnip truck drive away while picking gravel out of their posterior can see the flawed logic on display here.

In O’Reilly’s case, the notion that any national sales tax would be temporary, or held at 2% for that matter, is simply ludicrous and is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has observed politics for more than a month.  Furthermore, the very notion of adding a tax like that with the expectation that it will generate any real revenue demonstrates a lack of understanding of how the tax system influences behavior, particularly in a recession.

Glenn Beck’s proposal is equally stupid but has the added feature of making the taxation far more insidious and dangerous.  Value Added Taxes, like the corporate income tax so beloved by statists and the myrmidons with whom they play simplistic and dishonest class warfare games, add the far more dangerous reality that the taxes simply get hidden in the prices of products and services, allowing the levitation government to covertly connect yet another tick to the neck of productive America.  At least O’Reilly’s idea involves a tax that we can see, though the notion of any tax being “temporary” ranks right up there with the ludicrous idea that ObamaCare will help with the deficit and the economy.

I propose a simpler idea, one that may be too clear for smart guys like O’Reilly and Beck.  Let’s stop the spending.  At a time when so many Americans are struggling to pay their mortgages or keep their old cars running long enough to get back in the black with their personal finances, a proposal to raise taxes on any Americans is patently absurd.  Bill and Glenn, like so many American politicians, sit up on their ivory pedestals without any memory of what it is like to be a regular middle class American.

Furthermore, we need to reduce subsidies to those who were getting a free ride before the recession hit.  How much money could we save by canceling the euphemistically named Earned Income Tax Credit and any other tax credit programs that simply transfer money from the productive to the non-productive?

I submit that any increases in taxes right now would only hurt the economy and the Americans who fund our system, and are the equivalent of treating a hangover by imbibing a little “hair of the dog”.  Additionally, I humbly submit that since we have so many people hurting who were not societal parasites before this recession, we can longer afford the luxury of continuing to subsidize the lifestyles of people who were living off of us before the economy tanked.  For a deeper discussion of which groups get a free ride and which groups are societal parasites in America, check out a piece that I wrote for my other blog titled On Taxes and Socialism.

Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly could really stand to read Milton Freidman’s Free to Choose.  They would learn a lot.

Socialized Medicine Failure explained in 90 seconds

From The American Spectator:

The comments after the AS article are interesting as well.

Krauthammer on TOTUS’ Cairo speech

Charles Krauthammer delivers a short but scathing review of President Obama’s “America Sucks” speech in Egypt.  I swear, this empty suit wants people to like him so much (not Americans, mind you, but our enemies) that he will trash our country abroad and apologize for things we had nothing to do with, playing into their hands and stoking their grievance industry.

“That was the weakest statement on Iran and nukes in 8 or 9 years by anyone in the west”.

As Krauthammer points out, the president simply cannot help himself, he has to find a way to trash America and propose demonstrably false moral equivalencies in order to get an inferior culture to like us.  When Obama said “The struggle for womens’ equality continues in many aspects in America” he was trying to draw a moral equivalency between a low level debate like equal pay in the US and the fact that too many Arab/Muslim countries treat their women like livestock.

“So on the one hand you have a university where the womens’ lacrosse team is not getting the full funding under Title IX and on the other hand you get women beat in the street in Saudi Arabia who show an ankle and stoned for adultery in Iran.  It’s not exactly morally equivalent.”

Note how Obama did not call them 0ut for treating homosexuals like cockroaches.  Does he support that (he is against gay marriage, after all) or is he just a coward?  He will trash my country abroad to score points but as is always the case he uses weak empty words when it comes to the crimes and tyranny in the middle east.

Thomas Sowell on our Rookie President

Economist Thomas Sowell, in my opinion one of the clearest thinkers out there, has weighed in on our “Rookie President”.   First he uses a football analogy to make a point:

Someone once said that, for every rookie you have on your starting team in the National Football League, you will lose a game. Somewhere, at some time during the season, a rookie will make a mistake that will cost you a game.

Dr. Sowell points out that President Obama is a rookie in ways that  no other President has ever been and he is completely correct in that asssessment:

Barack Obama is a rookie in a sense that few other Presidents in American history have ever been. It is not just that he has never been President before. He has never had any position of major executive responsibility in any kind of organization where he was personally responsible for the outcome.

Other first-term Presidents have been governors, generals, cabinet members or others in positions of personal responsibility. A few have been senators, like Barack Obama, but usually for longer than Obama, and had not spent half their few years in the senate running for President.

We all know this.  Even the people who supported him because of this alleged eloquence (now we know that it was the teleprompter), or his skin color, or his vacuous promises of change knew that he was likely the least qualified candidate in US history.  Dr. Sowell takes it one further, pointing out that even worse than just being a rookie he is supported by legions of “yes men” who adoringly tell him that he is doing right:

What is even worse than making mistakes is having sycophants telling you that you are doing fine when you are not. In addition to all the usual hangers-on and supplicants for government favors that every President has, Barack Obama has a media that will see no evil, hear no evil and certainly speak no evil.

Sowell then points out some of Mr Obama’s naive rookie mistakes, including some historical perspective:

What did his televised overture to the Iranians accomplish, except to reassure them that he was not going to do a damn thing to stop them from getting a nuclear bomb? It is a mistake that can go ringing down the corridors of history.

Future generations who live in the shadow of that nuclear threat may wonder what we were thinking about, putting our lives– and theirs– in the hands of a rookie because we liked his style and symbolism?

Seeking deals with our adversaries, behind the backs of our allies? France did that at Munich back in 1938. They threw Czechoslovakia to the wolves and, less than two years later, Hitler gobbled up France anyway.

Mr Obama completely snubbed our oldest and closest ally this year, though if you get your news from the MSM you likely did not hear about it.  Go read the UK newspapers, they were insulted and unhappy.

Our oldest and staunchest ally, Britain, has been downgraded by President Obama’s visibly less impressive reception of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, compared to the way that previous Presidents over the past two generations have received British Prime Ministers. President Obama’s sending the bust of Winston Churchill in the White House back to the British embassy at about the same time was either a rookie mistake or another snub.

Sowell closes with the obvious conclusion:

We can lose some very big games with this rookie.

Read the brilliant Dr Sowell’s full column here.  I guess that going by the MSM/leftist narrative, Dr Sowell must be a “racist” to criticize our Dear Leader.  Heh.

What would a Manchurian President do?

We are getting a lesson on that right now.

Writing over at Hot Air, Ed Morrisey quotes an article from Bloomberg News that wonders what a Manchurian President would do if he wanted to destroy the economy:

It is no wonder that markets are imploding around us. Obama is giving us the War on Business.

Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?

He might discourage private capital from entering the financial sector by instructing his Treasury secretary to repeatedly promise a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually have one. Private firms, spooked by the thought of what government might do, would shy away from transactions altogether. If the secretary were smooth and played rope-a-dope long enough, the whole financial sector would be gone before voters could demand action.

Another diabolical idea would be to significantly increase taxes on whatever firms are still standing. That would require subterfuge, since increasing tax rates would be too obvious. Our Manchurian Candidate would have plenty of sophisticated ideas on changing the rules to get more revenue without increasing rates, such as auctioning off “permits.”

These steps would create near-term distress. If our Manchurian Candidate leader really wanted to knock the country down for good, he would have to provide insurance against any long-run recovery.

I have been saying this for a while now.  If Obama is so smart, which everyone claims, then why does he demonstrate a complete ignorance of ECON 101?  He knows what is good and bad for the economy but is blinded by his left-wing ideology, desparate to have some say on the outcome of it all.

Morrisey continues with his take:

Obama spent plenty of time on the campaign assuring people that he had no hostility towards business and Wall Street, but at best one can say that he had no particular affinity for them, either.  Obama came out of an environment of Leftist political and economic thought.  It should come as no surprise to anyone who paid attention that he acts on economic policy as someone from that environment would.  We’re seeing the Leftist playbook on economics, to the extent we have one at all.

Does that make Obama a “Manchurian candidate”?  No.  It does make him an elitist who thinks that he and his big-brained buddies can run the economy better than the markets can do themselves, in such a way as to guarantee equality of outcomes.  Like others on the American Left, Obama sees the business world as hopelessly warped as long as it produces winners and losers.  When he told Joe Wurzelbacher that he wanted to “spread the wealth”, he meant it — and sees that as the role of government, perhaps the primary role of government.

Indeed.   Morrisey closes with the observation that it does not really matter, the end result is the same:

Just as Hassett makes the claim that Obama has crashed the markets on purpose, one can make the case that he’s incompetent — completely out of his league and clinging to his ideology rather than financial acumen.  That case is much easier to make, since it doesn’t involve divining intent.  We already see the results of Deadbeatonomics, as well as the thoroughly unprepared and outclassed staff of advisers that seem stuck in first gear at Treasury and the White House.

Which interpretation is correct?  We’ll find out soon enough, but in the end, it may not matter all that much.  Both will take us to the same place, and we have a long time before we can replace Obama.  That’s what makes 2010 more important for Republicans.

This President is exactly what his most fervent opponents said he was during the campaign.  You ignorant myrmidons who voted for him wanted to believe him so much when he pretended not to be a collectivist that you ignored a plethora of contradictory evidence.  How do you like him now?

There is no moderate Taliban, President Obama!

Acting just like the beta male that he is, President Obama is seeking to sing Kumbaya with the Taliban, naively thinking that there is such a thing as moderate Taliban.  Is there ever any threat or crisis for which the Left’s initial response is not “How can we painlessly capitulate?”.  When the tough guy in your party is Joe Lieberman, that says a lot.  Spare me the fiction that Joe Biden is some tough guy.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal to reach out to moderate Taliban will fail to end the Afghan insurgency as it is inflexible Taliban leaders who are orchestrating the war, not moderates, analysts said.

Obama, in an interview with the New York Times newspaper published on its website on Saturday, expressed an openness to adapting tactics in Afghanistan that had been used in Iraq to reach out to moderate elements there.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed Obama’s proposal but analysts were doubtful.

“Obama’s comment resemble a dream more than reality,” said Waheed Mozhdah, an analyst who has written a book on the Taliban.

“Where are the so-called moderate Taliban? Who are the moderate Taliban?” asked Mozhdah, who was an official in both the Taliban and the Karzai governments.

Karzai’s pro-Western administration and the growing number of foreign forces in Afghanistan have increasingly come under attack from a resurgent Taliban, with Obama now describing Afghanistan as a top foreign policy priority for his new administration.

“‘Moderate Taliban’ is like ‘moderate killer’. Is there such a thing?”, asked writer and analyst Qaseem Akhgar.

You can read Michelle’s post here.

Obama massively raises taxes on every American

Writing on his blog at ABCNews.com, Jake Tapper talks about the President’s proposed new taxes.  First, the obligatory Obama attack on the (job-creating) people who make $250K+.  Presumably this group will include a ton of Chapter S small businesses.  Perhaps it will negatively impact the one that employs you, forcing hard choices on your boss.

President Obama’s budget proposes $989 billion in new taxes over the course of the next 10 years, starting fiscal year 2011, most of which are tax increases on individuals.

1) On people making more than $250,000.

$338 billion – Bush tax cuts expire
$179 billlion – eliminate itemized deduction
$118 billion – capital gains tax hike

Total: $636 billion/10 years

So the people who are most likely to create a small-business job are the ones getting hit.  Nice Econ-101 there, sport.  Then on to the “business taxes” part of it, though every tax is a tax on the individual.

2) Businesses:

$17 billion – Reinstate Superfund taxes
$24 billion – tax carried-interest as income
$5 billion – codify “economic substance doctrine”
$61 billion – repeal LIFO
$210 billion – international enforcement, reform deferral, other tax reform
$4 billion – information reporting for rental payments
$5.3 billion – excise tax on Gulf of Mexico oil and gas
$3.4 billion – repeal expensing of tangible drilling costs
$62 million – repeal deduction for tertiary injectants
$49 million – repeal passive loss exception for working interests in oil and natural gas properties
$13 billion – repeal manufacturing tax deduction for oil and natural gas companies
$1 billion – increase to 7 years geological and geophysical amortization period for independent producers
$882 million – eliminate advanced earned income tax credit

Total: $353 billion/10 years

Never forget that every single tax on a company is simply passed along to the consumers.  Taxes on companies are simply ways for government to hide taxes from you since they just get built into the price of the products.  Looking at that list of “business” taxes above, it’s clear that many of Mr Obama’s new taxes are simply anti-local-energy and will result in considerably higher gas prices for every American, not just those 250K-ers that Obama loves to demagogue.  Remember $4/gallon?  We may be headed there again.  Even for those of you who get tax refunds without paying taxes (those most likely of Obama supporters).

Is this the hope and change that you bamboozled people voted for?