Obamarang

Like a bad penny – or a good boomerang – President Obama keeps turning up in Ohio, transparently campaigning in what the White House hopes will still be a battleground state this time next year. After Tuesday’s Columbus visit demanding more deficit spending, the big guy is making a stop in Cincinnati next week… to demand more deficit spending.

 

As right-wing kooks warned long before Obama’s inauguration, the president has nothing to offer besides unsustainable government dependency. His latest spending bill is another case study in how to be Campaigner-in-Chief: a huge pander to unions and public employees, with just enough temporary tax relief to provide a centrist veneer.

In Ohio and throughout the country, local governments are grappling with the reality that governors can’t continue shoveling money their direction, because Washington can’t keep throwing money at the states. We can barely argue about spending public funds on “guns” versus “butter”: years of butter-budgeting have us buried in debt.

On this key issue, the Obama administration has been an abject failure. Congressman Paul Ryan, a Miami University alum, sets this fact into stark relief in a series of videos discussing his Path to Prosperity budget. Check them out, if you haven’t already – the third was just released this week:

Compare the GOP plan with Obamanomics, which hinges on complete denial of the most avoidable financial crisis mankind has ever seen.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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President Tells Truth… Twice!

Mr. Obama defended the debt package as “responsible” in paying down the national debt and added that it’s “not going to dismantle our social safety net.” He also took a jab at Republicans, remarking, “I give the other side credit. They are single-minded in their focus in wanting to cut programs and shrink government.

[...]

While the debate over the debt limit may have discouraged his supporters, particularly progressives, the president said during his fundraising events that the struggle proved just how important the next election is.

“We’ve already seen over the last week just how different the two visions are in terms of which direction we should take the country,” Mr. Obama said in a video teleconference with supporters. “This is really important moment in our history.”

So they don’t slip past, I’ve put two honest quotes from the president in bold. Things to keep in mind, as Obama and his campaign team shrug off crushing deficits in an attempt to blame conservatives for America’s credit downgrade:

  • President Obama believes it reflects poorly on conservatives that we want “to cut programs and shrink government.” Is there anyone left who believes President Obama has an answer for anything that’s not more spending and bigger government?
  • CBS notes that Progressive supporters of President Obama are especially troubled by the lack of tax hikes in the debt ceiling deal. At this point, are there any non-Progressives who support President Obama?

As the president says, there are two distinct visions for America’s future. Obama sees no reason for budgets, no cause for entitlement reform, simply excuses to wring job creators a little drier in support of limitless government. The other vision – best argued by Congressman Ryan and Senator Rubio – would draw a path that doesn’t end with America at the foot of a cliff.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.

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I-P-A-B spells “Death Panel”

Sarah Palin’s reportedly ignorant belief that Obamacare cuts cost by way of a “death panel” of bureaucrats passing down coverage decrees is nearly as notorious as Palin herself. Mind you, Palin was being ridiculed for this long before The Krugman, a bearded novelty act who does a traveling show for The New York Times, sung the praises of government-rationed care in an ABC appearance:

Here’s the infamous paragraph from Palin’s 08/07/2009 Facebook post:

The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Palin was responding, in part, to a statement by Rep. Michelle Bachmann, another crazed right-wing nut. If you have a memory or possess the power of Google, it’s not hard to recall the dinosaur media’s response. Smarmy leftists at The New York Times and MSNBC ranted and raved about lies and incited mobs, while slightly-better-hinged commentators settled for dismissing Palin’s thoughts as partisan nonsense.

Conservative pundits continue working to inform the public that Obamacare – sorry, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – relies exclusively on rationed care for the only cost savings that aren’t fabrications. As George Will details in a Washington Post op-ed, death panels by any other name are still terrible policy:

The point of PPACA is cost containment. This supposedly depends on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, which is a perfect expression of the progressive mind, is to be composed of 15 presidential appointees empowered to reduce Medicare spending – which is 13 percent of federal spending – to certain stipulated targets. IPAB is to do this by making “proposals” or “recommendations” to limit costs by limiting reimbursements to doctors. This, inevitably, will limit available treatments – and access to care when physicians leave the Medicare system.

Will’s closing line is brilliant:

The essence of progressivism, and of the administrative state that is progressivism’s project, is this doctrine: Modern society is too complex for popular sovereignty, so government of, by and for supposedly disinterested experts must not perish from the earth.

So, Ohioans – have you signed a petition supporting the Health Care Freedom Amendment yet?

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.

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Unions and Democrats, Joined at the Hippie Hip

Though it’s nonsense to pretend public unions funding the campaigns of Democrats they hope to bargain against isn’t a systemic conflict of interest, it’s not exactly true that the unions run the Ohio Democratic Party – or that the Democratic Party runs the unions. Which is a relief, since government unions tout their indifference to partisan politics as a key reason for their existence:

The public is best served by public employees whose first loyalty is to their job, not to a political party. In the public sector, collective bargaining insulates employees from politics and patronage.

But – you knew there was a but coming, right? – explain statements like this one from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 8:

Rather than move forward on a solution, Rep. Camp and his colleagues pulled a stunt to show that they’ll only pass a debt limit increase if it includes damaging cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, like those contained in Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget.

Like nearly every other position staked out on AFSCME Council 8’s website, this debt ceiling commentary sounds mysteriously like… a certain political party’s. As does anti-budget railing from the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association:

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate rejected 40-57 a house budget plan that included a controversial provision to overhaul Medicare. The dangerous budget plan, the brainchild of conservative U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), would have ended Medicare as we know it, an outright attack on seniors, children, [Ed: and kitties, and babies, etc. etc.]

And complaints about voter ID reform from the Ohio Association of Public School Employees:

“No matter what the Republicans say, this legislation limits the rights of voters and will negatively impact the poor, the elderly and students, among others,” said Randy Weston, OAPSE director of political action and legislative affairs.

And encouragement from the Ohio Education Association (OEA) to turn children into lobbyists for green energy boondoggles:

Perhaps, the most important thing our schools can do is to teach our students to be active in petitioning local and state governments to do more to save our environment [...]

The unions don’t need to control the Democratic Party, and vice versa: both slam any (non-defense) spending cut as “extreme,” offer (non-specific) tax increases as the solution to every problem, and insist all conservative arguments are driven by vicious racism because they think the same way. The Ohio Democratic Party and Ohio’s public unions are lead by like-minded Progressives who believe a few benevolent eggheads should define “fair” boundaries for the rest of us. And they’ve got just the benevolent eggheads for the job!

That’s why the AFSCME and OEA attack Republican proposals with the ferocity of beaten pit bulls, and tinkle like excited puppies when a Democrat speaks. It’s also why Progressive dweebs parrot union talking points as if the unions had a monopoly on their favorite crackers, however weak the union position or compelling the arguments against it.

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Sherrod Doesn’t Share Your Priorities

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, as intelligent and forthright as Sherrod Brown is ignorant and dishonest, has a plan for the biggest issues concerning Ohio voters. Ryan’s ongoing video series explaining his budget plan manages the rare feat of being both sharp and blunt:

Naturally, although Sherrod Brown has no plan of his own he’s happy to repeat his all-purpose demagogic response:

In the twenty-first century, we cannot afford to take from the poor to give to the rich.

Sherrod Brown’s response to every problem – unemployment, entitlement spending, gas prices, you name it – is bigger government and higher taxes. Have you passed your deficit-reduction suggestions along to Harry Reid, Senator? Maybe your sage advice could break your party’s years-long case of budget writer’s block!

Watch Paul Ryan explain the GOP budget, and look for a reply from Sherrod Brown that’s not lazy, naked class warfare. When that reply never comes, ask yourself: does Sherrod share my priorities?

It’s hard to imagine a conclusion other than this: Ohio needs a senator much more like Paul Ryan, and much less like Sherrod Brown. November 2012 will be here sooner than you think!

[Update: Fixed a dumb typo in next-to-last paragraph. Maybe I should take a vote: how does "that's isn't" sound to you, fair readers?]

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Does Sherrod Share Your Priorities?

Proving once again my amateur partisan hack status, I’m only now getting to a Sherrod Brown “news” item from mid-March. Early this year Senator Brown’s staff posted a survey on the web for Ohioans to tell Sherrod their priorities. Though a web form is an unscientific thing, I doubt Team Brown loved the results:

“Federal Deficit” isn’t a worry Sherrod Brown wants voters to have going into the 2012 election cycle. “Protecting Medicare and Social Security” is a winner for Brown, but only if the GOP is totally inept. Same goes for “Affordable Health Care.”

Visit the Issues section of Senator Brown’s website, and you’ll notice there’s no issue page for the deficit or the budget. Make of that what you will. Here’s a highlight from the generically titled “The Economy” issue page:

Ohio’s middle class will benefit from economic policies that promote our state’s clean energy manufacturers and push our nation to implement fair trade policies.  Ohio’s families and small businesses will benefit from health insurance reform that reduces costs for family budgets and improves the sustainability of our national economy.

Green energy boondoggles, trade protectionism, and the government-first fiscal madness of Obamacare. Great. Here are some of Senator Brown’s employment initiatives:

In June 2009, the increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 took effect, representing a major step in the right direction for Ohio families.

Yes, a higher federal minimum wage means more pay… for the low-income folks who can find work in an economy where politicians determine the price of labor. But that’s not all!

We must do a better job of providing training and retraining to Ohio workers and matching those workers to jobs that need to be filled. The federal government needs to be fully engaged in this effort, and I am working to strengthen Workforce Investment Act programs that help workers prepare for and obtain good-paying jobs in our state.

I’m sure a 48th federal job training program would be as effective as the existing 47. Sherrod also knows how helpful unions are at creating jobs:

While this legislation has stalled in the Senate, I am working with my colleagues on developing strong labor law reform that ensures employers and workers have a safe, predictable environment to ensure free choice in forming a union.

If legislating “free choice in forming a union” by killing secret-ballot union elections passes for “Jobs” policy in Sherrod Brown’s mind, I shudder to think of his approach to the survey respondents’ other priorities!

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Soak the Rich? I’m IN!

Earlier this month, fellow Miami alum Paul Ryan and his Path to Prosperity budget wrecked conservatism as I know it. Ryan wants to make America more competitive by renovating the welfare state and reducing taxes! This is a bad idea, because everyone knows America’s greatness is rooted in entitlement programs and progressive taxes on The Rich.

As every leftist reaction to Congressman Ryan’s plan proves, class warfare is a central component of today’s illiberal “liberalism,” and government redistribution a vital plank in the Democratic Party platform. If you’re poor, the government should decide what you deserve and see that you get it. If you’re rich, the government should decide what you need – and see that you don’t get more. Consider Senator Sherrod Brown’s whinging after voting for some measly spending cuts:

But as we take our next steps in reducing the deficit we must look at the entire budget and not just the small slice devoted to spending on programs like education and workforce development. And we must reject the proposal put forth by House Republicans that would cut Medicare to give extra tax cuts to millionaires.


It’d be one thing if Ohio’s shamefully stupid Democrat senator said things like this regularly, but he’s got company from a somewhat more powerful liberal named Barack:

There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.  And I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill.  That’s not a vision of the America I know.

Mary Katharine Ham and David Burge (with later help from Bill Whittle) demolished the illusion that higher taxes on the rich will keep the nation’s entitlement programs humming, but math doesn’t deter Sherrod & Barry. Reuters columnist James Pethokoukis (among many, many others) trashed the president’s budget “framework,” and The Wall Street Journal explained again that it’s impossible to fund the welfare state by hiking taxes on the wealthy. No matter. If the welfare state cannot be beaten, it must be joined!

Were I still a capitalist swine, I’d say the Democrats who live by promising endless goodies will have to find the cash somewhere; either they’re too clueless to realize The Rich can’t cover the tab, or they’re lying through their teeth. Fortunately, my senator and president have cleared the dark fog of mathematics from my eyes: let’s find some fat-cats to soak!

This post marks the start of a series. To assist Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama in their re-election campaigns, I’ll be listing selfish companies and individuals who should be “encouraged” to better support America’s entitlement spending. With luck, this will be as effective as the help I offered Bob Etheridge in 2010!

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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