Saturday, January 21, 2012

Between Barack and a Hot Plate

Obviously a majority of Americans live ideologically, rhetorically, and economically between, as Rush Limbaugh calls them, "environmentalist whackos", those primarily made up of Hollywood and liberal elites rich enough to eschew the griminess of carbon based energy, and those whose lifestyle is supported primarily by the government.  Yet oddly, if not deliberately, President Obama has chosen to side with both of those extremes in almost every decision he makes.  Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal had three successive editorials which demonstrate such pandering: The Anti-Jobs President, Heavy Metal Politics, and Food Stamp Nation.

In all three of these articles, there can be no more defense or rationalization from Obama or his supporters that he is at all concerned with remedying our nation's high unemployment levels.  Anyone who says otherwise is full of sh**.  The President's actions with regard to the Keystone XL Pipeline have always been evasive and disingenuous but his latest denunciation exposes him, with no cover mind you, as a complete fraud.  Permitting for the project began in 2008, with subsequent sign-offs from Obama's own Interior and State departments.  Study after study concluded that "no significant (negative) impacts" to the environment would be effected by the project.  Not just once, but twice.  Additionally, the President's own Jobs Council, earlier this week, announced their advice that Obama support "policies that facilitate the safe, thoughtful and timely development of pipeline, transmission and distribution projects", and not to do so "would stall the engine that could become a prime driver of U.S. jobs and growth in the decades ahead."  He treated that advice as well, like he treated the advice from his Bowles/Simpson debt commission, in essence saying shove it.

Environmentalists won another round over economic and domestic energy interests when last week Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar banned new uranium mining on a million acres in northern Arizona.  Millions of pounds of high grade uranium could have produced enough electrical power to light Los Angeles for 154 years.  Once again Obama administration officials from the Bureau of Land Management found after their reviews that additional mining would have "no direct impact" on protected wilderness areas or drinking water from the Colorado River.  The decision will cost area residents, already suffering from 17% unemployment, $160 million in annual economic output.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a record 44.7 million people receive food stamps.  When Newt Gingrich says that Obama has added more people to the program than any other President in history, it's a fact.  Since 2009 11.2 million more people have joined the rolls, including an additional 4.4 million just last year.  What started out as a supplemental program for the truly needy has over the years become one more entitlement for millions of Americans.

In the 1983 report A Nation at Risk, a seminal study of our nation's poorly performing K12 education system, the authors proclaimed, "If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war." Given the atrocious and destructive decisions made daily by this president and his administration, it's increasingly hard for me to distinguish the difference.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Motorless City

According to an article I read today in the Wall Street Journal, an estimated 62% of Detroit residents do not own a car.  With one in three living in poverty I suppose that's somewhat understandable.  However, given that the automobile, for the most part, built Detroit, it's still an astounding number.  Sad.  Sadder still is the fact that those who remain in Detroit remain wed and deliriously entrenched to the destructive social and economic policies that drove them under in the first place.    

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Wish I'd Said It

The following is reprinted from today's Wall Street Journals' Notable & Quotable.  From blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds writing in the Washington Examiner, Dec.3:

The reason why a bachelor's degree on its own no longer conveys intelligence and capability it that the government decided that as many people as possible should have bachelor's degrees.

There's something of a pattern here.  The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that the middle class people have.  If middle class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we'll have more middle class people.

But homeownership and college aren't causes of middle-class status, they're markers for possessing the kinds of traits -- self-discipline, the ability to deter gratification, etc. - that let you enter, and stay in, the middle class.

Subsidizing the markers doesn't produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.  One might as well try to promote basketball skills by distributing expensive sneakers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Obama's Other Revenue Problem

Barack Obama and the Democrats insist we have a revenue problem.  They're confident that too few people pay too little in taxes, otherwise there'd be no reason to ever cut spending of any kind.  Anyway, that's what they say.  I agree that we have a revenue problem, it's just not that one.  In 2008, before Barack Obama became President, our nation raised $9.5 billion in offshore oil leases.  This year we sold only $36 million.  That's a revenue problem.  So, not only does President Obama spend massive amounts of our tax dollars chasing his green energy dreams, he does so at the expense of very real income from the sale of oil and gas leases.  This isn't just an ideological shift folks, this is malfeasance on a grand scale.  This is brain-dead, job-killing economics we just can't afford.  When people ask me if I think Obama will win reelection I tell them in no uncertain terms, "No, absolutely not."  I tell them that I do not fear another Obama term.  What I do fear however is that we may all lose everything we have before he's done.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No Thanks for Giving

In Governor Mitch Daniel's new book, Keeping the Republic, he talks about how government expansion "shrinks" the citizenry by crowding them out of the production of goods and services that were once the purview and responsibility of the private sector.  Job training, charity, automobile manufacturing, and college loans for example.  Repeated often enough, the citizen learns to cower under threats of new pressures, and more often then not gives up without a fight.  In the opinion section of today's Wall Street Journal, William McGurn sites a perfect example in Morristown, New Jersey.

For 26 years, the Morristown Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center has supplied a free Thanksgiving meal to anyone who needs it.  Churches, community groups, restaurants, corporate sponsors, and scores of volunteers have all pitched in to make this a special day of giving.  Until now.  Recently, the Morristown Division of Health ruled that the Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center will be officially designated a "retail" food establishment and thereby fall under the auspices and rules of the State of New Jersey.  What does this mean?  It means that homemade pies, breads, meals, anything that isn't prepared according to state code will be prohibited from being served.  Furthermore, the sterility of latex gloves will replace the warm comfort of Mom's apron, food service volunteers will be kept out of the kitchen, and anything that isn't sanitarily wrapped in corporate plastic will be verboten.  Mind you, this offering has never had a history of food poisoning or any instance of uncleanliness.  And the real kicker - estimates for compliance will cost an additional $150,000!  Happy Holidays from your friendly bureaucrats down at city hall.

Getting back to Governor Daniel's message.  Many in Morristown will just ask the volunteers to comply and pony up, but each dollar that goes to cover these new costs will be taken away from some other worthy area of need.  For those whose only way to participate may have been to donate a home-cooked meal, well they'll just have to find another way to support their fellow human beings.  And the government, they'll eventually take over responsibility for this endeavor because they really don't want us mortals doing the work for ourselves anyway.  Or, the Morristown Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center and the scads of volunteers who help put on this annual event can just say no.  No to overreaching government meddlers and do-gooders.  No to compromising their own standards of humanity and compassion.  No to bureaucratic edicts meted without reason or facts.  No, no, no.  No more.


Monday, November 14, 2011

People, Pride, Prosperity

I delivered these remarks last Monday night to kick-off my campaign for MI's 94th State House seat.

"Six years ago I ran for state representative on the platform of Jobs!, Jobs!, Jobs! Unfortunately, six years later, those three words are still our state’s number one priority. Although a Republican Governor and solid Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate will continue to reinvent Michigan, we cannot rest here in Saginaw County. We have been blessed with leaders like Roger Kahn, Ken Horn and Jim Stamas, able legislators who continue to ensure that our common values are defended and who support our shared belief in a limited but effective government. But this fight has not yet been won. Efforts to cut spending, eliminate waste, or to reign in government bureaucracy are fought daily in Saginaw, Lansing, and beyond. For the Saginaw Valley and Michigan to flourish, that fight must continue, unabated, without compromise, equivocation, or indecisiveness. We cannot fall back when bold action and strong leadership are still necessary and required. I have been a consistent voice against government expansion, higher taxes, and business as usual on the Board of Commissioners, but I also believe that those views may carry more weight in our state’s capitol. Therefore, I am announcing my campaign to serve you, the people of the 94th District, as your next state representative.

While too many of us remain unemployed, underemployed, or just plain unhappy with the status quo, we can all agree that we live in a special place. What makes Michigan and Saginaw County so special? People. Our people make our state and our community a place worth fighting for. Look about you. While our natural resources, abundant water, hearty forests, and fertile soil, led early explorers and immigrants to this peninsula, and still today drives agriculture, commerce and tourism, it’s our collection of hard working individuals, families, and institutions that make Michigan and Saginaw County a desirable place in which to work and raise a family. In pursuit of our own bit of liberty and happiness, we look for leaders who will work toward the preservation of personal freedom, responsibility and respect. We are troubled by the selfish efforts of politicians that pander to special interests, pit one side against another, or repeat worn-out habits that always, always, end in negative results.

Whether you are a farmer, physician, salesman, a teacher, administrator, carpenter or electrician. A storeowner, grocer, plumber, lawyer or laborer, a soccer mom, a devoted dad, an accountant or professor, you take pride in your work and feel better when others do to. You play by the rules and expect the same from those around you. You don’t ask for special favors, you don’t expect them, yet quietly, sometimes demonstrably, feel taken advantage when others do. You seek equal treatment for equal results. Year after year, precious resources for education, infrastructure, the things that will help to ensure our growth and long-term prosperity, are squeezed by increased federal mandates, or the maintenance and expansion of poorly performing programs pushed by politicians who succumb to fear and threats of reprisal.

Everyone talks about saving the middle-class but they often don’t see that every expansion of government, every dollar that goes into additional services, in reality, squeezes the middle by draining precious personal resources that otherwise would have been better directed at enriching their own lives and those around them. The people are better stewards of their own money, not government. In any case, government assistance too often results in the persistence of a problem, not its elimination.

I wish to represent you in Lansing, not to increase my own fortunes but to help increase yours - to ensure that your businesses, your livelihoods are kept free from government interference, free from burdensome job killing regulations, and free from the consequences of governments’ good intentions. I want to ensure that your support for government, both locally and in Lansing, is more wisely and judiciously spent - ensuring the very best, most efficient government possible, without waste, without excuses, and without continued assistance for those who no longer need or deserve it. In other words lets start making sense with our taxes, not friends, dependents, or allies.

Six years ago I touted myself as “Uniquely Prepared and Lansing Ready”. Let me tell you that hasn’t changed! I still am, only more so. I’m fired up, and I’m more than ready to go to work for you - as your next state representative!"


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Apparently our government runs a lottery every year that normally attempts to issue 50,000 green-cards to people seeking residency here.  I say "normally" because this year the computer program that randomly selects the winners messed up.  To make matters worse the U. S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, which runs the program through something called the Diversity Visa Program, didn't properly test the program before 22,000 would be citizens had already been notified.  So 22,000 people who thought they were getting a chance to come to our shores may not have a chance after all.  Additionally, the computer mistakenly picked the first list of winners from applications taken in just the first week of the program rather than over the course of the entire 30-day period.  So to fix things, government officials have decided to rerun the computer lottery from a record 15 million applications.

Thus far the Obama Administration doesn't have a very good record in picking winners and losers.  Witness Solyndra, the "shovel ready" stimulus, Cash for Clunkers, Recovery Summer, the Ground Zero mosque, and its close cousin, the attempt to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan.  The Diversity Visa Program might just be another plan gone horribly awry.  In any case, why question a computer program that randomly selected its first 22,000 winners from early applications.  Does it really matter?  It's still random, right?  Good grief!