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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pork/Stimulus vs. Economic Growth

Pork/Stimulus vs. Economic Growth
I must say that it is hard to understand liberal “economists” when it comes to economic growth.  The jury is not out on how to grow the economy.  The verdict is clear—you grow the economy by putting more money back into the hands of the people, not into the hands of the government. 
Calvin Coolidge cut tax rates and the economy soared.

John F. Kennedy cut tax rates and the economy soared.

Ronald Reagan cut tax rates and the economy soared.

George W. Bush cut tax rates and averted an economic disaster that could have been brought on by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

What is it with the liberals?  Can’t they figure out that two plus two equals four? 

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s massive government programs, wild spending and high taxes extended the depression.

Free markets work.  Government intervention, such as that promoted by Carter and Clinton into the housing market mandating loans to folks who could not afford them not only fail, but also cause long time damage to our economy.

There is no such thing as a government stimulus package.  When government takes your hard earned dollars and spends them, it always hurts the economy.  There are no exceptions.  Sometimes government spending is unavoidable and even necessary—as the US Constitution and the Founders knew—to provide for the common defense and promote internal order.  When government goes beyond these two legitimate functions it begins to reduce your freedom and mine.

When 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 members of the Senate, along with the President, decide to spend our dollars for pork and to “stimulate” the economy, all they are saying is that they are smarter and wiser than you and I are.  It’s not only foolish political arrogance, it’s dangerous to our economy and to our freedom.

When government tries (in vain) to stimulate the economy, they cause non-market driven misallocations of capital and labor resources.  Bad and inefficient economic decisions are made.  As Adam Smith pointed out, it is only individuals making millions of independent decisions who act like an “invisible hand” to properly allocate resources for the common good.

Liberal “economists” would say that catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina stimulate the economy because of all the work that must be done to repair the damage.  What they don’t see is what those same resources might have built or created by market demand if they were not caused to be expended on re-building and repairing.  There is not expansion of economic well-being for the citizens of America when a disaster occurs.  There is only contraction.  There is no expanded purchase or creation of consumer goods and services when money is spent on buying a new aircraft carrier, there is only contraction.  Every dollar spent by the government for defense is a dollar that you could not spend as you saw best for your own needs.  Every dollar spent to build a tank is a dollar that could not be used for research and development of new consumer products and services.  Every one of your dollars spent by government reduces your individual freedom.

This is not an argument against spending funds on national defense or any of a thousand wasteful and dangerous government programs, but it is an economic reality.

The best way to recharge the American and world economy is to put more money back into the hands of American citizens.  A so-called government stimulus package will only drive the economy down toward a depression, as it did under FDR.  If you want the stock market to recover and business to grow, freeze government spending across the board, suspend all capital gains taxes and suspend all corporate income taxes.  These simple steps would get the economy back on track faster than any other action the government could possibly take.  They are based on sound economics, not short-sighted, wishful thinking by power hungry politicians.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dereliction of Duty

Dereliction of Duty
I am embarrassed for the so-called main stream news media.  No wonder fewer and fewer people watch ABC, CBS & NBC news each year.  No wonder The Gray Lady is insolvent, The Washington Post is hemorrhaging, and the circulation of the LA Times is in a death spiral. 

There is simply no attempt at objectivity when it comes to President Obama and the Democratic Party.  Where was the scrutiny of foreign gifts to the new Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton?  Where was the outrage about the nominee for Treasury Secretary failing to pay his US Income Taxes?  Where is the investigation into the radical positions of Eric Holder, the new Attorney General?

What an incredible double standard.  Republican nominees for the Cabinet have been attacked by the news media for incidental issues, but Democrats with huge problems are given a pass.

Left-wing advocacy journalism rules the day, to the detriment of our nation.  There is no attempt at objectivity.  Their performance is nothing less than complete dereliction of duty to hold all public officials’ feet to the fire and to question all policies and appointments.  Shame on them.

Their goal is to not only give the new President free rein, but also to shut down all opposition by either re-imposing the “un” Fairness Doctrine, or shutting down talk radio via new “localism” and “diversity ownership” rules.

Overreaching.  The Democrats won nearly 54% of the vote, due to advantageous economic news and opposition from a lackluster, “me too,” Republican candidate.  That still means that 46% of the American people are not on board with the far left policies being promoted by President Obama and his allies in the news media.

Overreaching leads to political defeat.  Attempts to eliminate free speech and shut down talk radio will not only bring financial ruin to AM radio (costing tens of thousands of jobs), but will backfire and lead the Democrats down the road to defeat.

These are indeed interesting times.  If the Democrats continue to overreach, the 2010 election will bring the Republicans, especially conservatives, roaring back.  It won’t mean recapturing control of the House or the Senate in terms of actual numbers, but it will mean enough votes to stop the ill-conceived, doomed to failure polices of the far left. 

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It’s now official.  After 100% opposition by the Republicans in the US House of Representatives to the incredibly wasteful and disastrous trillion dollar pork package sent to Congress by President Obama, it is now the Obama economy.  He grabbed it.  He bought it.  It’s his.

I voted for Senator McCain for President only because the Democrat candidate was even further to the left.  I identify myself as a conservative first, and a Republican second.  But I must say that I was never more proud of being a Republican than when the Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted unanimously against the so-called stimulus package that the new President said was designed to create or save (whatever that means) four million jobs. 

Let’s see, a trillion dollars divided by 4 million means that every job should pay $250,000 per year.  Of course, that’s not true.  First, it won’t create as many jobs as it destroys by devaluing the dollars that would otherwise be used to restore the economy.  Second, the jobs will be of the $30 thousand to $40 thousand variety, and the rest will go to grow the government which will expand its control over your life and mine.

To put it bluntly, the Obama stimulus package is a hoax.  And shortly, when the American people wake up and realize it is a hoax, as they most surely will, they cannot and will not blame it on the Republicans who voted 100% against it. 

Hooray for the Republican leadership in the US House of Representatives and for each Republican member of Congress (as well as those responsible Democrats) who opposed the trillion dollar pork bill. 

In 1993, the House Republicans similarly voted 100% against Bill Clinton’s budget and in 1994 they took control of the US House of Representatives for the first time in more than 40 years.  That’s probably not going to happen this time, but if the Democrats continue with their wild, out-of-control spending and radical policies, the sand is going to run out on their time of control.

We all need to thank the House Republicans for holding the line.  If they keep it up, the reign of Pelosi, Reid and Obama will be a short one.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Baseball & A Free Society

       Baseball & A Free Society

With the pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training in just a couple of weeks, it got me to thinking about baseball and democracy, or should I say, the way a free society works. 

Baseball (or most any other team sport) takes skill to succeed.  In fact, baseball is based on particular skills, i.e. turning a double play, hitting an 85 mile-per-hour curve ball, etc.  Basketball’s required skills include dribbling and shooting accurately.  Football demands being able to catch an odd shaped ball while fending off a tackler and running quicker, smarter and faster than the defender.  These sports require other skills as well, but you get the idea.

All three sports, especially baseball which is significantly more complicated and sophisticated than the others (if you don’t believe me, try to explain baseball to someone who is visiting from Germany or the UK, as I have), have rules that apply to all players.  And getting on a team for any of these sports is strictly based on merit.  Who you know, how much money you have, where you were raised, your sex, or the color of your skin (no longer) has any impact whatsoever on your ability to be on the starting team. 

Can’t dribble?  I don’t want you on my basketball team.  Can’t hit?  I don’t want you on my baseball team.  Can’t block or catch a football?  I don’t want you on my football team.  It is all based on your merit.

And, by the way, it doesn’t matter if you are not blessed with good hand-to-eye coordination.  Tough!  It doesn’t matter if you are not tall enough.  Tough!  It doesn’t matter if you’re not big enough.  Tough!

I know because I was never fast enough, coordinated enough, tall enough, big enough, or just good enough to make it on any of my high school’s teams.  I had passion without talent.

That’s life.

In a free society, you go as far as your God-given talent, ability, drive, and God’s blessings take you.  That’s a free society at its best.  It’s a free society as our Founders envisioned it. 

And in sports, everyone plays by the same rules.  There are no exceptions for players who are shorter or smaller or slower or less skilled.  The rules apply to everyone equally and they certainly can’t be changed in the middle of the game.

In society, government makes the rules, and like baseball, they should be applied to everyone equally.  That is the only fair and right way for laws to apply.  When laws are applied unequally (as they were to black Americans), the outcomes are not fair.  Yes, Judges, like umpires, make mistakes, but again, that’s life—imperfect, difficult, challenging, sometimes disappointing, but life.

It wouldn’t be much fun to go to a baseball game and have one team start with runs on the scoreboard because it’s not as good as the other team.  We would rightfully call that unfair.

The rule makers never seek to determine outcomes and government shouldn’t either.  When government seeks to define outcomes, the problems begin.  Problems like the current economic crisis.  Subprime loans given to selected individuals who can’t afford to repay them because of government mandates, caused a financial meltdown.  Good intentions without a solid understanding of the foundations of a free society make lousy law. 

Baseball players, even on the sandlot level, don’t seek unfair advantages.  What fun is it to win if you are cheating?  How good can you feel about yourself if the rule maker gives you an unfair advantage?

Laws that are based on good intentions, but favor one group or one individual over another, hurt everyone.  The loser quits trying if it’s not a level playing field.  The winner loses self-respect if he or she knows that they really didn’t win on their own merit. 

When we play sports we are tough and demanding when it comes to enforcing the rules fairly and equally.  We should demand no less from our government.