Tag Archives: Politics

Tax & Debt

“A people willing to vote itself a lifestyle it is unwilling to earn is a people destined for the ash heap of history.”  Anon

The Hard Fiscal Facts

Individual tax payments are up 26% in the last two years

The Wall Street Journal – November 11, 2012

imageWhile the rest of America was holding an election last week, the gnomes at the Congressional Budget Office released the final budget totals for fiscal 2012. They’re worth reporting because they illuminate the real fiscal choices that confront the country, as opposed to the posturing you’ll be hearing over the next few weeks.

The nearby table lays out the ugly details. The feds rolled up another $1.1 trillion deficit for the year that ended September 30, which was the biggest deficit since World War II, except for each of the previous three years. President Obama can now proudly claim the four largest deficits in modern history. As a share of GDP, the deficit fell to 7% last year, which was still above any single year of the Reagan Presidency, or any other year since Truman worked in the Oval Office.

Tax revenue kept climbing, up 6.4% for the year overall, and at $2.45 trillion it is now close to the historic high it reached in fiscal 2007 before the recession hit. Mr. Obama won’t want you to know this, but this revenue increase is occurring under the Bush tax rates that he so desperately wants to raise in the name of getting what he says is merely “a little more in taxes.” Individual income tax payments are now up $233 billion over the last two years, or 26%.

This healthy revenue increase comes despite measly economic growth of between 1% and 2%. Imagine the gusher of revenue the feds could get if government got out of the way and let the economy grow faster.

Now let’s look at outlays, which declined a bit in 2012. That small miracle was achieved thanks to a 4% fall in defense spending, a 24% fall in jobless benefits, and an 8.9% decline in Medicaid spending. Continue reading

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Young People Believe

What Do Young People Believe?

By Howard Hyde – FrontPageMag.Com – November 13, 2012

One of the most remarkable impressions  of election night was seeing, in places like Times Square and the Obama campaign stadium in Chicago, crowds of young people, cheering, laughing, dancing, crying with joy over the result. Since these are the people who will have to live with the consequences of this election the longest, it is worth asking: what is it exactly that they are cheering? What do they believe?

They must believe that their future is bright, that it has been saved from the ravages of the evil, uncaring, racist and homophobic Republicans with that rich, white vulture of the weird cult at the top of the ticket.  Their free education, free student “loans,” and free health care including contraception and abortion services are now secure. The fact that so many college graduates can’t find work today is George Bush’s fault, and that circumstance will soon be resolved by the wise policies of the revitalized Obama administration.

What do they believe about Republicans? They must believe that the 48% of Americans — half the country — hate women, gays and minorities, would force all women to have invasive ultrasounds, gays to be burned next to witches, and blacks sent to the back of the bus if not back to the cotton fields as chattel slaves. They must believe that Paul Ryan wishes to commit a Texas (or is it Wisconsin?) chainsaw massacre upon the entitlement programs that they are counting on and that those programs will now be solvent with no sacrifice required on their part. Continue reading

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Obama on the Fringe

The president belonged to a social-democratic third party

By  Stanley  Kurtz – The National Review – June 25, 2012

In 1996, during his first run for public office, Barack Obama formally joined a leftist third party called the New Party. Its Chicago chapter served as the de facto political arm of the now-defunct group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Ideologically, the New Party sharply differentiated itself from what it took to be the business-dominated Democratic party of Bill Clinton, identifying instead with the social-democratic movements of Europe.

The claim that Obama had been a member of the New Party gained attention from conservatives during the final two weeks of the 2008 campaign, but—even though it rested on consider­able evidence—it was never widely reported or discussed in the mainstream press. When I asserted on National Review Online in late October 2008 that Obama had indeed been a member of the New Party, the Obama campaign called my charge a “crack­pot smear.” Through its Fight the Smears website, it insisted that its candidate had never been a member, and had “never solicited” the New Party’s endorsement.

Documentary evidence—obtained from ACORN files re­cently donated to the Wisconsin historical Society—now con­tradicts this claim, and establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that Barack Obama did solicit the endorsement, and become a member, of the New Party. Like other candidates who received its endorsement, Obama signed a “contract” in which he pro­mised not only to join the group but also to publicly support and associate himself with it while in office.

The minutes of the public meeting of Chicago’s New Party on January 11, 1996, read as follows: “Barack Obama, candi­date for State Senate in the 13th Legislative District, gave a statement to the membership and answered questions. He signed the New Party ‘Candidate Contract’ and requested an endorsement from the New Party. He also joined the New Party.” Consistent with these minutes, a roster of the Chicago chapter jpf the New Party from early 1997 lists Obama as a member, giving January 11,1996, as the date he joined. All evi­dence now points to an attempt by Obama in 2008 to deceive the American public about this important political affiliation in his past.

Obama’s New Party problem must be seen as part and parcel of his attempts to distance himself from ACORN. During his third debate with John McCain, Obama claimed that the “only” involvement he’d had with ACORN was to represent the group in a lawsuit compelling Illinois to implement the motor-voter law. The ACORN archives clearly contradict him, and provide evidence that he had deal­ings with ACORN well beyond representing it in a single law­suit.

Why did Obama falsely deny his ties to ACORN? His sup­port for its voter-registration efforts in Chicago and his participation in its training seminars doubtless would have been embarrassing, given its thuggish tactics, its fraudulent voter registrations, and its role in abetting the subprime-loan fiasco at the root of the 2008 financial crisis. But they would not likely have been seriously damaging for him to confess, especially in 2008, when the press was treating him with kid gloves. Ad­mitting to having joined a leftist third party controlled by ACORN, on the other hand, could have been damaging indeed. The records of ACORN’s national office, as well as those of several local affiliates, including Illinois ACORN and the ACORN-controlled Chicago Local 880 of the Service Em­ployees International Union (SEIU), can be found in the ar­chives of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Until recently, these records did not include material more recent than about 1994. My political biography of President Obama, Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, made use of these records to sketch a detailed picture of ACORN’s operations in Chicago and beyond, and of Obama’s ties to the group. Then, apparently sometime around 2010, the records of Illinois ACORN were updated, with especially strong coverage of the mid to late 1990s, and some records extending well into the 2000s. In what follows, I will concen­trate on information in the updated Illinois ACORN records about Obama’s ties to the New Party, drawing on older archival material when necessary to fill out the picture.
The Chicago New Party was founded in 1992. Not much later, in February 1993, a New Party memo identified Obama as someone worth recruiting, and made special note of his desire to run for office. The early New Party was run jointly by Madeline Talbott, the leader of Illinois ACORN, and Keith Kelleher, the head of SEIU Local 880. In July 1993, Kelleher met with Obama to interest him in working with the New Party, and with a New Party-controlled front group called Progressive Chicago. Since many Chicago-leftists were reluc­tant to alienate the Democrats by joining a third party, working with Progressive Chicago gave them a way to help the New Party indirectly. Progressive Chicago also served as a base for eventual recruitment to the New Party itself.

Obama told Kelleher that he was “more than happy to be involved” in New Party and Progressive Chicago affairs, while also saying that he would be cautious about anything that might offend regular Democrats. Since the New Party intended to make frequent use of the tactic of “fusion” (endorsement of select progressive candidates running on the Democratic-party line), it was perfectly content to allow its members to be Democrats as well. Yet many Democrats looked on the New Party with suspicion, and it took real courage—and commit­ment to hard leftism—to have dealings with the group. Continue reading

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