Friday, April 15, 2011

Obama Sent A Message We Heard. Did He?

You better hope things change! Try this the next time you hear Obama speak . . . it will keep you awake! I used to avoid listening to his speeches. Now, I look forward to the next one. Here is something to help make his speeches almost tolerable.

This is from a Detroit Newspaper editorial:

This is the lunacy we have to deal with and why our nation is as the above editorial suggests.(See 1 below.)
Yes, he can and intends to do just this.

For those of you who receive and read these memos it should come as no surprise. (See 2, 2a and 2b below.)

Porter Stansberry writes a letter to our president. (See 3 below.)
Back from family wedding in Miami and while there America got a wake up call from S&P.

1)It appears that ignorance and outright position flip-flopping are not impediments to being elected to the House of Representatives and we point to Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Chicago, the son of the Reverend Mr. Jackson. Only a few weeks ago, Mr. Jackson was on the floor of the House extolling the virtues of Apple’s iPod, and claiming… however idiotically… that it is a constitutional right for every student in the US… and most assuredly for those students in ghetto schools… to have an iPod. You really cannot make this sort of thing up.

He said it. It is there on record and you can watch for yourself:

However, Mr. Jackson trumped himself only a few days later when he was again on the floor of the House and claimed that Apple’s iPad is costing Americans jobs because it is made in China and its appearance has done irreparable damage to the newspaper and book publishing businesses of the country. He now wants iPads banned, for they are doing damage to American’s First Amendment rights. Honestly, you cannot make this stuff up.

Finally, having noted Mr. Jackson trumping himself, this is always Donald Trump. The best single line regarding Mr.Trump’s not-yet-official presidential- candidacy is from none other than the comedian, Chris Rock, who said that he could never vote for Trump since he would only leave us for a younger, prettier country.
2)Obama’s Plan For A Fundamentally Different America

Outlining his plan to reduce the deficit, made a powerful rhetorical case for his vision of “the kind of future we want…the kind of country we believe in.” Few could disagree with the president’s goals of living in a compassionate society where investments are made to “win the future.” However, as citizens, we will live with the consequences — not the good intentions — of his policies to reduce the federal budget deficit. These results would include:
–Fewer jobs and less opportunity;
–Poorer health care; and
–Significant loss of freedom.
Fewer jobs and less opportunity

The center of the president’s deficit reduction plan is a $2 trillion tax increase on the American people. Including state and local income taxes, he envisions more than 50 cents out of every dollar of increased earnings being taken from America’s most productive, hardest working families.

Obama claims that by targeting only those who make more than $200,000 a year, these tax increases would not hurt the middle class. But, that assumes that the middle class and poor participate in an economy that is detached and independent of those with higher incomes.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you agree that millionaires and billionaires can afford to “pay more” in taxes, you are ignoring that as government takes more of their income, they have less to invest, spend and otherwise give to their communities. Before you cheer such an outcome out of a sense of “social justice,” remember you are also cheering fewer jobs and less innovation in the private sector.

Even worse, higher tax rates are the equivalent of tariffs, but they fall on domestic economic activity. Raising the combined top tax rate to more than 50% on any group in our communities drastically reduces the opportunities for economic activity. For example, in order to hire a lawn and garden service to do an extra $1000 of work, under the Obama plan, a high income individual would have to earn an extra $2000.

The net result is the kind of slow growth economy that we are now experiencing, with record high levels of unemployment and discouraged workers. For example, in once prosperous California where income and sales taxes are among the highest in the country, the unemployment rate sits at 12% — more than 3 percentage points above the national average. Or, as former Sen. Phil Gramm wrote in the Wall Street Journal, if the economic recovery under the Obama Administration’s economic policies of increased government spending and regulations had just been as good as the average recovery from the prior four deepest recessions, 13.9 million more Americans would be employed today and the average family of four’s income would be more than $12,000 higher.

Degradation of Health Care

Obama promised to preserve the health care provided to seniors and the poor by Medicare and Medicaid by reducing the cost of health care.

Once again, the actual results will be quite different than those good intentions. Unlike the Republican proposal, which would attempt to maintain health care by raising somewhat the price of insurance to senior citizens, his plan would attempt to control costs by reducing the care provided to them by Medicare.

The president would cut spending by first reducing the price government pays for prescription drugs. That would save money in the short run by reducing pharmaceutical company profits without impacting the availability of medicines.

Before cheering, consider the longer-term consequences. With reduced profits now, and lower expected profits on all future drugs, there will be a lot less investment in developing life saving and life enhancing drugs. That means reduced care in the future – especially for those Americans who today are under age 55 and who stand to benefit the most from the drugs that would have been created over the next 10 to 20 years.

According to Obama’s speech, additional savings would be achieved by “reducing wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments.” This tactic assumes against all of human experience government bureaucrats can become significantly more efficient and less wasteful when they are spending $2 billion a day of other people’s money.

But, the third, and most important source of savings will be “strengthening an independent (emphasis added) commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers who will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce the unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.”

In other words, a panel of gifted Americans with extraordinary knowledge and amazing wisdom and judgment will be empowered to dictate what procedures and health care services a doctor or hospital may provide every individual on Medicare. And if this does not save enough money – then the president said “this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare.”

This means these politically anointed individuals will be required to deny a variety of medical procedures to those who rely on government for their medical care.

A Fundamentally Different America

Most Americans would agree with the president when he said we are a country that prizes both our individual freedom and our obligations to one another. But many would disagree with his apparent position that these two values are mutually exclusive. Not surprisingly, they therefore oppose his claim that fulfilling our obligations to one another requires or justifies an ever-expanding use of government power.

The premise behind the president’s vision for America’s future is that government must be the primary agent in taking care of our concerns for our fellow citizens. His budget would reduce philanthropic activities by limiting the tax deduction to charitable organizations for those with incomes above $200,000 at the same time he asserts the moral authority to take more of their income to pay for non-voluntary government run organizations.

Exacting $2 trillion in additional taxes also will reduce the ability of families to take care of themselves, pay for insurance or their children’s educations, or save for their retirement and the possible setbacks common in life. In addition, higher tax rates would reduce social mobility. When the government takes more than 50% of your extra income during a good year, it is extremely difficult to accumulate the assets needed to live a life free from dependence on government programs.

Such results are consistent with Obama’s vision. His budget calls for an America where federal employees increase their control over the U.S. economy by 11 percentage points – to 40% — through increased spending and the take-over of the health care system.
President Obama’s vision would produce a country with persistently high unemployment, slow growth, limited opportunities, reduced social mobility and perpetual annual budget deficits of more than $700 billion. It would be a country where those who go to work every day or run small businesses would be required to pay more and more of the fruits of their labor to those in power and “those in need”.

Make no mistake, it would be a country where the millionaires and billionaires, while fewer in number, would still live exceptional lifestyles; where the political class would enjoy the perquisites of elected office or government employment including the best health care money can buy. It would be a country where the American dream largely was reserved for the graduates of elite universities, those with great political skills and whose families have the right connections, Hollywood stars and star athletes, and an occasional winner of the lottery.
As it turns out, the president’s plan does exactly what he so harshly criticized the Republican budget plan for doing. Achieving his budgetary goals would lead to a “fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history.”

2a)We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

Every state in America today except for two— Indiana and Wisconsin —has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California , which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida 's ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York 's.

Even Michigan , at one time the auto capital of the world, and Pennsylvania , once the steel capital, have more government bureaucrats than people making things. The leaders in government hiring are Wyoming and New Mexico , which have hired more than six government workers for every manufacturing worker. Now it is certainly true that many states have not typically been home to traditional manufacturing operations. Iowa and Nebraska are farm states, for example. But in those states, there are at least five times more government workers than farmers. West Virginia is the mining capital of the world, yet it has at least three times more government workers than miners. New York is the financial capital of the world—at least for now. That sector employs roughly 670,000 New Yorkers. That's less than half of the state's 1.48 million government employees.

Don't expect a reversal of this trend anytime soon. Surveys of college graduates are finding that more and more of our top minds want to work for the government. Why? Because in recent years only government agencies have been hiring, and because the offer of near lifetime security is highly valued in these times of economic turbulence. When 23-year-olds aren't willing to take career risks, we have a real problem on our hands. Sadly, we could end up with a generation of Americans who want to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950. Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington . That is what economists call negative productivity.

But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn't pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.

The same is true of almost all other government services. Mass transit spends more and more every year and yet a much smaller share of Americans use trains and buses today than in past decades. One way that private companies spur productivity is by firing underperforming employees and rewarding excellence. In government employment, tenure for teachers and near lifetime employment for other civil servants shields workers from this basic system of reward and punishment. It is a system that breeds mediocrity, which is what we've gotten. Most reasonable steps to restrain public-sector employment costs are smothered by the unions. Study after study has shown that states and cities could shave 20% to 40% off the cost of many services—fire fighting, public transportation, garbage collection, administrative functions, even prison operations—through competitive contracting to private providers. But unions have blocked many of those efforts. Public employees maintain that they are underpaid relative to equally qualified private-sector workers, yet they are deathly afraid of competitive bidding for government services.

President Obama says we have to retool our economy to "win the future." The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.

2b)Whitewashing the U.N. Our ambassador takes the side of a failed international body.
While attention was focused on a possible government shutdown last week, another event on Capitol Hill slipped by virtually unnoticed. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared before both a House Appropriations subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Committee — and her testimony indicated that America is now perched on a foreign-relations precipice at least as dangerous as the looming economic abyss.

Rice’s oral and written testimony offers the most detailed defense yet of the central foreign-policy plank of the Obama administration, known as “engagement.” In short, the Obama doctrine has outfitted American interests with U.N.-made cement shoes. Rice’s apologia, therefore, hands Republican presidential hopefuls a cornucopia of opportunities to articulate a plan to reverse President Obama’s abdication of leadership and responsibility to the United Nations.

Rice’s case had two prongs. The first was a series of unsubstantiated claims of “dramatic” success. The second placed the democratic state of Israel in Obama’s crosshairs, regardless of anything else that has taken, is taking, or will take place across the democratically challenged Arab and Muslim world.

Ultimately, according to Rice, “the United Nations is so important to our national security . . . [that] when we meet our financial obligations to the U.N., we make Americans safer,” and “the U.N. promotes universal values Americans hold dear.” Both of these assertions are demonstrably false.

Rice boasted that “the U.N. helps halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons” and that “strong and sustained U.N. action makes crystal clear to governments that defy their international nuclear obligations that they will face isolation and significant consequences.” In fact, U.N. action on Iran has amounted to a two-decades-long cover-up by the International Atomic Energy Agency and its former chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, followed by years of dithering over feeble U.N. resolutions. The only thing crystal clear is that subcontracting American national security to the U.N. has made the Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons inevitable, barring direct non-U.N. intervention in the very near future.

On terrorism, Rice contended that “the U.N. helps isolate terrorists.” In fact, to this day the United Nations has no definition of terrorism because Arab and Islamic states believe murdering Israelis, American “occupiers,” or anyone else standing in the way of their idea of “self-determination” doesn’t count. The United Nations Security Council currently has the representative of a terrorist organization as a full member, namely, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon. The U.N.’s central Counter-Terrorism Committee, created as its response to 9/11, has never named a single terrorist, terrorist organization, or state sponsor of terrorism. And this week, a U.N. General Assembly committee charged back in 1996 with drafting a comprehensive anti-terrorism convention reconvened to keep blathering about what the U.N. itself describes as “the long-stalled draft text.”

On human rights, Rice claimed: “While no U.N. body can expect to have only countries with perfect records on it, we are focused on keeping the most egregious and disruptive human-rights abusers off the [Human Rights] Council, as we did last year when Iran sought a seat. . . . We succeeded in getting Iran to withdraw its candidacy last year.” What Rice means by “not perfect” Council members are at least a dozen states that Freedom House places in the lowest echelons of its freedom scale — including Angola, China, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. And the only reason Iran withdrew its candidacy for the U.N.’s top human-rights body was that the Obama administration agreed not to make a fuss about giving Iran a seat on the U.N.’s top women’s-rights body, where it is now firmly ensconced.

Rice’s peacekeeping apologetics ought to be an embarrassment to any self-respecting liberal. According to Rice: “One rape is one too many. But . . . we must remain mindful that the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] is a country the size of the United States east of the Mississippi River.” Gang rapes are systematically carried out in the DRC and impunity for the rapists is standard practice. Victims include baby boys and women over 100 years of age. In the summer of 2010, for example, U.N. peacekeepers stationed just 20 miles away, despite having been specifically warned of imminent violence in a particular town, did nothing to stop 240 rapes over a four-day period. And yet Rice whined: “Some 20,000 peacekeepers with only a couple dozen helicopters cannot be everywhere they may be needed all the time.”
Over and over again, Rice spoke about the administration’s “pushing” this and that policy, failing to mention that the U.N. majority was busy pushing in the other direction. Rice declared: “The United States has pushed for a serious review of the Human Rights Council.” But all the significant recommendations made by the U.S. — 39 over a five-month review period — were rejected outright on March 25, 2011, by the Council.

Rice boasted: “We pushed to ensure that countries can no longer claim an international sanction for blasphemy laws.” But on April 4, 2011, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights sent a mass e-mail across the U.N. system requesting “input for a report by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly” on “combating defamation of religions.”
And Rice crowed: “We will continue to push for strong action by the Council and the General Assembly to hold the Iranian government accountable for future violations.” That must be a relief to the Iranian democracy-seekers that the Obama administration has left to rot following past violations.

The biggest “engagement” sham of all was her excuse for throwing Israel to the U.N. wolf pack. In Rice’s words: “The results there [at the Human Rights Council] were worse when America sat on the sidelines. . . . Israel was relentlessly bashed. . . . U.S. engagement and leadership are paying dividends.” In fact, at its March session with the Obama administration squarely in the middle of it all, the Council adopted more resolutions bashing Israel than at any other session in its history.

Rice’s written submission contained a section called “singling out Israel” that was intended to be about the U.N., rather than the Obama administration. But she herself said the following: “Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate, undermines Israel’s security, and corrodes hopes for peace and stability in the region.”

This inflammatory statement comes just a few weeks after Palestinian terrorists decapitated a three-month old Jewish baby (and murdered four other members of his family) for the crime of existing on a plot of land whose legal ownership is undecided and subject to negotiation. Until President Obama came into office, a rule prohibiting Jews from living on any Palestinian-claimed land was not American policy. But after Obama’s 2010 General Assembly speech naming an artificial 2011 deadline for the creation of a Palestinian state, Palestinians have been emboldened to use the U.N. to make apartheid-Palestine a fait accompli.
The U.N.’s recent record is a disaster. But you won’t hear about it from Susan Rice.

— Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and the editor of
3)Dear Mr. President,

Welcome to the ashbin of history.

With the speech you gave this week, you have firmly and permanently put yourself in the same garbage bag as all the other communists and socialists of the 20th century.
Your speech sounded like the faint echo of a speech Lenin gave in an icy square in Moscow 100 years ago.

The promises you made, Mr. President, about the government giving people things they can't provide for themselves – a better income, reliable health care, an advanced education, cheaper mortgages, a "shiny, happy" life – have been made time and time again… sometimes by speakers even better than you.

And they have always been lies.

While the government can demand obedience (and taxes), it can't mandate dedication, creativity, or innovation. The fact is, the government itself is nothing more (or less) than the organized ambitions of the people. Promising something to the people that they don't already have is a logical absurdity. And therein lies the timeless flaw of all collectivist theory: Governments cannot deliver benefits to the people that the people cannot deliver to themselves.

To demonstrate this truth, consider this example… Governments cannot simply mandate higher tax revenue. Any substantial increase to tax rates will reduce total collections, an economic phenomenon known as the "Laffer Curve." This has been proven countless times in our country and many others. Any sensible person will immediately understand why. Taxes are a disincentive. The higher the marginal rate of tax, the more powerful its impact.

That's why, over many decades (and many different tax structures), U.S. tax revenues have been remarkably stable at around 20% of GDP. That's why, as you surely know, Mr. President, changing the tax code will not result in increased tax revenue. Taxing only the rich simply doesn't work. It never has. And it never will. To increase the government's revenues, we must first increase the size of the economy. The government cannot tax what the economy doesn't produce.

In another time, most Americans might have simply ignored your speech as the ignorant remarks of yet another handsome, Ivy League-educated, dilettante president. But at this point in our history, my bet is people are going to take you far more seriously than you expect. In fact, I think you're going to get what you deserve – the trash heap. Why will Americans turn on you so rapidly and so completely?

Two things have changed – forever – about American politics.

The first is the media and access to critical information. It's no longer possible for a president's administration to control what people read, see, and think by simply managing the evening news broadcasts.

Thus, all your lies are now exposed almost instantly and broadcast to millions of people via websites and services like the Drudge Report, Twitter, and Facebook. Socialism cannot possibly survive over any long period of time in a society with a free media – because socialism is based on a lie. Facebook means the "half-life" of socialism is now weeks instead of years. Even mainstream publications like the Wall Street Journal have called you a liar this week. They have no choice. Your lies were broadcast to the entire world long before their op-ed pieces appeared.

Your advisors told you none of these "bloggers" mattered. All you had to do was promise more benefits to more voters and then force fewer voters to pay for it all. I'm sure you did the political calculus… You believed your power to bribe and bamboozle the poor and the ignorant was stronger than the resentment you'd engender among the "rich." And I must admit… since at least World War II, that's been a safe bet in American politics.

But you forgot one critical factor: We simply can't afford this nonsense anymore…
Immediately after your speech, the price of silver went from $39 to a new high above $42. Gold went up, too.

These are signs, Mr. President, that the world is losing confidence in our currency. If our foreign creditors were to call in our debts, America would suffer an economic cataclysm unlike anything we've ever seen in our entire history. Americans now owe a total of $56 trillion. Without the Fed's money-printing, it's unlikely we could afford even the interest on these existing debts… much less the $1.5 trillion or more in debt you continue to rack up year after year by promising benefits we haven't earned.

Sooner or later, our foreign creditors are going to decide our money-printing amounts to a default, and they will stop buying our bonds. On that day, everyone who trusts you, everyone who believes in your lies, will be wiped out.

But that won't be as many people as you expect.

Almost every American knows in his heart what made this country great for the 200 years between 1776 and 1976. It wasn't the lies of our presidents. It wasn't our ability to print money and rip off our Chinese creditors. It wasn't the modern crybaby mentality of our school system or our unions. It wasn't the baby boomer's dream of a 40-year retirement with free prescription drugs. And it sure as hell wasn't a suave, made-for-TV version of Karl Marx promising everything to everyone, but with no way to pay for it.

No. What built America was her people's unwavering faith that they were free to enjoy the rewards of their accomplishments.

As our country tumbles into bankruptcy and crisis, the people are going to want their prosperity back, Mr. President. And deep down, they all know… even your most fervent supporters know… you don't have the goods. You don't have the foggiest idea of how to deliver prosperity to America because, really, you don't know anything of what America is all about.


Porter Stansberry

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