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The Top Ten Political Events of 2010

Bookmark and Share     2010 saw its share of disasters and fighting. In Haiti a 7.0 earthquake killed 230,000, left 300,000 injured, and a million more homeless. In Afghanistan, America continued to fight for stability and in doing so, saw its highest casualty numbers of the war.

2010 also saw its share of corruption and scandal. Charlie Rangel was censured for his abuses, General Stanley McChrystal was relieved of duty after strongly criticizing Administration policies and officials in a Rolling Stones profile and former Senator and Democrat vice presidential candidate, John Edwards, finally admitted to being the father of an illegitimate child and by year‘s end would see the loyal wife he cheated on, die of cancer.

In politics, 2010 was certainly a year that produced plenty of suspense and surprise. It was a year that saw political power shift, military might flexed, history made, and environmental havoc wreaked. It was a year that challenged the popularity and abilities of President Obama, challenged the American people with economic austerity and the world with nuclear threat. The following 10 events are indicative of just how much so. They are happenings that have either been initiated by politics or had a profound effect on the politics that shaped, or will shape our world.

The order in which they are presented is based upon a combination of media attention, dramatic change, and a mix of both short and long term effects on our nation and the world. Two political eves which were runner ups to the list included Wikileaks and passage of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange proved that one man and a keyboard could make dozens of  many powerful world leaders cringe all at once?  And in doing so he has created some serious freedom of speech and information issues.  As for DADT, it was one of the most dramatic military policy changes in decades and whether you believe it to be a civil rights issues or a military decision, it was profound . 

Two other political  issues which fell short of the top 10 list included the nonevents which were the continued lack of a decision by the Obama Administration regarding how to try enemy combatants and if, how and when to close down the prison at Guantanamo Bay.On these two issues, President Obama has proven to speak before he thought and in trying to placate his disenchanted liberal base, has not found a suitable way for reversing his original positions, positions which the truth of reality have forced the President to stall admitting that he was wrong to initially want.

But as for those events which involved the situations handled and decisions made or carried out by political figures, legislative bodies or voters, here are the top 10.

 

10. – End To Combat Mission In Iraq

On August 31st , the long war in Iraq was “officially’ declared over. In getting to this point, President Obama continued the Bush policy and timeline which brought us to that point. To his credit, President Obama did invoke the name of former President George W. Bush and offered him praise by stating that no one could doubt his predecessors “support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security.”  In a prime time address to the nation, President Obama declared that “Through this remarkable chapter in the history of the United States and Iraq, we have met our responsibility. Now, it’s time to turn the page.” But to say the least, the page remains dog-eared, as approximately 50,000 troops are left in Iraq for the foreseeable future to advise and assist Iraqi security forces.  

9. Shelling of South Korea

On November 23rd, North Korea fired a barrage of artillery shells at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians and leaving dozens of families homeless. The unprovoked attack prompted South Korea to scramble F-16 fighter jets and return fire. It also forced Seoul to place its military on its highest non-wartime alert level. The attacks also proved, once again, how absolutely erratic and dangerous the North Korean regime is. In March, again unprovoked, North Korea fired on and sunk a South Korean ship. That event killed 46 sailors . It is said that the secretive and reclusive North Korean regime performs stunts like this and makes threats of even bolder military action, all in the name of posturing for negotiations. But at some point in time, violence can not be accepted in negotiations and if North Korea keeps pushing in this fashion, it will eventually force others to push back. Between these two incidents, its nuclear ambitions and its long range missile capabilities, Pyongyang proves to be a disturbing threat to peace and stability in the increasingly important region of Asia. With its burgeoning economies, the world can little afford war on the Korean peninsula. Nor could we afford the risk of drawing China and our Japanese ally into a war. If 2011 sees North Korea acting the same as it did in 2010, expect the current focus on the Middle East to shift further East.                            

 8. –Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

In 2010 it became more apparent than ever that Iran was close to becoming a nuclear power, a fact that could change the Middle East and life as we know it.  It became quite clear that Iran had the ability to enrich uranium and experts now believe that it could produce enough highly-enriched uranium for a bomb anywhere from within a few months to two years. As usual, talk seems to do little to prevent Iran from developing nuclear capabilities and after 18 years of hiding their nuclear enrichment program, UN Security Council resolutions ordering Iran to suspend development have failed to stop Iran from moving ahead. If some kind of arrangement is not soon made to keep Iran from gaining the ability to develop nuclear weapons, the situation could fall upon Israel, the small nation which Iran’s President has promised to push off the face of the earth. But if Israel were to act, how would the surrounding nations of Islam deal with its aftermath?

7. –  The Ground Zero Mosque

Whether or not anyone has the right to build a mosque in the immediate area surrounding ground zero of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was never the question. But whether or not it is appropriate, is the question. Should a religious house of worship for Islam, rise from the rubble of the attacks that extremists waged in the name of Islam? For the left,….. the politically correct, sensitive left, it should be easy to understand that the answer is “no“. However, regardless of political correctness it is true that our Constitution permits freedom of religion and there exists no legal right to prohibit the building of a Mosque in an area that is zoned for such construction. This situation dominated the news and politics for months as it consumed headlines and our attention.  And till this day, many are still trying to find a compromise that would allow for the construction of this mosque, but in a location other than ground zero.

 

6. – Unemployment

In November it rose and as it went up, the hopes of our sluggish economy picking up steam anytime soon went down. Despite promises by President Obama that his stimulus package would soon get unemployment down to a still too high 8.00%, it is rising and worst of all, it comes during the holiday season, when employment usually ticks up, and unemployment ticks down. But although November was particularly bad, unemployment ruled the headlines and the economy throughout the year and has placed millions into dire straits and highlights deeper troubles within the economy. Through it all the political Party in power not only failed to effectively combat unemployment, they at times seemed to go out of their way to convince the American people that they aren’t even capable of doing anything about it. Nancy Pelosi called government spending a jobs bill and Harry Reid once even said that it was a great day in America because only 160,000 Americans lost their jobs during a particular month. The long standing high unemployment rate will keep on weighing down President Obama and until he understands how to allow free enterprise to create jobs and what the real economic engine of America is, he will continue to simply tinker with the numbers and miss his target of his still too high 8% unemployment rate .  Although, when compared to 10%, it would be an improvement.

5. – The Arizona Immigration Law

The bill simply enofrced fedral laws at the state level, yet the Obama Administration and liberal illegal immgration advocates lost control and flipped out.  They called it unconstitutional and subsequently took Arizona to court over itsx new law.  For months this story fueled itself with large protetsts by by pro-illegal immigration groups and  SEIU union members,  and counter protests that energized an already energetic TEA Party movement.

 

4. – Gulf Oil Disaster

It was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history and it was the first real crisis of the Obama Administration. How did they handle it? Miserably. The first reaction to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico was slow and initially directed toward blaming it on George Bush. But as time went on, and it was shown that haphazard application of regulations assisted the disaster, it was also discovered that BP, the owners of the facility gave President Obama a million dollars in campaign donations and shortly before the Deepwater Horizon blew up, receive a safety award by the Obama Administration. But the more egg that was on the President’s face, the more oil lapped onto the Gulf shore states, particularly Louisiana, a state that is in many ways still reeling from Hurricane Katrina. For months the oil gushed from the under see pipes that once flowed to the top of the Deepwater Horizon. In all, between April 20th when the rig exploded and July 15th when the gusher was finally plugged, a continuous flow of a total of 4,300,000 barrels of oil was said to have poured into the Gulf. The episode had a profound effect on the economies of the Gulf states, closed down the fishing and shrimping industries and left Americans lacking the confidence in President Obama’s ability to effectively handle crisis. 

   3. – 2010 Midterm Elections

Two years ago, left wing commenators and pundits claimed the G.O.P was dead and going the way of the Whigs.  But in what proved to be a tidal wave election of historic proportions, Republicans won a remarkable 691 state legislative seats, shattering the old record which was held by Democrats in the post Watergate election of 1974, when they picked up 629 seats. Along the way, those numbers allowed the G.O.P. to increase thier stregnth by winning control of 18  various state legislative chambers and control of both state legislative chambers in 26 states. In addition to that, Republicans elected 7 new Governors bringing the total up to 29 G.O.P. Governors and allowing for complete control of state government with majorities in the the statehouses and the upper and lower houses of as many as 21 states, a sign that does not bode well for Democrats in the upcoming redistricting process.  In all, Republicans now have the largest majority for the Party since 1928.   Beyond state government, Republicans picked up a total of 63 House seats and 6 U.S. Senate seats. The historic number of House pickups was one of the largest number of seats gained in an election in over a generation and give the G.O.P. one of it largest majority margins ever. The 2010 election produced a truly profound political change. It not only gave Republicans control of the House and many statehouses and legislatures, it also gave them the ability to determine the political landscape for the next ten years as they take a very large upper hand in redistricting. In the years to come, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama will surely learn to regret having misread the American people quite as much as they did during 2010.

 2. – Election of Scott Brown

This event seems to have faded away in the hearts and minds of most but truth be told, the election of Republican Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy as one of Massachusetts two U.S. Senators, was quite profound and a sign of just how dissatisfied with the direction of the nation, voters had become. In fact it was the beginning of the 2010 midterm elections and a sign of what was to come . After channeling voter anger and capitalizing on disenchantment with the President’s agenda, underdog Scott Brown made Massachusetts political history after by pulling off an upset victory and becoming the first Republican elected to the senate from Massachusetts since Edward Brooks was first elected to the position in 1966. But more than that was the legacy of Ted Kennedy which Brown had to in many ways, run against. Ted Kennedy was the third longest U.S. Senator in history. He held the seat for more than 5 decades and during that time became known as the Liberal Lion. But in the wake of the anti-liberal sentiments sweeping the nation, even Ted Kennedy’s legacy could not help Scott Brown’s liberal Democrat opponent, State Attorney General Martha Coakley, to pull this election out. The selection of Scott Brown was a true sign of things to come and proof that the national political map was going to turn not Republican red or Democrat blue, but TEA Party ‘Brown”. Eight months later it did. 

1. – Passage of Obamacare

The passage of health reform probably had more impact on politics than it did on healthcare. At least once it’s repealed in whole or found unconstitutional by the courts.  It certainly had a profound effect on the balance of power in America. After more than a year of closed door, partisan negotiations, the health reform bill was passed in the face of unprecedented political opposition to it which increased every day that the debate continued. It was finally approved after unprecedented amounts of kickbacks and political payoffs were offered to legislators in exchange for their vote for the unpopular bill and even though liberals did not feel it went far enough, and that moderates and conservatives believed it went too far. Yet on  Sunday, March 21st, Obamacare passed despite the fact that it actually raised healthcare premiums and after the House even considered passing it without voting on the measure, and instead, just deeming it passed. The entire process regarding the healthcare bill, from its debate to its actual vote, demonstrated all the worst of a legislative process which Democrats were abusing. It demonstrated how unwilling Democrats were to listen to the people and most of all, it showed just how antithetical to the Constitution and the American free enterprise system that the federal government has become. So much so that their attempt to take control of 1/6 of the American economy fueled the birth of a Taxed Enough Already movement that would be the downfall of Democrats and a wake up call for Republicans. The unsavory passage of Obamacare was an example of left wing liberalism being so extreme that it forced many Americans to see that government was less divided by left and right than it was between right and wrong. The result was an electorate that forced Republicans and Democrats to look at the Constitution of the United States and refer to it before they passed laws that went beyond the rightful power of the federal government. And on November 2rd, the result was a resounding rejection of Obamacare, Democrats and the Obama agenda. All in all, passage of the healthcare reform bill was in many ways historic. It was one of the most significant and sweeping social programs since LBJ and even FDR. It was also one of the most incoherent, convoluted, unenforceable and unconstitutional pieces of legislation ever to be made into law, and it prompted a most historic transfers of power in the House of Representatives.

With all that, 2010 ends on the same note that it began. It ends with us having hope, hope that our political leaders will act responsibly. Hope that our economy will improve and that rogue nations and regimes will see the light. As 2010 ends, we hope that 2011 will be a year where the lessons of years past are remembered and that we as a people, move in the right direction rather than the wrong one.

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Funding Oversees Jobs With Stimulus, Bailouts and Defense Appropriations

Liberal folklore maintains that the heartless and evil Republican monsters of the nation are beholden to the mean and greedy big interests, which act like a Robinhood-in-reverse and steel from the poor to give to the rich. There are several problems with this political legend. One of them is that without the wealth creators of business, there would be no wealth to take and give from. That is something which Democrats deny but Republicans understand and why Republicans do not seek policies which make creating wealth a negative. But another problem with this liberal theory presents itself in the facts that come to light with the actions of the existing Democrat led Congress.

Ignore for a moment the fact that President Obama received $1 million from BP before he gave the Deep Sea Horizon oil rig a safety award and exempted them from several regulatory practices, all before the greatest ecological disaster in our history occurred. Instead of focusing on that, realize this. Under the Obama/Pelosi/Reid government economy that has taken over the free market economy, big business has been receiving more federal financial aide than ever before. And in those cases where the public perception is that federal aide, or more federal aide, is seen as truly unreasonable, the Obama government has simply taken over those interests, i.e.; Government Motors.

But even more to the point is the despicable case of General Electric.

Since the Obama/Pelosi/ Reid regime came into power, G.E. has benefited from a strong relationship with Democrats and the White House. It’s chairman, Jeffrey Immelt is a member of the President Obama’s economic advisory council. In turn, G.E. has been an ardent supporter of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid stimulus package, a package that G.E. received a few billion in federal bailout funds from. Among other things, the economic conspiracy begs the question, how many members of Congress and the Administration have vested interests in G.E. stocks?

But beyond that is the ugly spectacle that is taking place right now as G.E. continues one of its most extensive and expensive lobbying campaigns ever. After receiving billions of dollars in federal bailouts funds, General Electric is lobbying Congress for more than $485 million in this years annual defense appropriations bill and continued support for their development of an alternate engine for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet program. It is anticipated that over the next 25 years, the federal government will purchase more than 2,400 joint strike fighter aircraft and it is G.E.’s contention that the alternate engine they are developing will eventually bring the costs of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program down significantly.

To make their case known, so far this year G.E. has spent millions on a national ad campaign and in just the first three months of this year, over $10 million was spent to directly lobby Congress for this year’s annual defense appropriation request. At least now we know why the financial arm of G.E. needed a few billion in bailout funds?

Interestingly, General Electric is not alone in this alternate engine project. They are partnered with the U.K’s Rolls Royce corporation. But the Connecticut based G.E. employs hundreds of thousands of employees across the United States, and have a vital manufacturing presence in many regions. For instance, G.E. houses a major plant in Cincinnati, Ohio where unemployment stands at nearly 9.5%.

That high unemployment rate is what makes the latest part of this G.E. lobbying effort all the more troubling.

If this $485 million subsidy goes into the defense appropriation bill, that is coming up for a vote today, the G.E./Rolls Royce alternate engine will be manufactured in Great Britain.

Now to be fair, President Obama vows to veto this earmark, the only one he has ever made such a threat over. But President Obama’s objections are due to his desire to cut defense and Pentagon costs. And it his belief, and that of Defense Secretary Gates, that the investment in the development of this alternate engine will not produce a savings significant enough to justify the initial investment. That is fair enough. Besides, I believe that significant cost reductions and budget cuts that do not place us at a strategic disadvantage, could and should be made in the Pentagon . I do however lack confidence in President Obama’s ability to do so properly. His termination of missile defense systems and rejection of the F-22 stealth fighter program, lends credence to my lack of confidence.

But in the case of this alternate engine I can agree with the President on discontinuing this particular earmark. But I oppose it on two grounds. In addition to already costing too much and not producing a savings that is worth the investment at this time, I do not want to subsidize jobs in foreign countries when we need them here in America……..especially manufacturing jobs.

Yet Congress does not see it this way. They are prepared to fight the President on this. And unless they back down, that fight could get ugly and cost the President support on several other initiatives such as the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

In the end, this is just another case of the Obama Administration getting tangled up in a broader web of tricks. In this case, he has in many ways benefited from placing his friend, G.E. chairman Immelt on his economic advisory council. Immelt in turn supported the federal bailouts and stimulus packages that his company profited from. Then he used those profits to lobby the Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime for more subsidies that would ultimately go towards building a product that G.E. will make a substantial profit from, all while taking manufacturing jobs out of America and giving them to foreign interests.

This is all just another example of how truly damaging and useless the Obama economic recovery plan has been. On a day that American consumer confidence is reported to be at one of its lowest points in year’s, finding out that the Obama bailouts and stimulus plan is helping to finance efforts to ship jobs overseas, is not encouraging. If anything, it is insulting. Hopefully Congress will not approve additional funding for this alternate engine. At least not so long as it involves taking more of American manufacturing jobs oversees at a time when they are desperately needed here. Because in case you haven’t noticed, unemployment is not exactly falling at any significant pace, despite all the federal spending that was meant to do that.

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Whose Side Is The President On? The Gulf Oil Disaster Provides the Answer.

Bookmark and Share President Obama promised to be a different kind of leader.  He promised to be a uniter and a leader who would transcend politics and bring about change. Yet once the campaigning ended, so did those promises.

His promised transparency turned out to be a lie.  The process to pass his government healthcare takeover scheme demonstrated such after the public was denied C-Span-like access to the process, and after Republicans were shut of negotiations. With that not only did Obama’s promised transparency disappear, so did his promised unity and non-partisanship.

In the area of promised change, the only difference we actually see is in unemployment, taxes, the economy, relationships with allies and enemies, and ideology.

Despite his unsustainable record spending, unemployment remains fluctuating between high and higher.

On taxes, contrary to his claims, President Obama has in fact done nothing but raise taxes and with his promised fight to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, he is about to allow taxes to increase by historic proportions. This is a change but not the change most Americans wanted.

As far as foreign relationships go, President Obama has changed the dynamics of those relationships by reversing the roles as he tries to satisfy our enemies and offend our allies. While President Obama dedicates hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called humanitarian aid to terrorists groups like Hammas, he continues to snub and opposed Israel and its Prime Minister, he has soured relations with the new British Prime Minister, maintained an immigration policy that recently led to an actual Mexican standoff, opposed the legal government of our Honduran allies in South America and totally offended the recently deceased Prime Minister of Poland when he broke the promise of a strategic missile defense shield for our Polish allies and gave Russia a window of opportunity to fully exploit.

It is this type of support for our enemies and turning of our back on our allies which recently led Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana to take to the floor of the House and logically ask “Mr. President, whose side are you on?” The question is a legitimate one and it certainly lays out on example of the type of promised change that no one asked for.

But one of the biggest differences that people expected to see as a result of President Obama’s promised change was in politics. His relatively fresh face on the political stage allowed people to fall for President Obama’s attempts to make us believe that he would be a truly transcending figure, a figure who would transcend politics and simply join all sides together and do the right thing, not the political thing. But in what is becoming the defining moment of the Obama Administration, the Gulf oil calamity, President Obama is demonstrating that there is absolutely no change at all.

When reviewing the facts as they have revealed themselves so far, President Obama has done nothing but mishandle this disaster. Some of the reason for his mishandling of the situation come from inexperience. Some of it stems from his natural arrogance. But most of the reasons for the President’s failings in this situation are borne out of his politics.

In what is far from change, politics as usual has been responsible for turning a grave situation into havoc and the worst and most widespread environmental disaster in American history.

It was politics as usual which forced President Obama to reward the Deep Sea Horizon oil rig with a safety award just days before it exploded, killed eleven men and unleashed environmental ruin. After receiving more campaign contributions from BP than any other American politician, this award was a perfect example of political favoritism and politics as usual.

Then, after essentially giving BP a pass on certain safety requirements, in what is one of the most ironic of all ironies, just days before the Deep Sea Horizon sank and ruptured its pipes, President Obama broke his promised opposition to offshore oil drilling and announced that he was lifting a ban on offshore oil drilling.

By breaking his promised opposition to such a pursuit of natural resources, the President was probably making an attempt to negotiate the eventual passage of his Cap-and-Trade tax scheme in the senate. He figured he could answer some of his critics on the right and still be let off the hook by his liberal base.

And then the Deep Sea Horizon exploded.

Now, as days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months, the oil continues to gush, wildlife continues to die, and as the beaches of the Gulf begin to get marred by the hundreds of millions of gallons of tide swept oil, and as tourism and the state economies that rely on it, continue to dwindle, President Obama continues to play politics.

Not only did the President initially fail to mobilize the proper resources to defend the Gulf Coast from what turned out to be a disaster, he continues to fail to mobilize such resources . In fact he is even preventing progress in the containment of the undersea oil
geyser.

Thanks to an outdated regulation from the 1920’s called the Jones Act, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of experienced professionals from 17 other nations can not assist in the containment operation.

The Jones Act was meant to protect the U.S. maritime industry and unions by allowing only U.S. flagged vessels, crewed by at least 75% U.S. citizens and having a minimum percentage of those U.S. citizens being unionized, to operate in the region. This prohibits non-unionized interests from participating in operations like the one we see now.
Fast forward 80 years or so and sitting in the White House is a President who is more beholden to unions than any other in recent history. So between the Jones Act and President Obama, you can be sure that what unions want, unions get.

President Obama has the power to suspend the Jones Act, just as President Bush did during Hurricane Katrina, but almost two months into this crisis and President Obama has refused to do so. He refuses to offend the union hands that feed his the political monopoly that keeps Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government.

By refusing to suspend the Jones Act, the ongoing attempt to contain the endless flow of oil is being denied the use of some of the most proven effective tools in the international community. One such example of what is being refused is the aid of a Dutch vessel that is specifically designed for skimming tens of thousands of barrels of the polluting oil in single sweeps.

Nehru once said “A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action”. In evaluating the subconscious thoughts employed by President Obama regarding his reaction to the greatest ecological disaster in our history, it is easy to see that his instincts are to play politics as usual. Instead of suspending the Jones Acts and offending his union allies, President Obama prefers to blame it on Bush and allow his oil disaster to engulf our Southern shores.

It almost seems as though President Obama is willingly sacrificing the Gulf states for his unionized political patrons. After all, with the exception of Florida, President Obama did not receive a single electoral vote from those states now being effected by his disaster. And even before this event took place, it was a pretty sure bet that he would not be receiving any of the electoral votes next time around. So being the partisan political animal that our President is, it is only logical for him to sacrifice the South to ecological and economic ruin for the sake of his friends in the SEIU and AFL-CIO.

No matter what President Obama does now, it is too late, but as they say, “better late than never”. So if President Obama wants to try to get back to his campaign promises and again pretend to be that “transcending” figure that he told us he would be, he should put his politics aside and suspend the Jones Act.

And after that Congress needs to repeal it.

The Jones Act is an antiquated law that is not only inhibiting the clean up and containment process underway in the Gulf, it kills jobs in America and also helps to price U.S. companies out of the ability to be competitive in the global market.

But in the meantime, as the Gulf states enters into some of their darkest days ever, until President Obama puts down his political playbook and starts acting like an American leader, we are all left wondering the answer to Congressman Mike Pence’s question…….who side is he on?

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28 Years Ago The Economy Recovered By Giving Freedom A Chance

Bookmark and Share   Last week marked the 28th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s signing of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act. When it comes to the economic recovery methods that we have adopted b.govtoday,  it is appallingly easy to see that we our government has lost its way since then.
 
The approach to government that Reagan instilled in the conduct of contemporary conservative governance was basic. It was rooted in the belief that the engine which propelled America’s greatness was not government but the nation’s people.
 
It was centered around freedom and the allowance for the natural progression of freedom and the free market to grow our economy, spread wealth and create a sustainable prosperity for all.
 
The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 was an implementation of that thinking, which reduced tax rates and unleashed one of greatest economic recoveries our nation has ever seen. It eventually brought unemployment down from a high of 10.6% to 5.4% and drastically eliminated inflation. With consumer prices at the highest peacetime rate on record-up 13.3 percent in 1979, three years later, the rate of inflation had slowed considerably, with the Consumer Price Index advancing only 3.8 percent during that same year and from there on throughout the rest of the 80’s and 90’s the actual inflation rate remained well below 5%.
 
That whole process is in stark contrast to the economic recovery acts that we saw our government begin to practice in 2008 and repeat in 2009.
 
Those recovery acts deceptively added the word reinvestment to them and decidedly rejected the successful thinking behind the 1981 measure designed for the same purpose that the most recent bills were.
 
The newestt recovery measures taken were nothing more than a bid for more government and a grab at more centralized government that initiated unfunded mandates and essentially took more money away from the people rather than afford them the chance to keep more of their money.

The modern recovery acts were designed to create more jobs and spur more spending. Yet to date, with less than 10% of the monies slotted for these initiatives spent and the bulk of it not expected to be allocated for years to come, little benefit has actually been seen. And the fact of the matter is that in the end little will be seen.

With only a fraction of the stimulus money having been spent to date, a recent poll determined that 72 percent of Americans want the unused portion of the $787 billion dollar stimulus package returned to taxpayers. They believe it would do more to boost the economy than having the government spend it. That sentiment runs deep through out society as a 59% majority of Democrats, 87% majority of Republicans and 70% majority of independents believe that the money should be returned to taxpayers. This was the same Reagan thinking and policy that allowed for the recovery that we saw in the 80’s.

In all honesty, when you look at a major goal of the recent recovery act, you will see that is the creation of jobs. But the package only creates government jobs. By nature, government jobs do not sustain themselves. They do not create a market which produces a profit that generates a self funding source for themselves. They are funded through taxes. But in addition to the need for a continuous stream of tax dollars to finance these government jobs is the problem that the jobs created by these modern recovery attempts are only temporary.

The work that will be created through the bills are have no enduring future. For instance, once a road is built, it is done. Maintenance for that road will always be required but that alone does not employ the number of workers required to build that road originally.

This is just one example of what may produce a positive effect but will assuredly only be a temporary effect from the most expensive pieces of legislation in history. Ultimately the recent stimulus packages are legislative creations which simply have no long term benefits. But they will have damaging long term effects induced by the ensuing debt that these most recent recovery packages create and the tax burden that their debt will inevitably produce.

Conversely, the recovery act that people like Congressman Jack Kemp and Senator William Roth were responsible for developing was  a stimulus package that allowed for the people to posses more money and it allowed for them to spend more and invest more. All of which energized an entrepreneurial revival that created more self sustaining, permanent jobs and more investment.  All of which spurred a natural cycle of sustainable growth that did not rely on government spending and federal taxation.

28 years later and intermittent failures to acknowledge the success of this thinking at the federal level continues to threaten our economic stability and jeopardizes the freedom based fabric of our American future.

On the day before the anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s signing of the successful recovery measures that we took in 1981, The Center for Fiscal Accountability released it’s annual report which provides evidence to my claim.

The report demonstrated that the average American devotes 224 days of work a year to simply cover the costs of government mandated programs and controls and that the federal government demands approximately 61½ % of our combined national income.

That’s far more than half of what we earn.

The number of days that Americans must work to cover this cost of government allows The Center for Fiscal Accountability to establish what they call Cost of Government Day.  Based on a national average that day for all Americans was August 12th.  That is 26 more days than least year. And it means that when you come down to it, you worked the first 8 months and twelve days of the year to fund the government. 

But if you want an even greater example of just how burdensome and oppressive the crushing costs of government can be, lets take a look at my home state of New Jersey.

While the 2009 national average for the Cost of Government day falls on August 12th, for New Jerseyan’s the Cost of Government Day falls on September 6th, 25 days later than the national date.

One of the state’s few true conservative leaders, State Assemblyman Jay Webber stated that “Since 2002, the average family of four in New Jersey has seen a state tax increase of more than $10,000, a wallop to the wallet by far the worst in the entire nation. The state’s citizens have been saddled with a cumulative tax increase of $21.2 billion from FY2003 to FY2009. We have experienced 108 new or increased taxes in just 8 years—on income, sales, estates, employees, employers, home sales, televisions, phone bills, motor vehicles, tires, and many more items. And that does not even count the state’s record-setting property taxes, which have skyrocketed 54.8 percent since 2002 and amount to $6,500 per household. New Jersey collects more property taxes per capita than any other state.

All of this is a direct result of increased government programs and an increased size of government. It demonstrates that more government is not the answer and that a growing bureaucracy does little to solve problems but much to create more problems and expenses.

But New Jersey is not the state with the latest Cost of Government Day. Connecticut has the latest date, surpassing New Jersey by one day. Behind New Jersey is New York, August 31st (243 days out of the year), followed by California, August 23rd, (235 days) and the fifth worst is Maryland, August 21st, (233 days).

When looking at these states you will find a direct correlation between their overregulation, social engineering programs and high costs of living but you will not find a connection between those characteristics and booming business environments, high employment, government efficiency and a quality of life significantly superior to anywhere else. What that means is that despite all their regulation, government provided services and taxes and fees in these five states, Americans still have no good reason to want to live in them.

In fact in New Jersey it is just the opposite. People are fleeing the Garden State to find jobs, affordable homes and bearable tax rates that will allow them to live comfortably and with a sense of freedom.

All of this makes one wonder whether or not we should really be trying to establish such things as government controlled healthcare. It also makes us question how wise it was to create an economic recovery that throws more and more money into what apparently is responsible for holding the economy and taxpayers back…….government.

The Kemp Roth Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 that Ronald Reagan championed, worked twenty eight years ago. It invested in the people and our entrepreneurial spirit. But the so called recovery and reinvestment act of 2009 is far different. It takes money and control away from the people and invests it in government.

The Obama administration may call it “reinvestment” but by all proven standards, I call it a bad investment.

Take a moment to watch the video below of the fateful moment 28 years ago when Ronald Reagan signed the economic recovery package that brought us out of economic despair.  Hear in his own words the keys to its success

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Reconstruction For Everyone!!: A perspective of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

A POLITICS 24/7 guest editorial by Mike Duminiak
  Bookmark and Share  In 1867, Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act. Its purpose was to force the re-engineering of society in the Southern States and to redistribute the wealth in that region. reconstructionOn the first count, it was entirely a failure and actually resulted in a backlash that undid the progress made in 1865-66 and resulted in a worse position for blacks for nearly 100 years than they had during the immediate post-war period of local reconstruction. On the second count it succeeded, but not in the way the people had expected. Rather than redistribute the wealth to the poor and former slaves, instead all the wealth in the South was transferred to banks and various businesses owned and operated by Northern industrialists and financiers. When the decade of forced reconstruction finally ended, the South was bankrupt, the people were betrayed and the society was driven to social radicalism for the next 90 years.

In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Its purpose is to force the re-engineering of the economy in the United States and to redistribute the wealth in that nation. Its ultimate outcome has yet to be written, but the beginnings of its implementation may be a strong indicator. It is the banks and large corporations that are the beneficiaries of the redistribution of wealth. To them is going the tax revenue of generations. We see also that it is filled with pork barrel spending on projects that are politically connected to major campaign contributors and businesses with financial ties to politicians.

It is yet to be known whether this new era of Reconstruction will also require the use of troops to force its implementation when the people start to complain that it is doing more harm than good. It is yet to be known whether this new era of Reconstruction will result in the same backlash as the first when opposition forces eventually regain control of government. It is yet to be known just how bankrupt the national treasury will be and how grossly enriched the banks and corporations will be when this new era of Reconstruction ends.

The deciding factors on those issues will be what else this radical Congress pushes through. The radical Congress of 1867-68 passed numerous acts that combined to result in all the immediate destruction and later retribution. If this radical Congress also continues down its current path and adds more fuel to the fire, the damage and the reaction will be all that much stronger. If this radical Congress pushes its agenda to the breaking point of the average citizen as the radical 1867-68 Congress did, this nation could see a massive shift in political power equal to or even greater than the 100 years of single party control that resulted from the first major attempt at re-engineering and redistribution.

While we will all pay the price for the reckless and truly criminal transfer of wealth from the people to the banking and corporate interests, conservatives may come out the big winners. If history repeats itself (and it is doing a pretty good job so far), strong conservatives will capture the government and hold it for a long period. Even moderates on the right may be unpopular as the public will shifts radically away from the policies and ideology that raped their treasury, increased their tax burden, destroyed their economy and curtailed their liberty.

As the economy worsens and the true face of the current actions of Congress becomes apparent to the people, we should all pray that the kinds of insurrectionary vigilantism that cropped up in 1868-1870s are not repeated in the modern era. However, desperate people can often resort to desperate actions. Should the unemployment rate continue to climb and the banks continue to profit off the government treasury, the probability of renegade violence will escalate. Even the current supporters of the radicals now in power are likely to turn violent when the promises fail to materialize, as happened in the first Reconstruction era when the former slaves were left to literally starve to death without jobs, homes or food while banks and corporations raided the various State treasuries under U.S. control. Riots may not be far off when all the impossible promises that fail to materialize combine with worsening economic conditions. We should all pray that violence is avoided, but that may not be enough.

A large segment of the population believed that the “bottom rail was on top” with this past election. Yet, if anything, the bottom rail is being stomped down further by bad economic conditions while the top rail is being elevated with government bail-outs and pork spending. Right now the blinders are still on most citizens, but they are coming off in increasing numbers. When the inevitable inflation comes from the insane creation of money that was done and given to the banks, the true result of the current radical Congress’s actions will be apparent to everyone. The first Reconstruction was bad for everyone except the banks and corporations. This one will be no different except that the whole country will suffer under it instead of just one region.  Bookmark and Share

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