“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, December 10, 2010

Congressional Democrats' & Wonderboy's Self-Inflicted Wounds On The Tax Deal

It's truly stunning to watch Congressional Democrats and Wonderboy implode in such a public manner over the tax cut negotiations currently stalled in Washington.

Karl Rove wrote a very good piece in his Wall Street Journal column this week, reinforced by several appearances on various Fox News programs. He points out how inept Wonderboy appears by not being able to control his own party's Congressional majorities, while publicly castigating the GOP as "hostage takers," and lambasting members of his own party, as well.

Rove notes how foolish and powerless the First Rookie thus becomes in the eyes of voters.

Meanwhile, various ultra-liberal House Democrats are making sure that voters remember why they handed the party it's stunning losses in the people's chamber last month.

You truly cannot make this up. Apparently the only Congressional Democrats capable of behaving like adults are those eyeing re-election bids in 2012. Otherwise, the party's members and Wonderboy are throwing caution to the wind, forgetting the voters' rebuke of their tax-and-spend policies, and doubling down.

How else to explain Wonderboy's own 'hostage taking' by tying 13 more months of unemployment benefits to the extension of the 2001 tax rates to all American taxpayers?

If you haven't viewed nor heard the president's address last week in which he bitterly announced the nearly-completed bi-partisan tax deal, it's something to see. His distaste at having to genuinely compromise is undisguised. This guy is no ordinary politician- he's an egomaniacal, spoiled brat.

The spectacle of him, and, in a video, his economic adviser, attempting to paint Republicans as evil for wanting job-creating wealthy taxpayers to share in avoiding a tax rate hike, merely reminds voters how insensitive and clueless Democrats are to how our economy actually works.

I suspect voters are going to remember this entertaining show for many, many months to come. House Democrats behaving petulantly, with Frisco Nan declaring that her minions will reject the tax deal. Wonderboy, as usual, painting anyone who disagrees with him as evil.

Rather than rescue his own re-election bid by being gracious and statesmanlike, the president publicly threw a tantrum and displayed his own impotence.

Conservatives should be rejoicing over this political theatre. The only thing missing is a reasonable requirement by GOP Congressional members that the unemployment benefits extensions be paid for, according to Democratic party promises, with budget cuts elsewhere.

What's Going On With Tom Coburn?

I happened to see Dick Morris' appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News Channel program Monday night. Morris noted that Tom Coburn, the previously-staunch conservative Republican Senator from Oklahoma, has suddenly changed his stripes.

Morris was referring to Coburn's vote for the Bowles-Simpson's Commissions recommendations, including $1T of new taxes.

What has gotten into Coburn? Morris went on a rant, urging voters to call Coburn and a fellow formerly-conservative Senator whose name I can't recall. All week. Then Morris lamented that both had just been re-elected, meaning they have six years of insularity in which to potentially drift leftward.

Let's hope Coburn just had a brief lapse of sense. I understand that he thinks the whole package offered by the Commission opens spending cut doors on entitlements which were previously locked shut. But I don't think his voting for such enormous tax hikes is justified to get the entitlement changes.

He could have voted against the plan as a bad package, but supported the spending cuts as worthy of inclusion in future legislation.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Tax Rate & Unemployment Insurance Deal

The recent Congressional-White House deal to retain tax rates for two more years on all incomes, in exchange for 13 more months of unemployment insurance, strikes me as just more business as usual in Washington.

I know many will credit the Republicans with forcing the tax rate hikes, due to lapsing cuts from 2001, two years into the future.

But only temporarily delaying their expiration- again- and allowing yet another unprecedented extension of unemployment insurance benefits, doesn't fix anything. It simply expands the deficit from the latter spending.

Couldn't the GOP members of Congress have at least insisted on offsetting spending cuts for the unemployment benefits? I'm all for helping the needy, but the US taxpayer and government budget is not a bottomless pit. We're so clearly at a point of requiring spending ceilings and tradeoffs that this would have been an ideal time for the GOP to stick to that point.

Instead, voters see more of the same old games. Dangling temporary tax cuts while borrowing or taxing them to transfer their wealth to those who aren't creating value.

Hardly the dynamic US economy that so enriched our nation for generations.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Joe Crowley's Nonsensical Rant On CNBC

Yesterday morning, I witnessed an interesting exchange between Steve Forbes and NY Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley.

Forbes was a guest host for an hour, mostly to discuss the current support building in Congress for a sweeping tax code overhaul. If you recall, Forbes ran for president some years ago on the flat tax issue. Or perhaps just simplified- I don't recall the details anymore. But I do recall tax comprehensive tax reform as his salient issue.

Crowley, however, exhibited the type of behavior which makes you realize why you want small government. He ranted a now-familiar line about how Bill Clinton was a god-like president leaving a budget surplus. George Bush, of course, spent it all, and then some, leaving Wonderboy with a sorry mess.

Taxes, of course, must rise, as must spending.

Crowley must be an idiot. His refusal to listen to Forbes' reminders of the context of the various points that Crowley made showed him to be a mindless demagogue. No acknowledgement of the booming, post-Reagan economy Clinton inherited. Nor the famed 'peace dividend' from the Soviet Union's collapse.

Nor Bush' inheriting a war on terror, thanks to Clinton's turning a blind eye to the building pressures and events.

When you hear guys like Crowley spout such ill-informed, small-minded nonsense, you realize why you want Congress doing as little as possible, influencing as little of American life as possible, and generally keeping focused on spending, taxes and foreign affairs. Not business, wealth transfers, nor other important social issues.

Crowley exemplifies the type of mediocre people who populate Congress, because the smarter, more motivated among us are busy making money and pursuing our American Dreams. Leaving morons like Crowley minding the government, and making mischief by increasing their power over the lives of the rest of us.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wonderboy's First Term Millstones

William McGurn wrote a thought-provoking piece in his weekly Wall Street Journal column on Tuesday of last week. In it, he drew a sharp contrast to Wonderboy's potential for a second term, and that of Slick Willie's.

A key passage early in his editorial was,

"That story is this: Democrats remain in charge for the next few weeks, they have some big decisions to make and, at least for now, Mr. Boehner's relations with Mr. Obama are of far less moment than the president's relations with his own party."

The remaining Democratic liberals in Congress, McGurn points out, are about to make Wonderboy's situation worse,

"To try to get these through in a lame-duck session risks solidifying one of the chief indictments against Mr. Obama and his allies in Congress. That is their arrogance in riding roughshod over public opinion and standard legislative procedure in Congress to get what they wanted."

Amazingly, as McGurn opines, the remaining Congressional liberals, and their allies, worry that Wonderboy will ape Slick Willie, run to the center, and moderate their desired agenda in order to gain re-election.

However, he notes,

"They may not have to worry. Because Mr. Clinton's health-care plan was defeated, he could walk away from it in 1994 and start afresh. In theory, Mr. Obama might likewise move to the right and use Democratic liberals as a foil to his pragmatism. In practice, it would be hard to do while defending his health-care initiative.

In other words, there is a story well worth covering: an intramural Democratic fight about the way forward. In this fight, Mr. Boehner is a side story."

McGurn makes a very cogent point. Wonderboy can't escape the voter outrage at the health care law. So triangulation is impossible for him, without essentially repudiating his own self-proclaimed greatest legislative achievement.

Perhaps conservatives have reason already to rejoice over the 2012 presidential election.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Grey Lady's Double Standard

The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto provided this undeniable example of the New York Times' indefensible double standard regarding leaks.

"The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here."—New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009.

"The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match."—New York Times, on the WikiLeaks documents, Nov. 29, 2010. "

Some it likes, others it does not. No surprise which is which, is there? Just that there would appear to be no difference, apart from the political perspective so obvious in the Times' positions.