Rules of Engagement

The Real “Buffett Rule”:

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (A)’s cash hoard hit a record as first-quarter profit jumped 51 percent on gains from equity-linked derivatives and insurance operations.

Net income climbed to $4.89 billion, or $2,977 a share, from $3.25 billion, or $1,966, a year earlier, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said yesterday in a statement. The cash pile grew to $49.1 billion from $47 billion three months earlier, eclipsing the previous record of $47.9 billion in the second quarter of 2011.

“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” President Obama said during a speech at Mexico’s Anthropology Museum. “

Except when I do it, then you’re not allowed to ask me about it because I won’t tell you.

War On Terror (IBD): Eight months after the Benghazi attack, the FBI begs for help by releasing photos of three suspects, reports surface about an al-Qaida link and the State Department’s review panel is under investigation.

Ahead of highly anticipated hearings set for Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee featuring testimony from State Department whistle-blowers — of which a clueless President Obama professes no knowledge — the FBI has released photos of three people who were at the U.S. consulate when it was attacked last Sept. 11 — pictures that were available on Day One.

But of course on Day One, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was busy blaming a YouTube video for the murder of her ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.

So was United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice five days later on all the Sunday talk shows.

The Obama administration had no time for real suspects, especially those possibly linked to an al-Qaida organization that we were told was on the run in a war on terror that was over.

“We are seeking information about three individuals who were on the grounds of the U.S. Special Mission when it was attacked,” the FBI said in an Arabic release featuring the images.

“These individuals may be able to provide information to help in the investigation.”

Well, it’s about time, isn’t it?

Contrast this Inspector Clouseau-like plea for help in identifying suspects eight months after the Benghazi attack with the quick release of suspect photos in the Boston Marathon bombing that led to their relatively quick apprehension.

Why wasn’t this Benghazi trio immediately cast as three of America’s most wanted? Why the difference?

CNN now reports that it’s been told by a senior U.S. law enforcement official that “three or four members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, took part in the attack and may have been deliberately dispatched there to help in the carefully planned and well-executed operation.

They were later traced to northern Mali, where they’re believed to have been connected with a fighting group commanded by Moktar Belmokhtar, an Algerian terrorist linked to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for an attack on the In Amenas gas facility in southern Algeria in January.

Fox News is also reporting that the State Department’s Office of Inspector General is investigating the special internal panel that probed the Benghazi attack for the State Department and whether the Accountability Review Board, or ARB, failed to interview key witnesses who had asked to provide their accounts of the Benghazi attacks to the panel.

This ARB report, which fails to mention the video “Innocence of Muslims,” also failed to single out any individual officials for violating procedures and did not recommend any disciplinary action, despite the fact that the broad security failures resulted in the murders of Ambassador Stevens and three others.

In an interview for the Fox News program “Geraldo” taped Thursday afternoon and set to air over the weekend, Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, told host Geraldo Rivera that he was representing a career State Department officer whom the board failed to interview. DiGenova called the ARB report a “cover-up.”

DiGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official who represents another State Department whistle-blower in the Benghazi case, said their respective clients will testify at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

As we’ve written, Benghazi is a clear case of criminal negligence by this administration. Obama pledged to bring those responsible for the attack to justice. He lied.

So far, the only one jailed is the maker of that YouTube video. This is not an ongoing investigation. It’s an ongoing cover-up.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

 Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Something Stinks…Oh It’s Obama’s Budget

President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.77 trillion spending blueprint that seeks to achieve an elusive “grand bargain” to tame runaway deficits by raising taxes further on the wealthy and trimming popular benefit programs such as Social Security.

So what if we’re $17 Trillion in Debt, let’s Spend even more!!

It projects that the deficit for the 2014 budget year, which begins Oct. 1, would fall to $744 billion. That would be the lowest gap between spending and revenue since 2008.

Wow! We’d overspend money we don’t have less than we have in the last 5 years! Wow! I’m impressed!! 🙂

Instead of ten hits of crack a day we’ll just do 7!!

WOW! that’s amazing. Whattaguy! 🙂

Oh, and we raise even more taxes so we can overspend!

Impressive!

Just over a week after sequestration took effect, the State Department allotted more than $700,000 for gardening at a U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Brussels, Belgium. 🙂

total deficit savings to $4.3 trillion (over ten years), based on the administration’s calculations.

WOW! He only overspends that much in 3 Months!!! What about the other 9?

Oh, right, TAX INCREASES!

No Tax & Spend Democrats here… 🙂

But instead of moving Congress nearer a grand bargain, Obama’s proposals so far have managed to anger both Republicans, who are upset by higher taxes, and Democrats upset with cuts to Social Security benefits.

Which is why it’s just political, not economic, as usual. Wonder how the Ministry of Truth is going to spin cuts to Social Security? 🙂

The CBO also notes, however – and the White House omits – that a switch to the chained CPI  (for Social Security) will also raise more than $124 billion in new tax revenues.

The money will come pouring in because the consumer price index also controls income tax brackets, tax filers’ standard deductions, nontaxable contribution limits for 401(k) retirement plans, and more.

So millions of individual Americans will see themselves moved involuntarily to higher tax brackets, and middle-class taxpayers in particular will lose some of the tax credits and deductions that they count on.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney conceded as much during an April 5 briefing, when CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett asked if it would ‘raise taxes on middle-income Americans.’

‘I’m not disputing that,’ Carney said, adding that ‘it is not the president’s ideal policy.’

The president’s spending and tax plan is two months late.

It must be all that partying, vacations, and golf!

The budget proposes cutting $400 billion from Medicare and other health care programs over a decade. The cuts would come in a variety of ways, including negotiating better prescription drug prices and asking wealthy seniors to pay more.

Sticking it to Grandma? How dare he! 🙂

In the tax area, Obama would raise an additional $580 billion by restricting deductions for the top 2 percent of family incomes. The budget would also implement the “Buffett Rule” requiring that households with incomes of more than $1 million pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. Charitable giving would be excluded.

So this leopard still has all his spots! Gee, what a shocker that is…

As part of the administration’s effort to win over Republicans, Obama will have a private dinner at the White House with about a dozen GOP senators Wednesday night (Wine, Dine, & Bribe). The budget is expected to be a primary topic, along with proposed legislation dealing with gun control and immigration.

But White Hours Tours for the little people who will get stuck with the check?

Sorry, Charlie, you’re still a peasant and you still stink.

‘Every new initiative in the plan is fully paid for, so they do not add a single dime to the deficit,’ the White House pledges.

no child left a dime

FactCheck.org, a program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Policy Center, reported in February that Obama’s total sum included about $600 billion, however, in new taxes – not spending reductions. It also included $500 billion in reductions of the amount the federal government planned to pay in future interest on its debts.

Only about $1.4 trillion consisted of actual spending cuts – or at least what Washington wonks call spending cuts.

After all, reductions in the INCREASE in spending is considered a “cut” these days in Washington! 🙂

So Obama will have them fighting each other then President Fiat can just step in an do whatever he wants “for the good” of all his subjects. 🙂

After all, if this whole thing fails miserably, and the fighting gets very nasty hen will Eloquently and Arrogantly stand above the fray and proclaim  it wasn’t  HIS fault! 🙂

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA.

 

 

 

 

 

The Future’s So Bright…

NASA astronaut and “the first mother to fly in space” Dr. Anna Fisher took a veiled shot at President Obamaand his space policies Tuesday during an interview with a local anchor at Dulles International Airport where Discovery was making its last flight before being retired at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The local anchor Kristin Fisher pulled a little boy named Ethan out of the crowd who was dressed up as a NASA pilot and asked him if he wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up, which he answered in the affirmative.

“Any advice for Ethan, an aspiring astronaut?” she asked her mom.

“Study Russian,” Fisher quipped, to laughter. (Mediaite)

Or Chinese. 🙂

There is truth in comedy.

*************

A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards.

Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so.

“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,” states the bill.

Although the text of legislation states that such data would remain the property of the owner of the vehicle, the government would have the power to access it in a number of circumstances, including by court order, if the owner consents to make it available, and pursuant to an investigation or inspection conducted by the Secretary of Transportation.

Given the innumerable examples of both government and industry illegally using supposedly privacy-protected information to spy on individuals, this represents the slippery slope to total Big Brother surveillance of every American’s transport habits and location data.

The legislation, which has been given the Orwellian title ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’, sailed through the Senate after being heavily promoted by Democrats Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer and is also expected to pass the Republican-controlled House.

Given the fact that the same bill also includes a controversial provision that would empower the IRS to revoke passports of citizens merely accused of owing over $50,000 in back taxes, stripping them of their mobility rights, could the mandatory black boxes or a similar technology be used for the same purpose?

Biometric face-recognition and transdermol sensor technology that prevents an inebriated person from driving a car by disabling the automobile has already been developed, in addition to systems that refuse to allow the vehicle to start if the driver is deemed to be overtired.

The ultimate Big Brother scenario would be a system whereby every driver had to get de facto permission from the state to drive each time they get behind the wheel, once it had been determined from an iris scan that they were good citizens who have paid all their taxes and not misbehaved.

The push to pressure car manufacturers to install black box tracking devices in all new cars has been ongoing for over a decade. In 2006, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraged but did not require automobile manufacturers to install the systems.

However, in February last year NHTSA administrator David Strickland said the government was considering making the technology mandatory in the wake of recalls of millions of Toyota vehicles.

Earlier this year it was reported that the NHTSA would soon formally announce that all new cars would be mandated to have the devices fitted by law, which has now been codified into the MAP-21 bill.

And now 10 years later what is there argument, “it would take 10 years”…Funny how that worked out.

  • There would be no production out of [ANWR] for at least 7 years.” -Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
  • “Oil extracted from [ANWR] would not reach refineries for seven to ten years.” -Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • “No oil will flow from ANWR…until from 7 to 10 years from now.” -Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
  • “Oil exploration in ANWR will not actually start producing oil for as many as 10 years.” -Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • “Even if we started drilling [in ANWR] tomorrow, the first barrel of crude oil would not make it to the market for at least 10 years.” -Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Ten years later, oil and gas production on federal lands is at a nine-year low, a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline costs an average $3.90, and the president is busy blaming “speculators” for high oil prices – a scapegoat that even a former Democratic Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner rejects.

1086 Days later!


What you’re looking at is a view of today’s Senate Budget Committee meeting, at which Chairman Kent Conrad conducted a faux “markup” of his party’s FY 2013 budget resolution.  The near side of the table is where Democrats were supposed to sit.  Granted, this entire exercise was somewhat academic because its resulting product would receive neither a vote in this committee, nor in the Senate at large.  Details!  Throughout much of the session, all 11 Republican members were present to, you know, do their jobs.  Of the 12 committee Democrats, no more than 3 or 4 were in attendance at any given time, according to sources inside the meeting.  “[The Democrats] showed absolutely no interest in discussing our big picture problems or offering solutions,” a GOP budget aide tells Townhall. “Those who were there showed up only to make a brief statement for the record, then took off.  The photo speaks for itself.”  That it does.  In fact, in this particular photo, every single Democrat seat is vacant, except for that of Chairman Conrad.  What to make of this?  On one hand, why bother participating in a total farce?  On the other, these Dems could have at least feigned interest in a requirement of their own public service.  Senate Democrats have effectively renounced all pretense of responsible governance.  They have done so in an attempt to avoid losing their precious majority — the very purpose of which, I thought, was to govern.  We face a debt crisis that threatens to obliterate the America we know and love, yet an entire American political team has willfully and deliberately decided to eschew productive solutions in favor of sitting on the sidelines and shouting insults at their opponents. 

“Give it a rest, Guy,” I can practically hear you saying, “you’ve been beating this dead horse for months.”  Yes.  Guilty as charged.  This is a disgrace, and I’ll keep flogging this story every chance I get — especially as the MSM largely shrugs and offers its preferred party a pass.  Here we have an entire house of Congress intentionally ignoring the law for political gain, as our nation approaches a terrifying solvency rubicon.  Conservatives cannot, and will not, shut up about this.  Parting thoughts:  (1) Since the year 2009, not one single Democrat or Democrat-aligned member of the United States Senate has voted “yes” on any budget.  They’ve refused to present their own ideas, of course, but they’ve also unanimously voted down every last alternative, from both Republicans and their own party’s president.  Think about that.  (2) Here the Democrats on the upper house’s Budget Committee, other than its retiring chairman.  Name ’em and shame ’em:
 

(1) DSCC Chair Patty Murray (D-WA)
(2) Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who has at least worked with Paul Ryan on a solid Medicare reform plan.
(3) Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who is in a tough 2012 re-election fight.
(4) Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who also faces re-election this year.
(5) Sen. Ben Cardin (D- MD)
(6) Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
(7) “Moderate” Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)
(8) Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
(9) “Moderate” Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)
(10) Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

(11) Last but not least, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), who did manage to find the time to blather on behalf of the defeated “Buffett Rule” on the Senate floor this week.  During his speech, Whitehouse all but conceded that the measure serves no practical purpose beyond electoral positioning and “fairness:”

“The Senate Republican Leader has described the bill as yet another proposal from the White House that won’t create a single job or lower the price at the pump by a penny. Well, the Minority Leader is absolutely right that the aim of this bill is not to lower the unemployment rate or the price of gasoline.”
Party of ideas Folks!  (townhall.com)

The Future’s so bright I have to wear Blinders! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Hope That Changed

If any day should make you want less government and less spending this should be the day.

Unless, you’re a Liberal that is.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Carolyn Kaster / AP
MR “HOPE & CHANGE”. The “UNITER” The President for  all America, not just RED or Blue.
Mr,. Post-Partisan. Post-Racial. Mr. “fair”.
Mark Steyn: In the end, free societies get the governments they deserve. So, if the American people wish to choose their chief executive on the basis of the “war on women,” the Republican theocrats’ confiscation of your contraceptives or whatever other mangy and emaciated rabbit the Great Magician produces from his threadbare topper, they are free to do so, and they will live with the consequences.
Look what “Hope and Change” brought us… 😦
According to the Congressional Budget Office (the same nonpartisan bean-counters who project that on Obama’s current spending proposals the entire U.S. economy will cease to exist in 2027) Obama’s Buffett Rule will raise — stand well back — $3.2 billion per year. Or what the United States government currently borrows every 17 hours.So in 514 years it will have raised enough additional revenue to pay off the 2011 federal budget deficit. If you want to mark it on your calendar, 514 years is the year 2526. There’s a sporting chance Joe Biden will have retired from public life by then, but other than that I’m not making any bets.At the current pace of spending government will have spent by then  – $65,528,575,000,000,000.00

Anyone for more taxes and spending? 🙂

What the president meant to say was: “It will help us close our deficit … for 2011 … within a mere half-millennium!” (Pause for deafening cheers and standing ovation.)

The current federal debt burden works out at about $140,000 per federal taxpayer, and President Obama is proposing to increase both debt and taxes.

Are you one of those taxpayers? How much more do you want added to your $140,000 debt burden? As the Great Magician would say, pick a number, any number. Sorry, you’re wrong. Whatever you’re willing to bear, he’s got more lined up for you.

Your share of federal deficit grows by $50 per day.

The Obama No-Plan plan means the end of everything. That really ought to be the only slogan the Republicans need this fall:

What’s your plan? And all you hear are crickets chirping.

But don’t worry, they’re federally funded crickets, chirping at a research facility in North Carolina investigating whether there’s any correlation between chirping crickets and the inability of America’s political institutions to effect meaningful course correction.

Hey, relax. The Buffett Rule will pick up the tab.

And your kids and grandkids and descendents ad infinitum, well, they are just a wealth waiting to be taxed to death for their own good and for the almighty “fairness”.

Andrew Malcolm: Has anyone seen Barack Obama recently?

You know, the optimistic hopeful fellow with the charming smile who promised so many positive things four and five years ago, how he was going to change the harsh, partisan tone of our nation’s capital and bring the country together as its first African American president.

Even allowing for political hyperbole, his empty resume and the invisible witnesses from the past, Obama was such a Real Good Talker that even some who didn’t vote for him still had hope that he could change some things for the better in what seemed a sadly-splintered society.

WTH did that Obama go? Have you listened recently to this Chicago Doppelganger who’s replaced him? This 2012 Obama is strident and mean, even deceitful, divisive, telling half-truths after half-truths. He’s using Air Force One as his personal Brinks truck with wings to collect cash all over the country, disguising the trips as official.

He tries to intimidate the Supreme Court, an equal branch of government, when its thinking might stray from his. He distorts history, and if no one calls him, then it’s true. If he’s caught, this Obama says you obviously mis-heard. Because, as everyone knows, he could never mis-speak.

The economy, like everything else adverse, is someone else’s fault. But if only we borrowed and spent a trillion dollars, unemployment would stay beneath 8%, Obama promised. It soared far above. It’s still above. No apology. No acknowledgment. Now, he hails any dip as proof of progress when, in fact, it comes because so many just give up seeking work.

He chastises House Republicans for their draconian budget when his Senate Democrats haven’t written a single one in three years; so, the fiscal drift abides. And wait till he exaggerates the frightening things the GOP wants to do, instead of presenting his own ideas.

Obama claims credit for the bottom half of a pipeline he had nothing to do with, when he killed the top half. He brags that domestic oil drilling is up when the part he’s responsible for is down.

He says no one should ever go to Las Vegas on the taxpayer’s dime. Then his wife, daughters and entourage do just that.

This year’s Obama talks of the importance of windmills, algae and green energy, but he takes a 17-SUV motorcade to a photo op with an electric car. He lambasts oil companies for getting the same legal tax incentives (he calls them “subsidies”) that other companies receive, hoping to aim anger at them so voters won’t notice that gas prices have doubled since his inauguration with Honest Abe’s Bible.

Take this Tuesday. The 2012 Obama flew to Florida for an official presidential speech on the economy, then three fundraisers. That way his campaign only pays a fraction of Air Force One’s $182,000 per flight hour cost. All presidents do that, though none have done near as many.

But read the four speeches. You can’t tell which is official and which is political. They’re all political. He can’t be a real president for one lousy speech? Why the phony presidential fig leaf? To chintz the United States of America out of a few thousand bucks when he plans to raise a billion?

The Buffet Rule? Americans have always admired the successful. The only thing wrong with rich people is we’re not one of them — yet. But now he’s pitting most of us against rich folks, which is him, come to think of it. The only way he’s bringing us together now is to resent their paying a smaller legal rate because theirs is a different kind of income.

And speaking of taxes, whch are due Tuesday, how can the president of the United States allow 36 of his own White House aides to fall $833,000 behind in their tax payments?

How is that what the first Obama offered, making him an example of American success? (Hint: His GOP opponent is far richer than Obama and earned it the old-fashioned way through work, not fronting books.)

OK, Obama wants political skirmishes all over on any petty thing so people won’t notice the absence of any conceivably positive record to run on. Risky when Americans start paying attention. But if that’s his only card. It’s all the Republicans’ fault, of course. That’s the candidate in him, the one that prefers performing for adoring crowds instead of performing Oval Office duties.

But whatever happened to the president part? The leader. The principled man who through his personal story, skills and charm was going to inspire, convince, cajole Americans as diverse as himself to work together for a common national success? That official part has merged with the political, like the four Florida speeches. Now, he’s just trying to fool everybody about everything.

In a way, this could be good news for Republicans. The duplicate Ernst Blofeld makes Mitt Romney look like Mr. Rogers.

But without real presidential leadership, Obama’s hand-picked harpie atop the Democratic National Committee feels empowered to assign a hired gun to dismiss his opponent’s wife, the cancer-surviving mother of five sons, as someone who’s never worked a day in her life. Are they that scared already?

Seriously? We’re going to pit now one kind of working woman against another? The guy who talks about having so many women in his life isn’t going to fire the women responsible for that? He thinks American women will buy this stuff?

OK, Obama was raised by grandparents because he didn’t always have a stay-at-home mom or dad. But this is a nation, not a dysfunctional family or a windy city party where factions are left to their own wards and Solyndras.

Obama is the guy who said his own wife was off limits politically, the guy whose mother-in-law has resided since Day One in the White House at taxpayer expense as a live-in nanny so the first lady can campaign for money and healthy foods? But a woman who stays at home with her kids at no public expense can be trashed because of her party?

We were never exactly fond of the Original Obama. But we’d take him any day over the twilight character that inhabits the Oval Office now.

But some how this will probably be “racist” and re-edited by NBC… 🙂

The Message Rule

“There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’ ” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”

But it works for ME, what the hell, might as well…I will say anything to get re-elected so I can be “flexible”.

“The notion that it doesn’t solve the entire problem doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it at all,” he explained.

Who cares about the economics. It’s good politics.

So let’s cut spending, it won’t solve the whole problem but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it right? 🙂

Appointing the Simpson-Bowles commission and then disregarding its findings, offering a plan for business tax reform only, and issuing a series of platitudes. The Buffett Rule, rather than overhauling the tax code, would simply add another layer.

And another layer of bureaucratic morass can’t be bad and beside it’s more “fair” and that’s much more important. 🙂

A search of the White House Web site yields 17,400 mentions of the Buffett Rule — a proposal that would bring in $47 billion over 10 years  (That’s 4.7 billion a year– The government current has a debt of over 3 billion a day!- Wow! That’s a great plan!), much of that from 22,000 wealthy households. By contrast, the alternative minimum tax gets fewer than 600 mentions on the site. The AMT, if not changed, will take about $1 trillion over a decade from millions of taxpayers, many of whom earn less than $200,000 a year.

And the DEMOCRATS passed the AMT back in 1968 as a way to stick it to 155 millionaires!

YES, I SAID 155 Millionaires!

In August 1969 as he was preparing the next year’s budget <Treasury Secretary> Barr warned that the country faced a taxpayers’ revolt. He explained, according to the Washington Post, that in 1967 there were a total of 155 individuals with incomes over $200,000 who did not pay any federal income taxes; twenty of them were millionaires. These individuals successfully used all tax loopholes available to legally evade paying taxes. The revelation attracted wide media attention and led to public shock.

Sound familiar? Gee, Liberals don’t stray very far from their “fair” tree do they. 🙂

And funny how that all worked out. You don’t think it could happen again do you? 🙂

The politics of the Buffett Rule — it has no chance of passing when the Senate takes it up next week — are so overt that Obama’s remarks Wednesday were virtually indistinguishable from a section of his campaign speech in Florida on Tuesday.

Wednesday: “If we’re going to keep giving somebody like me or some of the people in this room tax breaks that we don’t need and we can’t afford, then one of two things happens: Either you’ve got to borrow more money to pay down a deeper deficit, or . . . you’ve got to tell seniors to pay a little bit more for their Medicare. You’ve got to tell the college student, ‘We’re going to have to charge you higher interest rates on your student loan.’ . . . That’s not right.”

So does this mean he admits to being an evil “rich” Millionaire. Aren’t they untrustworthy, selfish, self-centered, egotists only looking out for #1?-themselves 🙂

Tuesday: “If somebody like me, who is doing just fine, gets tax breaks I don’t need and that the country can’t afford, then one of two things is going to happen: Either it gets added to our deficit . . . or, alternatively, you’ve got to take it away from somebody else — a student who’s trying to pay for their college, or a senior trying to get by with Social Security and Medicare. . . . That’s not right.”

Parts of Obama’s “official” speech will no doubt be repeated on the stump, including the points that “we just need some of the Republican politicians here in Washington to get on board with where the country is,” that Obama cut taxes 17 times (the bobbleheads nodded in agreement), and the contention that Republicans today would view Ronald Reagan as a “wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior.”

Nothing is inherently wrong with campaign-style rhetoric from the White House; George W. Bush used it repeatedly to pass his tax cuts and in his attempt at a Social Security overhaul. The pity is that Obama doesn’t use his unrivaled political skill to sell a tax plan of more consequence — and less gimmickry. (Dana Millbank)

The federal tax code with its 44000 pages, 5.5 million words, and 721 different forms so whose going to notice one more gimmick?

According to the National Taxpayers Union, we each waste about 12 hours a year, every year, filling out this crazy stuff. Schedule B. Schedule C. Above the line. Below the line. Deductions, exemptions, non-refundable credits. Medical bills over 7.5% of adjusted gross income. The instruction booklet for the 1040 now runs to 189 pages. No kidding. Seventy-five years ago, says the NTU, it was two pages.

The U.S. tax code is insane and out of control. It’s tripled in a decade. It now runs to 3.8 million words. To put that in context, William Shakespeare only needed 900,000 words to say everything he had to say. Hamlet. Othello. The history plays. The sonnets. The whole shebang.

Your tax bill this year is a lie. You’re only seeing about two-thirds of the full cost of government services. Really. Taxes are $2.3 trillion. Government spending is $3.6 trillion. The rest is being put on the national credit card.

The tax bill is a lie every year. We’ve only paid our bills in full on April 15 five times in the last fifty years. The last president to balance the books every year he was in office? Calvin Coolidge — back in the 1920s.

But ultimately he’s not selling anything but himself. It’s all about HIM. The universe does revolve around him and he just has to get you to see it too.

So it begins…

In 2008, a mostly unknown Barack Obama ran for president on an inclusive agenda of “hope and change.” That upbeat message was supposed to translate into millions of green jobs, fiscal sobriety, universal health care, a resetting of Bush foreign policy, and racial unity.

Four years later, none of those promises will be themes of his 2012 re-election campaign. Gas has more than doubled in price. Billions of dollars have been wasted in insider and subsidized wind and solar projects that have produced little green energy.

Unemployment rates above 8 percent appear the new norm, when 5 percent in the past was dubbed a “jobless recovery.”

From the Middle East to the Korean peninsula, the world seems on the brink. Modern racial relations are at a new low.

If borrowing $4 trillion in eight years was “unpatriotic,” as Obama once labeled George W. Bush, no one quite knows how to term the addition of $5 trillion in new debt in less than four years. ObamaCare is unpopular with the public. Its constitutionality now rests with the Supreme Court.

After four years, the claims of “Bush did it” and “It might have been worse” grow stale. So re-election will rest not on a new agenda, or an explanation of what happened, but on a divide-and-conquer strategy. Translated, that means Obama will find fissures in the voting public over fairness, expand them, and then cobble together various angry partisans in hopes of achieving a bare majority. Such an us/them strategy is not new in American history.

There are suddenly new enemies called the “one percent” — those who make more than $200,000 per year and who “do not pay their fair share.” Apparently in a zero-sum economy, this tiny minority has taken too much from the majority and thereby caused the four-year lethargy that followed the 2008 meltdown. Andrew Jackson, William Jennings Bryan and Franklin D. Roosevelt all ran, with varying success, against the selfish “rich.”

Congress is also now a convenient enemy of the people. Although it was Democratically controlled in Obama’s first two years, and the Senate remains so, the new theme insists that a Republican House stops the Democrats from finishing all the good things they started. When support for 16 years of the New Deal had evaporated by 1948, Harry Truman ran successfully against a “do-nothing” Republican Congress that had blocked his own big-government “Fair Deal” follow-up and thus supposedly stalled the economy.

In 2009, Obama pushed through his health care plan by a narrow partisan margin in the House, despite constitutional questions about the individual mandate. Now, as the Supreme Court seems skeptical of the legality of ObamaCare, the president seems to be running against “unelected” justices. That could work too. In 1968, Richard Nixon squeaked by Hubert Humphrey in a divisive campaign, in part by lambasting the activist Warren Court that had done everything from outlawing school prayer to supporting school busing.

Team Obama has seized on the Democrats’ allegations of a “war on women,” waged by both Republican and Catholic grandees against federal subsidies of birth control. For the first time since the campaign of John F. Kennedy a half-century ago, the role of the Catholic Church in politics is suddenly a landmark issue.

The president faults “Big Oil” and tension in the Middle East — not his own failure to develop vast new gas and oil reserves on public lands — for high gas prices. Jimmy Carter likewise blamed greedy oil companies and the Middle East in 1980, after gasoline prices spiked and lines formed at filling stations.

Suddenly, after the Trayvon Martin tragedy and what may prove to be murderous white vigilantism in Oklahoma, race again looms large. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have weighed in often on that issue. The former castigated police for acting “stupidly” in one incident, and more recently reminded the nation of the racial affinities between himself and Trayvon Martin. The latter blasted the nation’s reluctance to discuss race as cowardly, and alleged racial bias among his own congressional overseers. Race is always an explosive wedge issue. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson ran successfully in part on the need to expand civil rights, while in 1968 Richard Nixon found traction in the backlash against racial violence.

If Obama can cobble together disaffected young people, greens, women, minorities and the poor — who all believe a nefarious “they” have crushed their dreams — then massive debt and deficits, high unemployment, sluggish growth and spiraling gas prices won’t decide the election.

Lots of presidential candidates have run by identifying such enemies of the people, rather than debating the general state of the nation — sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

But the problem with an us/them strategy is not just winning an election, but trying to put back together what was torn asunder. (Victor David Hanson)

Assuming a Democrat would want to do that to begin with. Divide and Conquer is more satisfying when you get to the Conquer bit.

Conquering is good.

Conquering is “fair”

Conquering gives you the power to do what you want when you want because you want to. And doesn’t every “selfless” and “fair” liberal just want “fairness” and “justice” for all. :0

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

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