The Role of Government

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Obama Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett: “We have to give people a livelihood so they can provide for their families,” Jarrett says in the video. “We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, a footing, and that’s what government is supposed to do.”

But that’s not socialism or government trying to run your life for you. Nope. Nothing to see here…

Contrast that with Sen. Marco Rubio during a recent speech at the Reagan Presidential Library:

These are proper roles of government — within the framework of creating an environment where economic security and prosperity is possible.  And on the compassion side of the ledger, which is also important to Americans — and it’s important that we remind ourselves of that — I don’t really like labels in politics, but I will gladly accept the label of conservatism. Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them the tools at their disposal that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. And our programs to help them should reflect that.

Now, yes, there are people that cannot help themselves. And those folks we will always help. We are too rich and prosperous a nation to leave them to fend for themselves. But all the others that can work should be given the means of empowering themselves to enter the marketplace and the workforce. And our programs and our policies should reflect that. We do need a safety net, but it cannot be a way of life. It must be there to help those who have fallen, to stand up and try again.
Amen.  Even if you’re a bleeding heart type who’s inclined to agree with Jarrett that the feds ought to take a more proactive role in directly aiding the poor through wealth redistribution, I’d point out that Big Government has done a really lousy job at achieving that goal through the years.  The Democrats’ Great Society and its “war on poverty” has been a wildly costly and tragically ineffective proposition.  More recently, President Obama promised that his 2009 “stimulus” program would “lift two million Americans from poverty.”  Hundreds of billions of dollars later, 2.9 million more Americans have fallen into poverty.  Which is to say nothing of the gutwrenching economic desolation that has afflicted so many of human history’s socialistic dystopias. 

Big, overbearing, meddling government isn’t merely philosophically wrongheaded, it just doesn’t work.  That’s why conservatives are exempliying true compassion when they work to limit the size, scope, and influence of a Leviathan that consumes greedily, but has little to show for it. (Guy Benson)

Speaking of overbearing…

The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court.

Justice Department lawyers have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge on Wednesday allowed key parts of that state’s immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, according to court documents and government officials. (WP)

This would be the same Justice department that refused to prosecute the Black Panther Case, and is trying desperately to cover up the forceable walking of guns into Mexico under “Fast & Furious” amongst many other problems.

But states wanting to crack down on illegal immigration where this government refuses to go, well…That’s just evil. 🙂

He <Obama> told a roundtable of Latino reporters Wednesday that Arizona’s immigration law created “a great danger that naturalized citizens, individuals with Latino surnames, potentially could be vulnerable to questioning. The laws could be potentially abused in ways that were not fair to Latino citizens.”

The same old tired parroted argument that is, of course, utterly false and has been proven to be so. But since when did truth ever stop a liberal from using fear and intimidation? NEVER.

“We can’t have a patchwork of 50 states with 50 different immigration laws.”

We must have only 1 law. Ours. And if we chose to ignore it well too F*cking bad for you you can’t do anything about it! We are all powerful and what we say goes. Period. End of story.

Isn’t Democratic government grand? 🙂

PASS THE BILL

“Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job? Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools? Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?”–President Obama

He’s going to drive the price of straw through the roof if he keeps this up? The army of straw men he’ll have by election time will rival the Chinese Military.
So if you’re against his bill not only are you racist, but heartless, mean, cruel and just want to kick people in the nuts repeatedly!
Emotions must trump logic because logic tells you he’s full of bovine fecal matter!
“Well, this isn’t about giving me a win, and it’s not about [Republicans],” Obama said.

Pinocchio’s nose just grew so long it hit the other side of the universe!
“This isn’t just about what I think is right.”
Yes it is.
Your Ego would have it no other way.
Liberal Economist God Paul Krugman: The truth is that we’re in this mess because we had too little regulation, not too much.
Dozens of infrastructure projects could qualify for expedited treatment under a White House plan to create jobs by cutting through regulatory red tape that critics say is holding up important initiatives.
But I thought we needed MORE regulations? 🙂

President Barack Obama last month ordered Interior, Agriculture, Housing, Transportation and Commerce Department officials to identify by Friday up to three big projects each that could merit faster environmental approvals and other permits. Funding must already be arranged or identified.

Obama is facing a tough re-election fight next year in the face of a stubborn 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Infrastructure projects, which can help state and local economies, are a key part of his job creation strategy.

Administration officials would not discuss proposals while they were under review, but transportation and construction groups say there are at minimum 50 projects in the permit process that could qualify for faster treatment.

Most are winding their way through a federal, state and local maze that often takes several years and can last between 15 and 20 years for the biggest proposals.

“It’s just the whole process itself. The way we build things in this country ensures that it will take decades,” said Mark Policinski, executive director and chief executive of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments.

But I thought we needed MORE Regulations. 🙂

“We are very interested in any relief the president and his agencies can give us on the red tape that usually ties our projects up for years,” John Horsely, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told Reuters. “I’ve characterized the process we’ve been going through as one step forward, two steps back.”

But I thought we needed MORE Regulations. 🙂

We Need to Spend More. Regulate More. And it is the role of government to make sure everyone is “lifted up” and provided for.
Thanks comrades, but no thanks.
OBAMACARE
Guy Benson

ABC Newsman Jake Tapper surveys the national landscape and is startled by the observation that several of President Obama’s famous healthcare promises don’t quite seem to be coming to fruition.  (You don’t say).  He confronts White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle with the evidence, and oh my does she spin.  Even I’m dizzy:

A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation underlines that many of the promises surrounding President Obama’s health care legislation remain unfulfilled, though the White House argues that change is coming.  Workers at the Flora Venture flower shop in Newmarket, NH, remember when presidential candidate named Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., promised that their health care costs would go down if they elected him and his health care plan was enacted.  On May 3, 2008, the president told voters that he had “a health care plan that would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums.”  Last year workers at the flower shop saw their insurance premiums shoot up 41 percent.

The Kaiser Family Foundation shows family premiums topped $15,000 a year for the first time in 2011, increasing a whopping 9% this year, three times more than the increase the year before. The study says that up to 2% of that increase is because of the health care law’s provisions (me: and that’s just the beginning), such as allowing families to add grown children up to 26 years old to their policies.

What does Nancy-Ann have to say for herself?

DeParle insists families will see that savings — by 2019.  “Many of the changes in the Affordable Care Act are starting this year, and in succeeding years,” DeParle told ABC News, “and by 2019 we estimate that the average family will save around $2,000.”  DeParle said that the “big increases that occurred last year were probably driven by insurance plans overestimating what the impact would be and maybe trying to take some profits upfront before some of the changes in the Affordable Care Act occur.

In other words, everything will be turning up roses eight years from now — you’ve gotta trust us.  Plus, these know-nothing insurance companies are “probably” overestimating the impact of the law.  I mean, what do they know?   I wonder if Kathleen Sebelius is scribbling furiously in her “zero tolerance” notebook.  Tapper continues:

The Kaiser study also indicates employers are switching plans and shifting costs onto employees. Half of workers in smaller firms now face “deductibles of at least $1,000, including 28 percent facing deductibles of $2,000 or more,” according to the study.  Doesn’t that fly in the face of the president’s promise that “if you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan”? ABC News asked DeParle.

Perfectly legitimate question.  Back to you, White House flack:

She said no — the president wasn’t saying the legislation would guarantee that everyone can keep his or her preferred plan, just that the legislation wouldn’t force anyone to change. “What the president promised is that under health care reform, that he would make it more possible for people to have choices in these (health insurance) exchanges,” DeParle said. “And that’s going to be what will help businesses bring costs down. Right now, they’re just struggling. That’s one reason why they’re shifting costs to employees.”

Unbelievable.  President Obama didn’t really mean you could keep your plan if you like it, we’re now told; he just meant the law would help provide more choices in the government-approved exchanges.  I’m sorry, but I’m quite certain that’s not what he said at all.  Unfortunately for the White House, there’s this thing nowadays called “the internet,” on which people can research topics such as, “what exactly did President Obama say about me being able to keep my plan?”  Well, well, well.  Look at what the search engine turned up:

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.

Contrast that unambiguous, definitive pledge with DeParle’s historical revisionism and hedging.  You know, I’m beginning to suspect Joe Wilson’s sentiment — albeit disrespectful and inappropriate for the venue — was absolutely, positively on the money.

So remember how this blog started: “We are working hard to lift people out of poverty and give them a better life, a footing, and that’s what government is supposed to do.”

Now don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers


Haves Vs. Have Yours

I just wanna say, I want to be a kid in Wisconsin. Think of it. If you present a fake note as an excuse what is the Teacher going to do when they staged their ‘sick outs’ with fake doctors notes?

The kid just says, “Well you did it!”

“Yes, I did. But I’m an adult.”

“So?”

Do as I say, not as I do. The perfect lesson in Liberal “fairness”. 🙂

And just in case you wonder if all the money is worth it?

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.” (CNS)

Then the Indiana Democrats flees to avoid the democratic process that they don’t like.

Like Monty Python’s Brave Sir Robin and his band of quivering knights, these elected officials have only one plan when confronted with political hardship or economic peril: Run away, run away, run away.

Scores of Fleebagger Democrats are now in hiding in neighboring Illinois, the nation’s sanctuary for political crooks and corruptocrats. Soon, area hotels will be announcing a special discount rate for card-carrying FleePAC winter convention registrants. Question: Will the White House count the economic stimulus from the mass Democratic exodus to Illinois as jobs “saved” or “created”? More important question: How much are taxpayers being charged for these obstructionist vacations? (Michelle Malkin)

So, the lesson here folks is, if Democrats are in the minority and don’t like your legislation they will flee. But if they are in the Majority and YOU don’t like their legislation they will cram it down your throat and tell you how great it is and how evil you are for protesting them.

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Wisconsin reveals class war between ‘have-nots’ and ‘have yours’

As public-sector unions protest over cuts to their taxpayer-funded benefits in Wisconsin, James Poulos offers an insight so simple and so insightful, it’s been bouncing around in my head all day:

As talk turns to the ‘new class war’, the concept of a class defined not so much by its net worth or tax bracket as by its economic (and therefore political) dependence on government will sharpen step for step with the reality of this class, which will be hitting home in all its gruesome implications for those outside and inside it.

Anyone who responds to the current crisis by anointing unionized employees of the government as the epitome of ‘the working man’ is placing themselves, and I really do not say this lightly, at the mercy of socialism — not just as an intellectual theory, but as an emotional promise of happiness. There has never been a viable, durable Labor Party in the US. But neither has the government class ever been so big or faced such an existential threat.

It’s important to say that the concept is sharpening only now because public-sector unions have been a sleeper issue for years during which economic times were good (and there weren’t as many public-sector union members). Combine these three factors:

  1. Unions have represented more than a third of the public-sector workforce since the late 1970s;
  2. The public sector has expanded substantially as a portion of the American economy over the last 30 years;
  3. Union membership in the private sector has decreased sharply, going from one-in-five union membership in the private sector during the 1970s to about one-in-13 or worse.

Unions have come to rely on the public sector because government employees are easier to organize, and managers less resistent. Who’s going to put up a fight over an organizing campaign with a politically active union when taxpayers are paying the bill? If the union wants nicer benefits, it’s easy to cave in, tax dollars and budgets be damned. It’s good for campaign coffers.

That mentality may have worked during a boom period, but it doesn’t work in a bust when unemployment is rampant and the contrasts between haves and have nots are clear. Being a Wall Street banker may have some whiff of sin to the working man, but the loathsome element isn’t merely the wealth of the AIG or Goldman Sachs executive, but that it has been compensated with taxpayer subsidies when taxpayers themselves are struggling to make ends meet. It’s not so much about haves and have nots. It’s about haves and have yours.

Taxpayers are becoming acutely aware of the have-yours as a class — something like Angelo Codevilla’s ruling class — whose gains in salaries and benefits aren’t associated with harder work and important innovations but political access. Public-sector unions rallying in Madison aren’t even taking a hit for their political activism, given that their protest is made possible by paid sick days, negotiated for them by their collective bargaining units who, it must be said, donate to the very people with whom they negotiate.

Just look at the mess of the Transportation Security Administration’s decision to permit unionization among screeners. They won’t even attempt to educate workers about the perils of unionization because it’s someone else’s money and it’s politically profitable. From our editorial:

The two biggest federal employee unions behind the campaign to permit collective bargaining at TSA, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), gave exclusively to Democratic incumbents and candidates over the last decade and now will compete to collect more than $27 million a year in union dues from the TSA’s 45,000 workers after the March 9 representation election.

Combine that with the $100 million from Teachers Unions and AFSCME (state employees) mentioned in yesterday’s blog and you can see the gravy train being porked to infinity and beyond!

And this is only the tip of the Union Iceberg.

All of the people at the bargaining table are salaried by taxpayers anyway, so it’s a big negotiation with someone else’s money. But don’t call it “negotiation” — call it “divvying up the loot.”

This whole exercise in protesting isn’t civil disobedience — it’s just another transaction, one in which the have-yours labor leaders are trying to reassert their authority over taxpayer resources by arguing that it’s inhumane to ask government workers to pay more into their own health care and pensions, and that collective bargaining means only one side gets a bargain.

To distract from the sheer avarice of this position, the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and others are trying to get as many people as possible to protest and show some kind of consensus that Gov. Scott Walker’s, R, position is unreasonable, even cruel. The numbers are impressive and the photos really do depict the us-vs-them drama, but not in the way union leaders and member hope because the chilling have yours subtext of every sign held aloft by a protesting union member is clear: We don’t work for you, taxpayer. You work for us. (Washington Examiner)

If unions were formed to protect workers from employer abuse, right-to-work laws were created to protect taxpayers and workers from union abuse. States with such laws enjoy higher growth and purchasing power. (IBD)

Unions have become just as bad or worse than the people they were formed to fight against.

Liberals are Pro-Choice, you have the choice of giving them what they want when they want it, or they can force you to give it to them so they can do it anyhow. 🙂

We have seen the Enemy and they are the Unions themselves.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne