Sowell Issue Part 2

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

One of the secrets of successful magicians on stage is directing the audience’s attention to something that is attractive or distracting, but irrelevant to what is actually being done. That is also the secret of successful political charlatans.

Consider the message directed at business owners by Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Barack Obama — “You didn’t build that!”

Assuming for the sake of argument that a man who owns a business simply inherited it from his father, what follows? That politicians can use the inherited resources better than the heir? Such a sweeping assumption has neither logic nor evidence behind it — but rhetoric doesn’t have to have logic or evidence to be politically effective.

The conclusion is insinuated, rather than spelled out, so it is less likely to be scrutinized. Moreover, attention is directed toward the undeserved good fortune of the heir, and away from the crucial question as to whether society will in fact be better off if politicians take over more of either the management or the earnings of the business.

The question of politicians’ track record in managing economic activities vanishes into thin air, just as other things vanish into thin air by a magician’s sleight of hand on stage.

Another of the magic feats of political rhetoric in our time is to blame “a legacy of slavery” for problems in the black community today. The repulsiveness of slavery immediately seizes our attention, just as effectively as the attractiveness of a magician’s scantily clad female assistant or the distraction of a flash of light or a loud noise on stage.

Here again, rhetoric distracts attention from questions about logic or evidence. The “legacy of slavery” argument is not just a convenient excuse for bad behavior, it allows politicians to escape responsibility for the consequences of the government policies they imposed.

Although the left likes to argue as if there was a stagnant world to which they added the magic ingredient of “change” in the 1960s, in reality there were many positive trends in the 1950s, which reversed and became negative trends in the 1960s.

Not only was the poverty rate going down, so was the rate of dependence on government to stay out of poverty. Teenage pregnancy rates were falling, and so were rates of venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea. Homicide rates among non-white males fell 22 percent in the 1950s.

In the wake of the massive expansion of the welfare state in the 1960s “war on poverty” program — with the repeatedly announced goal of enabling people to become self-supporting and end their dependence on government — in fact dependence on government increased and is today far higher than when the 1960s began.

The declining rates of teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases in the 1950s both reversed and rose sharply in the wake of the 1960s “sexual revolution” ideas, introduced into schools under the guise of “sex education,” which claimed to be able to reduce teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases.

Black labor force participation rates, which had been higher than white labor force participation rates in every census from 1890 to 1960, fell below white labor force participation rates by 1972 and the gap has widened since then. Homicide rates among non-white males reversed their decline in the 1950s and soared by 75 percent during the 1960s.

None of this was a “legacy of slavery,” which ended a century earlier. But slavery became the rhetorical distraction for the political magicians’ trick of making their own responsibility for social degeneration vanish into thin air by sleight of hand.

Political charlatans are not the whole story of our social degeneracy on many fronts. “We the people” must accept our own share of the blame because we voted these charlatans into office, and went along with their ever-increasing power over our lives.

When it came to charlatans taking ever larger amounts of our own money to finance ever more big government programs, we stood still like sheep waiting to be sheared. We remained as meek as sheep when they turned schools into places to propagandize our children to grow up accepting more of the same.

All the while we had the power to vote them out. But we couldn’t be bothered to look beyond their magic words. Even now, many are too absorbed in their electronic devices to know or care.

I’m sorry I just got a text about cats… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Sowell of Insanity

Who says President Obama doesn’t promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran’s moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration’s potentially suicidal foreign policy.

Before the current measles outbreak, measles was once almost wiped out in the U.S. But an article in a medical journal more than a decade ago had many parents afraid to have their children vaccinated, for fear that the vaccine causes autism. After scientific studies refuted that claim, the medical journal repudiated the article, and the doctor who wrote it had his license revoked.

If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the U.S. for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by 1%. When the mobs of protesters declare “Black lives matter,” does that mean ALL black lives matter — or only the less than 1% of black lives lost in conflicts with police?

In politics, never assume that because something is insane, it will not be done. The Holocaust was as insane as it was a moral horror. But it was done. Even after the tide of war turned against Germany and it faced invasion and devastation, Hitler continued to pour scarce resources into the mass killing of people who were no threat.

When someone tries to lay a guilt trip on you for being successful, remember that your guilt is some politician’s license to take what you worked for and give it to someone else who is more likely to vote for the politician who plays Santa Claus with your money.

So long as public schools are treated as places that exist to provide guaranteed jobs to members of the teachers’ unions, do not be surprised to see American students continuing to score lower on international tests than students in countries that spend a lot less per pupil than we do.

The Union is more important than the students by far.

Would you go to a funeral if you knew that your presence would be unwelcome and would just add to the pain of the mourners? Probably not. But New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio went to both funerals for the two New York City policemen recently murdered — and gave speeches. That epitomized what a truly despicable human being he is, even by the low standards of politicians.

Somewhere, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the purpose of an education should be to produce a mind that cannot be humbugged. But today our educational system, from kindergarten to the universities, is engaged in the mass production of fashionable humbug — propaganda rather than education.

A Mind is a terrible thing to waste, they used to say. Now, wasting it on Liberal “outrage” and “social justice” and “fairness” is all the rage.

Some people see discrimination when schools punish black students more often than white students. But schools punish white students more often than Asian students. Lenders turn down black applicants for loans more often than white applicants — but they turn down whites more often than Asians. Most statistics on such things omit Asians, rather than spoil a politically correct story.

President Obama may have gained something politically or ideologically by recognizing Cuba, but just what did the U.S. gain? Like so much that has been done by this administration, the diplomatic recognition of Cuba demonstrates how safe it is to be our enemy, while our policies toward Ukraine and Israel demonstrate how risky it is to be our ally.

Despite radical feminist organizations’ frequent bursts of outrage, these same radical feminists’ response to the mass capture of school girls by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria, and turning those girls into sex slaves, has been strangely muted. Is this because there is no political mileage or lawsuit settlements to be achieved by expressing outrage at such unconscionable raw savagery in Nigeria?

Or in Arab countries. 🙂

The Sowell of Equality

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: “RICH BASTARDS.”

Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality — that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves.

That, of course, is not the only meaning of equality, but it is the predominant political meaning in practice, where economic “disparities” and “gaps” are automatically treated as “inequities.” If one racial or ethnic group has a lower income than another, that is automatically called “discrimination” by many people in politics, the media and academia.

It doesn’t matter how much evidence there is that some groups work harder in school, perform better and spend more postgraduate years studying to acquire valuable skills in medicine, science or engineering. If the economic end results are unequal, that is treated as a grievance against those with better outcomes, and a sign of an “unfair” society.

The rhetoric of clever people often confuses the undeniable fact that life is unfair with the claim that a given institution or society is unfair.

Children born into families that raise them with love and with care to see that they acquire knowledge, values and discipline that will make them valuable members of society have far more chances of economic and other success in adulthood than children raised in families that lack these qualities.

Studies show that children whose parents have professional careers speak nearly twice as many words per hour to them as children with working class parents — and several times as many words per hour as children in families on welfare. There is no way that children from these different backgrounds are going to have equal chances of economic or other success in adulthood.

The fatal fallacy, however, is in collecting statistics on employees at a particular business or other institution, and treating differences in the hiring, pay or promotion of people from different groups as showing that their employer has been discriminating.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics! 🙂

Too many gullible people buy the implicit assumption that the unfairness originated where the statistics were collected, which would be an incredible coincidence if it were true.

Worse yet, some people buy the idea that politicians can correct the unfairness of life by cracking down on employers. But, by the time children raised in very different ways reach an employer, the damage has already been done.

What is a problem for children raised in families and communities that do not prepare them for productive lives can be a bonanza for politicians, lawyers and assorted social messiahs who are ready to lead fierce crusades, if the price is right.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia are all too ready to go along, in the name of seeking equality. But equality of what?

Equality before the law is a fundamental value in a decent society. But equality of treatment in no way guarantees equality of outcomes.

On the contrary, equality of treatment makes equality of outcomes unlikely, since virtually nobody is equal to somebody else in the whole range of skills and capabilities required in real life. When it comes to performance, the same man may not even be equal to himself on different days, much less at different periods of his life.

What may be a spontaneous confusion among the public at large about the very different meanings of the word “equality” can be a carefully cultivated confusion by politicians, lawyers and others skilled in rhetoric, who can exploit that confusion for their own benefit.

Regardless of the actual causes of different capabilities and rewards in different individuals and groups, political crusades require a villain to attack — a villain far removed from the voter or the voter’s family or community. Lawyers must likewise have a villain to sue. The media and the intelligentsia are also attracted to crusades against the forces of evil.

But whether as a crusade or a racket, a confused conception of equality is a formula for never-ending strife that can tear a whole society apart — and has already done so in many countries. (Thomas Sowell)

Thank you, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and King Obama. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

How Goes the War?

The grand plan of Obama is working.

High Gas Prices, low employment and a stagnant economy riddled with inflation is making people use less fossil fuels.

Traffic congestion dropped 30% last year from 2010 in the USA’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, driven largely by higher gas prices and a spotty economic recovery, according to a new study by a Washington-state firm that tracks traffic flows.

But they better off than they were 4 years ago. OF COURSE NOT.

But the Solyndra-Loving, fossil fuel hating Liberals I bet are all over the moon excited.

It’s not like they care WHY the numbers have dropped. Because they don’t.

******

A group of disgruntled stay-at-home moms is fighting back against a 2009 law that limits credit card access to people with proof of income.

The group says the Credit CARD Act of 2009 sets women back half a century, according to an online petition at change.org.

2009? When the Democrats had a majority in both houses. Hmm…

I guess Stay-At-Home Moms along with “never having held a job their lives” and since they don’t “understand” economics after all they just don’t need credit cards. Let that be the Man of The House’s Job! 🙂

Intending to limit irresponsible lending, the law requires credit card applicants to provide proof of income in order to qualify. Stay-at-home moms, with no income, do not qualify for approval, unless their husbands co-sign for the card, which has the group of angered moms fighting back.

“It is 2012, and because I’m a stay at home mom, I can’t get my own credit card,” the petition reads. “My husband has to give me permission to get my own line of credit. This is demeaning and flat out unfair.”

So would this be the Democrats “War on Women”?? 🙂
Bet the Minsitry of Truth will be all over this 24/7/365! 🙂
Or do you have to be a “rich” woman with her own money (like Teresa Hines Kerry) or one that can afford the $38,500 per plate at an Obama Fundraiser?
The group is also asking their members to send a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, claiming “the new rules send a message that stay-at-home parents are not as credit-worthy as young adults still in school without their own income.”
This was the board set up in Dodd-Frank that was going to save us all from the unscrupulous, evil, greedy, bankers and mortgage companies that forced people to take loans they could afford to pay back and then they traded them around as derivatives until they crashed.
Imagine what they can do with Health Care! 🙂

Obama: “As you begin the next stage in your journey, you will encounter greed and selfishness; ignorance and cruelty. …  (and that’s just from Democrats and Unions) You will meet people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down (Liberals); who believe looking after others is only for suckers,” (that’s the governments job after all) he said.

“My deepest hope for all of you … [is that] you can serve as a reminder that we’re not meant to walk this road alone (Government is right at every step to “help” you); that we’re not expected to face down adversity by ourselves,” (You have the government largess to fall back on) he told his audience. “We’re stronger together than we are on our own.”

Yes, Comrade, it Takes a Village!!!
Maybe they need government issued Credit Cards? 🙂
Oh, that’s right, that happened during Katrina and their was massive fraud! 🙂

But don’t worry, he gets a pass on anything he says.

Pelosi: “We know we have to balance the budget.  (1,1,30 Days since the Senate passed a budget at all- so we believe you Nancy!) We have to establish our priorities and make the cuts accordingly (The Military and every other “right wing” program we can get our hands on). We have to have revenue on the table (Screw the rich!) and we have to invest in growth (Spend even more!) because the creation of jobs (and the unemployment over 8% for 3 1/4 years and millions and millions deserting the workforce all together has certainly shown they way) is what will bring revenue to the Treasury (But not like taxing the rich will) and continue our economic recovery which is important to the American people,” (what recovery? where in your liberal fantasies?) Pelosi said Thursday at the Capitol.

“So to toss this into the mix right now, saying we have to have cuts that exceed even the lifting of the extent to which we lift the debt ceiling is really immature, irresponsible, let’s get serious.” (DC)

Who cares if we are spending 50% more than we  take in. All we have to do is tax the rich into oblivion and  submission and then cut the military to two tricycles and a pop-gun and everything will be rosy and wonderful!

It’s the Republicans fault, after all, that we haven’t passed a budget in well over 3 1/4 years and voted down Obama’s budget 2 years running…

Thomas Sowell: The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy them, and only in the short run. The current outbreaks of riots in Europe show what happens when the truth catches up with both the politicians and the people in the long run.Among the biggest lies of the welfare states on both sides of the Atlantic is the notion that the government can supply the people with things they want but cannot afford. Since the government gets its resources from the people, if the people as a whole cannot afford something, neither can the government.There is, of course, the perennial fallacy that the government can simply raise taxes on “the rich” and use that additional revenue to pay for things that most people cannot afford. What is amazing is the implicit assumption that “the rich” are all such complete fools that they will do nothing to prevent their money from being taxed away. History shows otherwise.

After the Constitution of the United States was amended to permit a federal income tax, in 1916, the number of people reporting taxable incomes of $300,000 a year or more fell from well over a thousand to fewer than three hundred by 1921.

Were the rich all getting poorer? Not at all. They were investing huge sums of money in tax-exempt securities. The amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities was larger than the federal budget, and nearly half as large as the national debt.

This was not unique to the United States or to that era. After the British government raised their income tax on the top income earners in 2010, they discovered that they collected less tax revenue than before. Other countries have had similar experiences. Apparently the rich are not all fools, after all.

In today’s globalized world economy, the rich can simply invest their money in countries where tax rates are lower.

So, if you cannot rely on “the rich” to pick up the slack, what can you rely on? Lies.

Nothing is easier for a politician than promising government benefits that cannot be delivered. Pensions such as Social Security are perfect for this role. The promises that are made are for money to be paid many years from now — and somebody else will be in power then, left with the job of figuring out what to say and do when the money runs out and the riots start.

There are all sorts of ways of postponing the day of reckoning. The government can refuse to pay what it costs to get things done. Cutting what doctors are paid for treating Medicare patients is one obvious example.

That of course leads some doctors to refuse to take on new Medicare patients. But this process takes time to really make its full impact felt — and elections are held in the short run. This is another growing problem that can be left for someone else to try to cope with in future years.

Increasing amounts of paperwork for doctors in welfare states with government-run medical care, and reduced payments to those doctors, in order to stave off the day of bankruptcy, mean that the medical profession is likely to attract fewer of the brightest young people who have other occupations available to them — paying more money and having fewer hassles. But this too is a long-run problem — and elections are still held in the short run.

Eventually, all these long-run problems can catch up with the wonderful-sounding lies that are the lifeblood of welfare state politics. But there can be a lot of elections between now and eventually — and those who are good at political lies can win a lot of those elections.

As the day of reckoning approaches, there are a number of ways of seeming to overcome the crisis. If the government is running out of money, it can print more money. That does not make the country any richer, but it quietly transfers part of the value of existing money from people’s savings and income to the government, whose newly printed money is worth just as much as the money that people worked for and saved.

Printing more money means inflation — and inflation is a quiet lie, by which a government can keep its promises on paper, but with money worth much less than when the promises were made.

Is it so surprising voters with unrealistic hopes elect politicians who lie about being able to fulfill those hopes?

Not Really. And with nearly half the country not paying any income taxes and record levels of food stamps and 99 weeks of unemployment payments will they vote to cut their own throats or yours first?

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Mindless Zombies

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Remember way back in 2009 when D.C. Democrats were promising that the $787-billion you-know-what program was going to start you-know-whating the economy almost immediately with those shovel-ready projects that were going to keep unemployment below 8%?

Well, tomorrow night you’re going to get the same ugly pig trotted out with new lipstick.

“stimulus” has been banned and officially does not exist anymore.

The unions would love it. And although their membership is only 11% of U.S. workers now, they make up a much higher percentage of the crumbling political base Obama needs to win reelection.

So, Pelosi has launched a campaign to pressure Obama to include some kind of gigantic “job creation” package in his grand Thursday night jobs address to Congress that will finally surely fix the nation’s troubled economy once and for all.

He’s had — what? — 961 days to get his economy act together and chew through all those economic advisors. Obama won’t be calling his plans S-plans either. They’ll be investments, which sound less lethal than another dying S-word, “spending.”

Also, FYI, “Recovery Act” is also gone the way of the Obama administration’s “man-caused disaster.” Now, it’ll be something about Made in America. Make It in America. That sort of thing. Which will make all the difference in the world.

It’s Miss Pig In the Pork 2011. Time to “invest” (spending-most for unions) in “job creation” (mostly for unions). Again…

Don’t worry, Be Happy…

So if you’re an angry Liberal have I got the release for you…

Angry liberals can now vicariously hunt down and kill the world’s most dangerous prey.  No, not human beings; Tea Party Zombies.  The Left continues to usher in our great new age of selective “civility” with the introduction of TeaPartyZombiesMustDie.com.

You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them. These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took.

For now, the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests. But rest assured: They’ll have them on again soon enough. After all, they’ve gotten so much encouragement. (NY Times)

And yet you know the next time there’s the slightest, remotely exploitable tragedy or hint of violence, the same reporters, editors, producers and politicians are going to insist that blood was spilled because of the right wing’s rhetoric.

Or even if no blood is spilled, they are all racists anyhow so why would it matter.

Hence, conservatives have morphed from figurative bogeymen into virtual, butcherable bogeymen.  I’ll admit that if liberals hadn’t wet themselves repeatedly during their pious civility crusades, maybe — just maybe — I’d find this game slightly entertaining.  But any propensity towards amusement is immediately stricken from my imagination the instant I picture the indignant media firestorm that would undoubtedly arise if the growling death targets resembled, say, Barack Obama.  In case you’re unclear on the rules of the rhetorical road, here’s a user-friendly recap:

Anti-conservative death fantasy game: Oh, lighten up, wingnuts — it’s just a silly game.

Anti-Obama death fantasy game: National. Crisis.  Hell, the emergency would be so acute, Congress might even reinstate bipartisan seating for Thursday’s presidential address.

To our valued Lefty readers: Don’t even try to pretend I’m inventing a nonexistent double-standard here. Spare me.  Oh, and to save you the trouble, once you’ve slain every last terrorist/racist/zombie, you’re rewarded with the following “victory” screenshot.  Congratulations, creep: (Guy Benson)

Politicians, intellectuals and whole armies of caretaker bureaucrats are among those who benefit, in one way or another, from picturing parasites as victims, and their lags behind the rest of society as reasons for anger rather than achievement.

Leading people into the blind alley of dependency and grievances may be counterproductive for them but it can produce votes, money, power, fame and a sense of exaltation to others who portray themselves as friends of the downtrodden...For those who think in terms of scoring talking points — as distinguished from trying to get at the truth — this kind of argument may sound good. (Thomas Sowell)

A Mindless Zombie game for mindless zombies and mindless zombie wanna-be’s and recruits. Art imitating Life?

Fascinating Video:

So are you a Zombie?

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert


Means What it Says

Time magazine editor Richard Stengel presented the cover of his new July 4 issue, which features the U.S. Constitution going through a paper shredder and asks if the document still matters. According to Stengel, it does, but not as much anymore.“Yes, of course it still matters but in some ways it matters less than people think,” Stengel said on “Morning Joe.” on MSNBC

Larry Elder: “When the chief justice read me the oath,” President Franklin D. Roosevelt said to a speechwriter, “and came to the words ‘support the Constitution of the United States,’ I felt like saying: ‘Yes, but it’s the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy — not the kind of Constitution your court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.'”

FDR’s statement vividly illustrates the Big Divide between (most) Republicans and Democrats, free marketers and collectivists, Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman. It’s the line separating those who believe in the power of individuals from those who believe in the power of government — so long as they’re the ones in power. It’s the line that separates those who believe in the welfare state from those who not only believe that the federal government recklessly spends more than it takes in, but also spends it on things not permitted by the Constitution — and the country is worse off for having done so.

This is the tea party message (to the consternation of Democrats and squishy Republicans): The Constitution means what it says and says what it means. All this Constitution talk produces the inevitable backlash. Joy Behar, the learned Constitutional scholar, asked, “Do you think this Constitution-loving is getting out of hand?”

A Los Angeles Times columnist and I sat on a panel to analyze President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union speech. What, I asked, gives the President authority to place health care under the command and control of the federal government? She replied, that part of the Constitution that says to provide for the domestic tranquility.

She refers to a part of the preamble to the Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility … establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Many members of this “living, breathing” Constitution school claim authority for things like ObamaCare resides in the “promote the general welfare” part of the preamble. Using the “domestic tranquility” part was a first.

The Father of the Constitution, James Madison, anticipated the preamble-gives-government-permission-to-do-all-sorts-of-things-for-which-it-lacks-authority argument. In 1794, Congress appropriated money for charitable purposes. An incensed Madison said, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

Time Magazine’s recent Constitution cover story asks: “Does It Still Matter?” Its answer? Well, yeah, it sort of does, but then again, you know, not so much. After all, the Founding Fathers could neither foresee computers nor Twitter nor predict that Rep. Anthony Weiner would use both to implode his career. So, really, in the modern day, what’s the relevance of the old document crafted by well-to-do, slave-owning white males?

As the federal government got bigger over the next 200 years, and assumed responsibilities the Founding Fathers considered the job of individuals, families and communities — or of the separate states — Madison’s position withered. It’s now fighting for its life.

Soon, the 50 percent of voters who pay little or no taxes will march into the polling booth, many pulling levers, pushing buttons and punching chads to vote themselves a raise — at somebody’s else’s expense. If the Supreme Court permits the ObamaCare mandate, anything goes.

Constitution-shredders point not to our bloated federal government, the entitlement mentality or to the desire of politicians on both sides to promise things that the Founders feared would eventually produce an electorate with little or no financial skin in the game. No, the real villain is the dastardly Bush tax cuts! If only they had not been enacted, they tell us!

Why not blame the tax cuts signed by other presidents? President John Kennedy’s plan reduced the top marginal income tax rate from 91 percent to 70 percent. President Ronald Reagan reduced the top marginal tax rate from 70 to 28 percent. President George W. Bush, by contrast, reduced the top rate from 39.6 to 35 percent, making him Scrooge-like in comparison.

The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” says the two Bush tax cuts, in 2001 and 2003, “cost” $2.8 trillion over 10 years (an average of $280 billion per year). In the last two and a half years alone, Obama has presided over the addition of almost $4 trillion in new debt, and this year’s deficit is an estimated $1.6 trillion.

Besides, liberals like the Bush tax cuts — at least for the lower 98 percent of workers. Since most Democrats want to preserve the Bush-era tax rates for all but the top 2 percent, the objectionable “cost” of the cuts becomes even more inconsequential to dealing with budget, deficit and debt problems.

So now what? We drifted away from the Constitution in fits and starts. It is how we must return to it. Voters must remember who talked the talk and walked the walk. This is a time when we change course, when people rediscover American exceptionalism and the wisdom of the Constitution and say, “Enough.”

If not, Greece awaits.

It’s all Greek to Washington… 😦

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Keep ’em Down

Thomas Sowell: Those who regard government “entitlement” programs as sacrosanct, and regard those who want to cut them back as calloused or cruel, picture a world very different from the world of reality.

To listen to some of the defenders of entitlement programs, which are at the heart of the present financial crisis, you might think that anything the government fails to provide is something that people will be deprived of.

In other words, if you cut spending on school lunches, children will go hungry. If you fail to subsidize housing, people will be homeless. If you fail to subsidize prescription drugs, old people will have to eat dog food in order to be able to afford their meds.

This is the vision promoted by many politicians and much of the media. But, in the world of reality, it is not even true for most people who are living below the official poverty line.

Most Americans living below the official poverty line own a car or truck– and government entitlement programs seldom provide cars and trucks. Most people living below the official poverty line also have air conditioning, color television and a microwave oven–and these too are not usually handed out by government entitlement programs.

Cell phones and other electronic devices are by no means unheard of in low-income neighborhoods, where children would supposedly go hungry if there were no school lunch programs. In reality, low-income people are overweight even more often than other Americans.

As for housing and homelessness, housing prices are higher and homelessness a bigger problem in places where there has been massive government intervention, such as liberal bastions like New York City and San Francisco. As for the elderly, 80 percent are homeowners. whose monthly housing costs are less than $400, including property taxes, utilities, and maintenance.

The desperately poor elderly conjured up in political and media rhetoric are– in the world of reality– the wealthiest segment of the American population. The average wealth of older households is nearly three times the wealth of households headed by people in the 35 to 44-year-old bracket, and more than 15 times the wealth of households headed by someone under 35 years of age.

If the wealthiest segment of the population cannot pay their own medical bills, who can? The country as a whole is not any richer because the government pays our medical bills– with money that it takes from us.

What about the truly poor, in whatever age brackets? First of all, even in low-income and high-crime neighborhoods, people are not stealing bread to feed their children. The fraction of the people in such neighborhoods who commit most of the crimes are far more likely to steal luxury products that they can either use or sell to get money to support their parasitic lifestyle.

As for the rest of the poor, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University long ago showed that you could give the poor enough money to lift them all above the official poverty line for a fraction of what it costs to support a massive welfare state bureaucracy.

We don’t need to send the country into bankruptcy, in the name of the poor, by spending trillions of dollars on people who are not poor, and who could take care of themselves. The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance.

The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus.

We have all heard the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Independence makes for a healthier society, but dependency is what gets votes for politicians.

For politicians, giving a man a fish every day of his life is the way to keep getting his vote. “Entitlement” is just a fancy word for dependency.

As for the scary stories politicians tell, in order to keep the entitlement programs going, as long as we keep buying it, they will keep selling it.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

But give hima fish every day, maybe he will vote for you to give him more fish!

And after all, that’s what really matters. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok