Sunday, February 1, 2009

Americans Don't Want The Porkulus Plan

Some interesting and encouraging analysis and commentary regarding the stimulus package:

Democrats say the tax cuts in the economic recovery plan are evidence of their outreach to Republicans. The problem with that logic is that President Obama understood the importance of tax cuts during his successful campaign for the White House. That’s one reason the Democratic presidential candidate promised to cut taxes for 95% of all Americans. The latest polling data confirms that tax cuts remain the most popular part of the economic recovery plan. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters nationwide say tax cuts generally help the economy, and only 17% disagree.

Forty-three percent (43%) of Americans would support an economic recovery plan that included only tax cuts and no new government spending. Just 15% would support a plan with only new government spending and no tax cuts.

So the inclusion of tax cuts are both a way for the president to honor his campaign pledge and a bipartisan solution that Americans naturally view as part of an economic recovery plan.

Many pundits have tried to make the case that Obama has a mandate to ignore the right.  I don't believe this is true.  After the primaries, Obama moved to the center. But the stimulus package, in its current form, is not a centrist piece of legislation.  Centrist America wants to see a stimulus strategy that includes tax cuts and restrained spending.  If Obama really is the political genius that his worhipers say he is, he will insist on legislation that reflects America's commonsense values.


Obama administration co-opting media analysts
Politico warns TV news viewers to take political analysis in the Age of Obama with a five-pound bag of Morton’s Salt.  Barack Obama’s right-hand man, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, holds daily conference calls with three prominent analysts who appear regularly as independent voices in the media’s political coverage.  

Bush hatred and Obama euphoria 
In fact, Bush hatred and Obama euphoria -- which tend to reveal more about those who feel them than the men at which they are directed -- are opposite sides of the same coin. Both represent the triumph of passion over reason. Both are intolerant of dissent. Those wallowing in Bush hatred and those reveling in Obama euphoria frequently regard those who do not share their passion as contemptible and beyond the reach of civilized discussion.

Big Government Stimulus
In the Western world, countries that were once the crucible of freedom are slipping remorselessly into a thinly disguised serfdom in which an ever higher proportion of your assets are annexed by the state as superlandlord. Big government is where nations go to die – not in Keynes' "long run," but sooner than you think.

Obama's Global Interest Imperialism
On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans elected their first international president. They elected a man who does not seek to preserve American values. Leftists perceived George W. Bush as an imperialist for American interests; by the same token, Obama is an imperialist for "global interests." In a war to save America from implacable foes, Obama's Global Interest Imperialism dooms American exceptionalism to the ash heap of history. With it may go the last, best hope of Earth.

Netanyahu says Iran will not get hands on nukes
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's leading candidate for prime minister, said Saturday that Iran "will not be armed with a nuclear weapon."  In an interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV, Netanyahu said if elected prime minister his first mission will be to thwart the Iranian nuclear threat. 

New Obama tax-evasion scandal: Tom Daschle
Daschle’s team claims that the former Senator deserves the credit for revealing the problem himself.  Daschle did report this — but only after getting picked as HHS Secretary.  If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s when Geithner suddenly discovered that he owed Uncle Sam money too, only Daschle paid back a lot more: over $100,000.

Hackers Crack Into Texas Road Sign, Warn of Zombies Ahead


Clayton Bowler said...

The tax cuts are a joke. If you are unemployed and/or are on welfare, you receive nearly two times the stimulus as you do if you work. What since does that make? It's designed to maintain Democratic power, that's all. Americans who work will see about $12 a week in savings thanks to the tax cuts. Once March hits, and gas goes back up, you can kiss your $12 a week goodbye. Foolish Dummycrats! They think they can fool us, but we know their game.

robert verdi said...

The Tax cuts are more along the line of redistributing the tax burden. The Democrat goal-45% pay taxes 55% vote for the Democrats.

DaBlade said...

Obama's worshippers are not centrists. They have given him his mandate to ignore the right.

A good chunk of Obama's voters define "tax cuts" as a stimulus check to those who don't actually pay income taxes.

Critical Thinker said...

He ignores the American tax payer and voter at his own peril, as well as his party's. This is what happens when the Left gets drunk with power. They are making the last eight years look fiscally responsible. Good luck I'm moving someplace a little less socialist like Canaduh.

Dan Trabue said...

I, too, am concerned about such a large spending bill.

I wonder, though, what plans/proposals anyone here would put in place for dealing with the current economic crisis? Let's assume that the majority of Americans truly don't believe that mere tax cuts will do anything significant to set things aright. Then what?

RightKlik said...

CB: They can't fool us, but they can fool enough Americans to get what they want.

RV: It would be a miracle if we ever saw a plan for tax cuts that didn't make the scheme more progressive.

DB: They're putting lipstick on the welfare pig.

CD: If only there were a better place to go.

DT: But Americans DO support tax cuts, so why not start there? Other good ideas would include cuts in spending. How about banning earmarks? How about banning the use of taxpayer money on multi-million dollar parties? How about cutting food stamps for the morbidly obese? How about eliminating public campaign financing? How about requiring all records of Federal spending to be published online in user-friendly databases?

Dan Trabue said...

Other good ideas would include cuts in spending.

Well, Obama HAS proposed some cuts in spending. In your previous post, you note that he has recommended cutting the massive military budget by, I believe, 15%. And you criticized him for doing so!

But I'm not sure that cuts in spending will be the wisest way to go. Our infrastructure IS old and decaying. Letting it decay further may only result in spending MORE later on. Like in the instance of that bridge collapse last year. The state could have spent money repairing and upkeeping it or they could let it go until it crumbles and falls and then have to spend even MORE to replace it (not to mention the lives lost).

Some spending is wise and ultimately saves money that would have to be spent anyway. Right?

RightKlik said...

What I promote is cuts in non-essential spending. Infrastructure is essential. Defense is essential.

Dan Trabue said...

Well so is road work, as you note. And so are schools. And so are prisons. And so are social services agencies. Nearly everyone agrees that most of these programs are essential at SOME level. You may disagree with spending $25 billion on welfare, thinking that's too much. But you likely agree some amount is appropriate, or at least most people do, conservatives included.

And I agree that spending some money on defense is essential. We're probably not disagreeing on the notion of spending on essentials. Where we disagree is HOW MUCH spending on essentials there ought to be.

As I noted in your previous post, I really wish we could look at budget items from a pragmatic, fiscally responsible point of view. IF we can show that spending $1 billion on program A is going to SAVE $2 billion in other areas, then it only makes fiscal sense to spend that $1 billion. If we take that as at least our beginning measure of when to spend and how much, I'd think that most reasonable folk, conservative and liberal alike, could agree.

Don't you think this to be true?

RightKlik said...

"IF we can show that spending $1 billion on program A is going to SAVE $2 billion in other areas, then it only makes fiscal sense to spend that $1 billion."

We also have to consider whether program A is a legitimate function of government. In most cases, the constitution does not grant the federal government authority to provide program A, but the federal government provides and imposes program anyway because it it politically expedient, because it buys votes, and because it pays of special interest groups.

In most cases program A, could be performed better by the private sector and at a fraction of the cost. Why pay the government $10 to save $1 when you could spend $1 in the private sector to save $10?

Government is a monopoly. Monopolies provide poor service at great expense.

Dan Trabue said...

We also have to consider whether program A is a legitimate function of government. In most cases, the constitution does not grant the federal government authority to provide program A, but the federal government provides and imposes program anyway because it it politically expedient...

Well, we, the people are what determine how gov't can best promote the commonwealth, right?

The idea I'm talking about is fiscal responsibility. For just one example, studies have repeatedly shown that IF we choose NOT to invest in prisoner education/rehabilitation programs, recidivism rates are higher and that COSTS the taxpayers. Therefore, most reasonable people could agree, I believe, that IF we the people can spend $1 million in prisoner education and thereby SAVE $2 million that taxpayers would have had to pay, well, that is common sense fiscal responsibility. Yes, we COULD say, "it's not the role of gov't to provide education to prisoners," but that would be a pugnacious political stance that would cost taxpayers MORE money. Cutting off our nose to spite our face.

I have no problem with the notion of private solutions. Private individuals, churches and other agencies COULD save the gov't money by deciding to provide prisoner education programs themselves and they often times would do a better job. BUT, they're not. Lacking any private initiative to help the commonwealth and help save taxpayer dollars, I think most citizens would say, "Hey! invest in this program to save me money!"

Conversely, while we agree that having a military is an expedient function of gov't, WHO SAYS that it ought to be the size that it is? It's larger than the next 27-ish nations combined! It's HUGE. George Washington and other founders, based upon their writings, would be aghast at such a bloated military, I'd suggest. Can we make a case that spending nearly $1 trillion/year on the military is an efficient and appropriate use of our money? I don't think so. Where are the small gov't conservatives when it comes to the military??

RightKlik said...

"It's larger than the next 27-ish nations combined!"

I would love it if other nations would take on more responsibility for keeping the world safe, but for now, it's our responsibility to keep the world safe for ourselves and our allies.

Dan Trabue said...

Wow. That is hardly the voice of a small gov't conservative, RK.