Progress

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

As the president began the first year of his second term, the U.S. poverty rate rose to a level not seen since the 1960s. What we have here is a colossal failure of government policy.

The Census Bureau says that 50 million Americans, roughly one in six — almost 17% — are living below the poverty line, which is defined as earnings of less than $23,021 a year for a family of four. Apparently 20% of the nation’s children are living in poverty.

But I’m sure that’s Someone Else’s Fault!
Take your Pick: “The Rich”, Republicans, Corporate America, Capitalism. Whatever the Demon of the Moment is.
It can’t possibly be there fault.

Of course this is what we’d expect, given that the mainstream press is so busy praising Obama that it misses — probably willfully — the disastrous economy over which he’s presided.

The 50 million Americans living below the poverty line aren’t lone markers of Obama’s failure.

Since the economy began its tentative recovery just a few months into his first term, the unemployment rate has been nothing but ugly. It sits now at 7.7%, down from its peak of 10% in October 2009.

While that might seem an improvement, it’s not.

As we noted a month ago, “just 58.6% of Americans work today, down from 60.6% when Obama took office.” If the labor force participation rate were the same as it was when Obama was inaugurated, the unemployment rate would be higher than 12%.

Another sorry marker is annual GDP growth.

Obama’s average has been less than 2% per quarter, annualized. In the last quarter of 2012, it was an almost invisible 0.4%.

For all of 2011, GDP growth was 1.8%, in 2012 it was 2.2%, well below the 2.5% to 3% pace that most economists believe is the norm. And, by the way, the White House had forecast 4% growth in each of these years.

Again, bear in mind that the recession lifted in June 2009, before Obama’s policies could have had a positive impact on the economy. The economic stagnation and our jobless recovery have occurred after the implementation of his policies — the nearly $1 trillion stimulus, tax hikes, ObamaCare, hyper-regulation — and during the heat of his class-division rhetoric that has obsessed on government-enforced fairness.

And don’t forget, appropriate to the news about growing poverty, that a congressman once congratulated Michelle Obama for her husband’s stimulus bill, calling it “the best anti-poverty bill in a generation.”

Maybe that lawmaker should revise and extend that remark, as congressmen do when they’ve made outrageous statements on the record.

Under Obama, the poverty rate grew from 14.3% in 2009 to 15.1% in 2010, then fell to 15% in 2011 before jumping to today’s sorry rate. A man who has promoted himself as a defender of the poor and middle class should have a better record. But as long as he refuses to give up on failed left-wing policies, he never will.

And we have a better chance of being eaten by a T-Rex than that happening.
Remember, the economy is supposed to be improving but yet Food Stamp Usage continues to increase.
Economist Paul Krugman has been trumping California’s “comeback” as vindication for its high taxes, big state spending and heavy regulation. Just one problem: California is underperforming nearly everyone else.Calling it “Lessons from a Comeback,” the widely read New York Times columnist sounded like a press release from the California governor’s office, whose March 2013 Business Investment Guide would have us believe that cap-and-trade schemes create jobs, high taxes promote job creation, regulations bring in foreign investment, and the state is somehow economically booming as a result of big government spending.

Krugman was quick to point out that the state has its problems, but “these problems bear no resemblance to the death-by-liberalism story line the California-bashers keep peddling.”

Which is why Stockton, CA just went bankrupt and the State is $122 billion in debt. That’s just a bit higher than the entire debt of Thailand!
But nothing to see here. 🙂
As always it about the one tree that is not burning in the enormous forest fire, not the fire itself.
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Uncomfortable

There are many successful liberals, so why do so many of them wish to subsidize failure for the poor, instead of showing them how to succeed?

Because, dependency breeds votes for Democrats.

If you’re poor, they want you to stay poor so you’ll be dependent on their money. If you’re in a Union or a Government job they want to lavish you so that you’ll give them with more money in a quid pro quo incestuous ever-increasing greed fest that benefits them alone in the end.

Look at Stockton, CA.

In late June, Stockton became the nation’s largest city to fail financially. At that time, all eyes were on the port city of 300,000 as experts warned the action could set off a string of similar filings among cash-strapped municipalities. Since then, a half-dozen cities have filed for Chapter 9 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, including the city of San Bernardino.

During the 90-day mediation period, Stockton’s creditors refused to negotiate unless the city cut payments to the state pension plan, CalPERS.

The $900 million Stockton owes to the California Public Employees Retirement System to cover pensions is its biggest debt -– as is the case with many cities in California. 

Stockton slashed its police and fire departments, halted bond payments, cut employee benefits and adopted an emergency spending plan that cut many city services. But the city continues to pay into the state pension.

They cut everything EXCEPT the pension plan that was bankrupting them. Why? Because that was were the real gold goose was.

Calpers, the state pension fund, sued San Bernardino over its attempt to postpone its pension payments so it could keep basic services running. Now it’s Stockton that is being sued, this time by its Wall Street creditors, who are complaining that the bankrupt city is prioritizing its payments to pensioners (via Calpers) over those due to them.

In 2011, Stockton paid a little more than $20 million to Calpers—about double what it paid to run its public libraries. Its payments are expected to nearly double in the next 10 years, making Calpers the city’s biggest creditor. Stockton says it has no choice but to keep paying, even as it pares other costs, including its payments to bondholders. It says that if it cuts the rate at which its workers build up their pensions, workers will leave—especially the police, who have been recruited with the promise of large, early pensions. Last year, Stockton asked Calpers for a “hardship exemption,” allowing it to slow down its contributions. Calpers said no, fearing that if Stockton fell behind, it might never catch up.

“They’re scared to death,” Mr. Sweet said. “Calpers says, ‘You can’t give us a haircut, because if you do, the world is going to collapse. If it happens in Stockton, it’s going to happen in San Bernardino, and if it happens in San Bernardino it’s going to happen in Modesto, and if it happens in Modesto it’s going to happen in Bakersfield, and if it happens in Bakersfield it’s going to happen in Fresno.’ ”

IF YOU CUT SPENDING IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD!!

Does that not sound like modern Liberalism? 🙂

So….

Take Dr. Ben Carson, as one example. Dr. Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., is enjoying a certain amount of celebrity unrelated to his profession for speaking his mind about how individuals and the nation might succeed if more Americans were less dependent on government.

Dr. Carson, who is African-American, has been denounced as insufficiently black because he won’t toe the liberal line when it comes to big government and the implication that those in the African-American voting bloc, huge supporters of the Democratic Party, who fall below the poverty line, cannot succeed without it. The fact that many have not succeeded with government has apparently escaped the notice of his critics.

And they want that to escape the notice of the no- and low- information morons out there. Keep ’em down. Keep ’em stupid.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speaking with Megyn Kelly on Fox News’ “America Live” last week, Dr. Carson addressed some of the slurs tossed at him, saying they are what you might expect to hear “on a third grade playground.” He appealed to his detractors to “move beyond” such rhetoric “and let’s have a real discussion about the real facts. If somebody disagrees, let’s talk about why they disagree, let’s talk about the pros and cons, let’s see if we can find some accommodation.”

A real discussion about real issues with a liberal? Now that is a Fantasy.

That is precisely what the left does not want to do, because to have such a discussion would expose liberalism’s failure to solve the problems of poverty and education — to cite just two examples — through government.

And since they are both the Morally Superior and the Just Plain Superior to all other forms of life that can’t happen. It’s their way or the Highway to Hell.

MSNBC’s Toure Monday has called Dr. Carson a token “black friend” to the Republican Party. I don’t recall Carson ever saying he belongs to the Republican Party, do you? Even so, labels should not define the man. What Carson is saying and what he represents ought to be the beginning point for the discussion he is trying to initiate.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Carson dismissed one suggestion he might be an “Uncle Tom” this way: “Well, obviously they don’t know what an Uncle Tom is because they need to read Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’ You’ll see that he was very, very subservient, kind of go along to get along type of person. Obviously, that’s not what I’m doing.”

Obviously.

In the Kelly interview, Dr. Carson hit his main point about liberal reaction on subjects ranging from Obamacare to higher taxes: “They feel that if you look a certain way then you have to stay on the plantation.”

You must be of The Body (to quote Star Trek)! If you are not of the The Body then the Lawgivers of Landru/Obama will come for you to absorb you into the bliss that is The Body. Otherwise you are a infection that must be fought and destroyed.

Isn’t such a personal attack also a form of racism? All whites don’t think alike, why should all African-Americans be expected to?

If government were the solution and not the problem, shouldn’t we expect that the amount of money spent on anti-poverty programs — $15 trillion since 1964, according to a CATO Institute analysis — might have moved the needle on poverty? Instead there are nearly as many poor people today as there were 49 years ago. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the modern-day food-stamp benefit is known, has soared 70 percent since 2008 to a record 47.8 million as of December 2012.” Government as solution isn’t working and Dr. Carson wants to discuss why. For this he is attacked?

The nightmare for liberals would be if Ben Carson became a role model for the poor instead of a target. If more of the poor had mothers like his (and maybe active fathers, which he didn’t have), who focused on reading and discipline, more might grow up to be like him. They might reject the lie that they are incapable of succeeding because of their circumstances.

In addition to Carson’s remarks about government dependency, he is also under attack for his unorthodox positions on same-sex marriage and evolution, which the National Review Online reports has led to a petition being circulated at Johns Hopkins Medical School asking that he be disinvited as commencement speaker. That would add censorship to racism.

The Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins University has denied a pro-life group official club status at the Baltimore school for fear the group will make students feel uncomfortable.

“They were denied status because the students on the student council felt being pro-life violates their harassment policy,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told Fox News.

YOU ARE NOT OF THE BODY!!!
According to emails obtained by Fox News, members of the SGA compared the pro-life students to white supremacists.

the college’s student government, whose members called the pro-life students’ desire to sidewalk counsel near abortion clinics “harassment” and their message “hate speech.”
ATTACK!!!!!!
An SGA senator said: “We have the right to protect our students from things that are uncomfortable. Why should people have to defend their beliefs on their way to class?”
“felt personally violated, targeted and attacked at a place where we previously felt safe and free to live our lives … this sidewalk attack on how abortions are hateful and such amounts to hate speech.”

Not only -Please don’t challenge my beliefs. You should have no right to challenge my beliefs!

I wonder if the Screaming Pro-Choicers would make them feel “uncomfortable”… 🙂

Meanwhile, the same night the pro-life student group was denied, student government members approved official campus status for Students for Justice in Palestine.

Because they are of The Body. 🙂

The late newsman David Brinkley said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

By that standard, Dr. Ben Carson is building a mansion. (Cal Thomas,WT and others)

Uncomfortable, isn’t it. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Transformation

“California’s new municipal bankruptcy law could be put to the test in its first trial, as the rumor mill is churning that the city of Stockton is preparing to file for bankruptcy. You may recall that under AB 506, local governments are now required to deal with a “neutral evaluator” for at least 60 days before seeking bankruptcy court protection. That being said, this mediation process can be avoided if a municipality declares a financial emergency.”

Unions, who would lose their sweetheart contracts and control of those making personnel decisions, can use the “neutral” evaluator to continue their gripe on the wallets of the citizens of Stockton.  Instead of the fiscal crisis being the deciding factor, it will be the control of special interests and unions.

The local government is facing a $20 million deficit in the next fiscal year. Stockton has also been voted the “most miserable” city in America, TWICE.

But you mess with the Public Sector Unions and their fat-cat, not “greedy” overly indulgent benefits and you’re asking for the gate of hell to open and the hounds to devour your carcass whole!

The city consented to a wide variety of bond agreements that have contributed to its increasing debt, but officials say that generous retirement health benefits and the increasing costs of maintaining them also threaten to cripple the city with insolvency. The city estimates that it will pay $9 million in retiree health care benefits in the 2012 fiscal year, and that the amount will double over the next 10 years.

Much of the harshest criticism of the current city administration has come from the police union, which has accused Mr. Deis of manipulating numbers. The union paid for billboards that proclaimed “Welcome to the 2nd most dangerous city in California: Stop laying off cops!” and included a running tally of murders in the city and Mr. Deis’s (City Manager) telephone number, against a background depicting spatters of blood. Mr. Deis accused the union of harassing him after it bought a house next door to his. The union said the purchase was an investment and not intended to antagonize Mr. Deis.

Uh, huh..sure..whatever you say….

Denise Jefferson, a former city planner and the executive director of the Miracle Mile Improvement District, said previous administrations had ignored signs of problems for years, despite internal criticism from employees.

Everyone kept pretending that the problems were something the next generation could clean up, but there’s no way to clean this up anymore,” she said. “In high times everyone wants to grow, but the growth we had was never something we could sustain. We played the game, and now there’s no longer a game to play.”

Does this Sound like Congress and The President, anyone? 😦

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told The Daily Caller that federal employees should not have to “carry an undue burden” by paying more into their pensions to fund legislation that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for a full year.

Congressional negotiators had reportedlyconsidered requiring all federal employees to contribute an additional 1.5 percent into their pensions to partially pay for a package that would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. At this point, they have agreed to require only new federal employees to put an additional 2.3 percent of their salaries toward pensions.

Pelosi also praised President Obama’s leadership in advocating for the payroll tax cut portion of the approximately $150 billion package without paying for it through spending cuts elsewhere.

“The payroll tax cut unpaid for, I think, responds to the argument that we have been making: Why are we paying for this when we don’t pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest people in our country? I just think this was something that happened because the public was fully aware of it and I salute the president for his leadership,” Pelosi said.

And: Tim Geithner said that the “most fortunate Americans” should pay more in taxes for the “privilege of being an American.”

Now that’s “shared Sacrifice”. 🙂

Oh, and being an American is now a “privilege”. 😦

So all rights are now “privileges” granted by a benevolent government. 🙂

I know I feel better….

Oh and this:

Democrats have a message for American job creators: Nice business you have there.  It would be a real shame if you donated to Republicans and something…unfortunate were to happen to it:

Democrats on K Street are warning their corporate clients: Give to Republican challengers in the 2012 election, and you’ll regret it come tax reform time. Lobbyists are getting that message from allies of powerful Democrats such as Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is closely watching support for Rep. Denny Rehberg, a Republican challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.). Baucus supporters fear that if Rehberg ousts Tester, Baucus could be next to face a serious Republican challenge in the state.

One K-Streeter close to the Baucus operation said the senator considers a gift to Rehberg a contribution against him. Another Democratic lobbyist told a client to take his name off a Rehberg fundraising event because it would be hurtful to his company, according to sources. The case K-Streeters are making to their clients: It will be a hard sell next year to get Baucus’s support on business-friendly tax perks set to expire or the Bush-era tax cuts that must get through his committee.

Nothing like a Little Chicago-Style Blackmail to be “fair”. 🙂

{House Majority Leader Reid} has also been vocal at his weekly breakfast fundraisers — telling attendees that it’s important for Democrats to maintain the majority and support all of the Democratic candidates and take a broad view in political giving, according to sources familiar with the discussions. “Everybody is watching right now,” said Democratic consultant Penny Lee of Venn Strategies, noting that the majority in the Senate could be in play by just one or two seats. The former adviser to Reid said the Nevada Democrat has a special interest in Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s seat in Nevada, “but he’s also keeping a larger watch to see what happens.”
Ah yes, the ole’ electoral “broad view.”  Allow me to summarize: “Republican X might represent your interests better than that Democrat Y — who will probably vote to raise your cost of doing business, then demonize you in the press — but we Democrats have long memories and will use our power to retaliate against any perceived affront, so act accordingly.” (Guy Benson)

In short, Democrats are petty, vindictive, partisans and they will get their revenge in the most childish way possible if you cross them. 🙂

That’s the real “hot topic” here — whether a majority of citizens, in America as elsewhere in the West, are willing to “leave it up to the government” to make decisions on everything that matters.

And if the government has the “right” to dictate that you.

The Democrats surely think so.

Everything flows from the generous “compassion” of the government and the power to be the supreme being that should be worshiped for it greatness.

“There are those in the Oval Office who believe that’s not the case, that rights do, in fact, come from the government, and they have gone around convincing the American people that they can give you rights. We see what happens when government gives you rights. When government gives you rights, government can take away those rights. When government gives you rights, they can coerce you in doing things in exercising the rights that they gave you.”–Candidate Rick Santorum

Like Mandates that say you must do it because the Government says so.

Mark Steyn: The transformation of “human rights” from restraints upon state power into a pretext for state power is nicely encapsulated in the language of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that everyone has the right “to receive free compulsory education.” Got that? You have the human right to be forced to do something by the government.

And So It Continues My Subjects. This is Big Brother Obama signing off for today… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino