January 12, 2008

Sentence of the Day: ‘Losing-Side Economics’; Where the Prez Candidates Stand

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:34 pm

From IBDeditorials.com:

With tax cuts responsible for our economic boom, it’s mind boggling to find Republicans declaring the tax-cut era dead. Sorry, but the only thing dead will be the hopes of candidates who agree to such nonsense.

Here’s where I believe the GOP candidates are on this:

  • As I understand it, Huckabee “answers” the more-tax-cuts question by touting the Fair Tax, which I have noted frequently is a great idea, but which will lack a filibuster-proof Senate majority for the foreseeable future. So in the real world Huckabee’s answer is a non-answer. His tax record in Arkansas is mixed at best to poor at worst, depending on who has reviewed it.
  • Fred is on the record being for further tax cuts (see “Tax Reform” at the link).
  • Rudy is on the record being for further tax cuts.
  • McCain has opposed the 2003 Bush cuts, and possibly 2001′s, and doesn’t support them now.
  • Romney says he favors tax cuts now, but did not support them in 2003. No, he, didn’t. So it depends on whether you believe yet another Mitt-Flop.

All three major Democrat candidates want big tax increases, which is in reality what “repealing the Bush tax cuts” in 2010, after the economy has had seven years to get used to the current system, would be. Each candidate wants to go further than that in their own way. If we are indeed in a modest-growth or low-growth economy, that’s not going to sell. Expect the Dem nominee to resurrect some iteration of the “middle-class tax cut” Bill Clinton promised in 1992. Chances of delivery by a Dem candidate reaching the White House are about the same as Bill Clinton’s follow-through in 1993 — i.e., zero.

Rush: Old Media Trying to Dictate a Beatable GOP Nominee

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:28 am

Rush Limbaugh called out Old Media for playing favorites in the GOP presidential race. He was, as usual, dead-on correct.

Audio is at Hot Air.

The transcript, which will remain available at Limbaugh’s site until next Friday, is here.

Here is the first portion of what he had to say (bold is mine):

Let me just tell you what’s happening. It is absurd and you’re going to have to really gut it up here because the Drive-By Media is doing everything it can to disqualify the true conservatives on the Republican side. They’re saying, “Romney, he can’t win. If he loses Michigan, he’s done.” They said that about Romney in Iowa, they said that about Romney in New Hampshire. Now Fred Thompson apparently scored. Did you watch it last night, Mr. Snerdley? Fred Thompson was just fabulous, and people said, “Where has this been? All of this time, where’s this been?” And I can’t answer that, but now the Drive-Bys are saying, “Well, yeah, he was pretty good last night, but it’s too late.” We’ve had two states! It’s too late for Fred Thompson? And, of course, “Rudy, why, he’s lost all of his momentum, Rudy’s out of it.”

So if you listen to the Drive-Bys, and these people that got it all wrong in New Hampshire, what we’re being told is that the only two candidates left that have any chance whatsoever are McCain and Huckabee, which is exactly what the Drive-Bys want. They want a liberal, moderate nominee, and even a liberal, moderate vice presidential nominee because they know, or they think, that whoever the Democrat nominee is can smoke — they don’t want a conservative nominee on the Republican side. Obviously. The Drive-Bys will always tell you, folks, who is a conservative and who isn’t by virtue of who they try to destroy and by virtue of who they try to prop up. And right now they’re trying to prop up McCain, trying to prop up Huckabee.

The write-up of Thompson’s breakthrough performance in the South Carolina debate Thursday night at the New York Times is typical of what Limbaugh referred to. Here is the opening of the report by Michael Cooper and Michael Luo:

Fred D. Thompson tried to salvage his faltering presidential campaign at a debate Thursday night with a barrage of sharp attacks on the “liberal” policies of Mike Huckabee, the fellow Southerner whom he clearly sees as a rival in the South Carolina primary.

The clearly intended message: Oh he did fine, but it’s going to take more than this to “salvage” his candidacy. So don’t you GOP voters waste your time or your vote on him.

GOP voters need to pick their candidate based on merit. Old Media would prefer to do that for them, and it’s up to GOP voters not to let them.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (011208)

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:15 am

Great points are made in an IBDeditorials.com item on the health care system:

Democrats claim high medical costs are a “failure of the free market,” and they demand a government takeover. But a new study says government’s to blame.

So if Uncle Sam made health care so unaffordable, why do so many voters like Democrats’ plans to expand government control of health care? Because they’ve bought into the myth that the private sector has failed and begs for government rescue.

Democrats’ solution to this failed government-heavy system is more government in the form of mandatory health coverage. Public plans offered by Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all boast of “using government to lower costs and ensure affordability for all.”

But if you think health care is expensive now, just wait until government makes it “free.”

Hillary calls for expanding coverage through public health plans like Medicare or the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. Yet Medicare already costs more per capita than any other industrial nation’s public medical program.

The way to control costs isn’t to expand a health care bureaucracy that already is divorcing patients from market-price decisions. The answer is letting them choose between health care and money.

Read the whole thing.

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BS Buy-in of the Day: Ben Smith at Politico should know better than to propagate this (bold is mine; link is in original) –

Race is particularly complicated turf this year, however, in a contest that features two towering figures who pride themselves for breaking racial barriers in American politics.

The first is Bill Clinton, sometimes referred to as “the first black president,” who now finds himself on the same uncertain ground as any other white politician speaking dismissively of an African-American rival.

Smith identifies the second as BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama), who, for all his weaknesses, is the first black (enough) presidential candidate to score a state victory in a presidential election cycle, and the first with a shot at winning his party’s nomination (Jesse Jackson, for all his success in 1984 and 1988, never got anywhere near as close as BOOHOO will get, even if he [BOOHOO] doesn’t get the nomination).

But what “racial barriers in American politics” did Bill Clinton ever break? Anyone?

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My sympathy tank is running on empty upon learning of this news:

Sidney Blumenthal plays hardball. A longtime confidante and adviser to the Clintons, he has zealously defended them through any number of scandal investigations. Along the way, Blumenthal has shown an affinity for the sharp counterattack. When a group of Arkansas state troopers in the early 1990s began leveling charges that Bill Clinton had strayed in his marriage, Blumenthal shot back–penning an article in The New Yorker accusing the troopers of a litany of their own transgressions, including attempted fraud, marital infidelity and drunken driving.

Now, Blumenthal himself faces charges of driving drunk. Blumenthal, an unpaid senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was arrested in Nashua on the eve of the New Hampshire primary and charged with aggravated DWI, according two members of the Nashua police force.

Christopher Hitchens understands why. Blumenthal’s Wiki entry “somehow” makes no mention of his involvement in the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the 1960s.

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Funny, from IMAO (HT Instapundit) –

Daily Fred Thompson Fact

Taxes get so depressed when they hear Fred Thompson is in charge that they cut themselves.

Positivity: Reunited With My Dad After 47 Years

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:58 am

From Scotland (HT Good News Blog):

December 14, 2007

WHEN Ken Agland and Carol Wallace met for the first time in 47 years, neither could help shedding tears.

They had been brought together in a hotel in Inverurie, a father and daughter who hadn’t seen each other in nearly five decades.

Until that moment, all Ken had been to Carol was a hazy memory of a bulky figure who used to build her toy models.

For Ken, Carol was still the little girl he had last seen when she was aged just four and whose photographs he had treasured all that time.

But when the tears finally subsided, the two strangers faced trying to get to know each other once again.

Thankfully, time had not broken the father-and-daughter bond and the pair are now, just four months since they were reunited, the best of friends.

Ken, 76, said: “Meeting Carol has made my life complete.

“I have never forgotten her and I can still remember the last time I saw her.

“That’s an image I have carried with me through the years. Meeting her again was an incredibly traumatic and emotional moment. But, at the same time, it never actually felt as if we had been apart for all those years.

“It was just like seeing someone who had just come back into my life but who I have always known, especially once we were able to dry our tears and actually start talking.”

Mum-of-six Carol, 51, added: “I was incredibly nervous and anxious about meeting Ken.

“I didn’t know what to expect but, once we had been together five or 10 minutes and stopped wiping the tears from our eyes, it just seemed so easy.

“It felt strangely familiar and we had a great conversation.”

Ken, who is originally from London, met Carol’s mum, Jean, when he was stationed with the RAF near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.

They married in 1956 and baby Carol arrived not long after. They were a happy family but problems arose when Ken, who had left the RAF after five years, struggled to find work as an electrician.

He said: “I ended up having to work away from home a lot, which isn’t what you want when you are a newly married man.

“It eventually came to a point where I couldn’t get regular work, so I decided it would be best to come down south, find better employment and a home for us all to live in.

“Then Jean told me there was no way she was leaving Scotland and I didn’t want to go back into the situation where I couldn’t work.

“I am sorry to say things just went downhill from there. Looking back, I don’t think you can blame anyone, it was just such a different world back then.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.