"That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise." -- President Abraham Lincoln
"The goal of socialism is communism" -- V.I. Lenin
"We don't quit. I don't quit." -- President Obama last night.
So much for pivoting! Fair enough, the proper role of government is a worthy debate, dating back to Hamilton and Jefferson. To the voting booths!
I thought Barack Obama gave one of his better speeches Wednesday night for his first State of the Union. It was more colloquial than the ponderous lectures he has given recently. Hovering over the words flashing by on his TelePrompTer, however, had to have been the spectral image of Scott Brown and an outline of the state of Massachusetts. But Obama did not chart a new direction, he repackaged.
Oh, sure, Obama threw out some chum for conservatives: off-shore oil and gas drilling, nuclear energy, and clean coal (hear that, Jim E.?) Education reform (hear that, Ed Garvey?). A few tax credits for small businesses if they hire new workers or raise wages. (More paperwork?) And of course, the temporary spending freeze on one-sixth of the budget. Whee!
But, like the Tareyton cigarette addict of my childhood, this is a president who'd rather fight than switch! Who thought the President would double down on liberalism? Gays in the military. No apologies for Mirandizing foreign combatants. Equal pay for imagined gender discrimination. No thanks to George W. for being able to pull out of Iraq this summer thanks to a surge that Obama opposed (and is now employing in Afghanistan). Still with the Cap 'n Trade. (It's "the right thing to do.")
He did not retreat an inch on Obamacare. If you have a better plan, he said to the Republicans, let's hear it. In order to hear, Mr. President, one has to listen. We'll get to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's plan in a bit.
But here is the code word: "Let's invest in our people." Translation: "Let's raise taxes to extract money from the economy which we'll then redirect to chosen favorites in the economy after the government class gets its cut."
We know who are not the their favorites: oil companies, investment fund managers and those making over $250,000 a year. Democrats will raise their taxes.
Earlier Wednesday, the endlessly creative Steve Jobs unveiled the latest electronic marvel of his innovative company: the iPad. It was with Apple Computer in mind that Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard wrote, in today's Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Obama and his advisers need to grasp this essential fact: entrepreneurs are not just a cute little sub-sector of the American economy. They are the whole game.
Now here is a section of the Obama speech that I think will escape most commentators but refines to the 100-proof essence the lure of liberal-progressivism, a laboratory specimen on How Liberals Think:
Let's tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years -- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service. [Blaska: Not investment fund managers!] Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.
The college grad as victim! "No one should go broke because they chose to go to ... (Sob, wipe small tear from cheek) ... what? WHAT?! Do people "go broke" with a college degree or do they double their earning power as the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Oh, they majored in comparative French literature to improve themselves? Good, they can do so on their own dime. And I say this as the parent of Number #1 son who is pursuing a higher degree.
How about we tell those 1 million students that when they take on debt, they take on an obligation to repay that debt? How's that for a first lesson in a nation that ran itself into unsustainable mortgage debt?
A way out of this mess
So much for the fiction that Republicans are nothing but obstructionists -- although obstructing the socialization of America is a worthy achievement.
Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, offers a road map for the future. Its placement as the lead Op Ed in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal on the day of the President's first State of the Nation speech confirms Ryan's importance and why The Capital Times stoops to ridiculous lows to malign him. (Blaming the malfeasance of GM and its United Autoworkers union on Ryan, for instance!)
- Shift control of health insurance away from the government and employers to consumers.
- Make that health insurance portable.
- Encourage health insurance coverage through tax credits (up to $5,700 for families).
- Allow consumers to purchase such coverage across state lines.
- Simplify the current impenetrable tax code so that it fits on a postcard.
- Promote saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains and dividends.
- Replace the industrialized world's second-highest corporate tax with a business consumption tax of 8.5%. [Wall Street Journal: A GOP roadmap for America's future]
The Takings Clause, reconsidered
Stu Levitan does the right thing:
I sent the following email to my fellow CDA Commissioners:
While I am sure we are on firm legal grounds with our offer, I think our position is symbolically disastrous and politically untenable. I think we will be doing the CDA and the project itself long-term damage if we do not refine our offer further. Unless there is some exigency which makes time of the essence, I would like to have a further discussion of this at our next meeting, or a special meeting called for that purpose. Having been on the prevailing side, I intend to request reconsideration for that purpose.
This is an important victory for freedom because it turns back government usurpation of private property for some supposed "greater good." I knew something was up when Stu asked: "I can quantify that more people will benefit from the Burr Oaks Senior Housing project than will benefit from the status quo. So why is it wrong for CDA to use its statutory authority to make that happen?"
Why are The Capital Times and the Wisconsin State Journal editorial pages AWOL on this issue?
Today's Freedom Briefing
- The federal government in Washington expropriates one of every four dollars produced by the American economy. (24.1% of the gross domestic product is taxed by Washington.)
- Federal spending last year reached $3.52 trillion -- a 22 percent increase over 2008.
- The national debt is $1.35 trillion -- 9.2% of GDP, a post WW2 record.
- Who do you trust? Fox News!
The cause continues, the fight ... blah, blah blah
Please help my campaign to get on the Equal Opportunities Commission. I have chosen that body as the one most in need of my unusual common sense. The application form asks if I am a minority. I am indeed a minority. I am a Madison conservative, a.k.a. the party of Hell No!
Or, Keith Olbermann and his fellow travelers would say, "a poor dumb manipulated bastard." Send a message to Mayor Dave that we need Blaska in city government.