July 21, 2009

IBD Does a Tom Petty!

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:41 pm

Employing reinforcing arguments a bit more eloquently yet quite similar to those I made in the comments at last week’s post and in various e-mail responses, IBD ….

Won’t, Back, Down:

IBDstandsByHealthCareEditorial072109

Of course they should stand by it. They were, and remain, right; their critics have been, and remain, wrong.

Cue the Tom Petty (lyrics):

Read the whole thing.

Great job, IBD.

_____________________________________________________

UPDATE: Encore, Encore!

I share Petty’s sentiments at the end of the vid.

Put comments on this at the original post, where yours truly also wouldn’t, and still won’t, back down. We’re having too much fun at this one.

Guest Post: ‘Mitt Romney, the GOP’s Bridge to Oblivion’

I am pleased to publish the following guest post. It is the handiwork of Gregg Jackson, author of “Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies,” and John Haskins, longtime family values activist and proprietor of UndergroundJournal.net.

Gregg and John have done more work than just about anyone exposing the true record of Mitt Romney and the dangers this Objectively Unfit man poses if he, as appears nearly certain, runs for president in 2012.

11:30 p.m. Note: What were supposed to be links translated into underscores; as such they have been removed. Links are in the original at Gregg’s blog.

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Mitt Romney, the GOP’s Bridge to Oblivion
By Gregg Jackson and John Haskins

Almost no one in politics or the media will admit it in public, but the GOP lost the Presidency in 2008 by alienating the moral conservative base that the elites loathe.   Many stayed home or voted third party, rejecting a nominee who was in fundamental aspects a liberal Democrat.

That is why Barry Sotero – a radical socialist with Islamic roots posing as a Christian, groomed for years by Marxist revolutionaries, who hides essential documents of his birth, education and career, who campaigned with illegal funding from overseas interests, who as far as 300 million Americans can honestly tell, was born in a foreign country and (under the plain language of the Supreme Law of the United States, the Constitution) cannot legally be our President, who lacks even the executive experience of a night manager at a self-serve gas station – nevertheless sleeps in the White House.

That’s why. Do the homework.  Look at the demographics.

There are millions of voters who will not allow anyone to force them to choose between:

A. A slick-talking Marxist with no papers, no real qualifications, who voted for killing unwanted newborn babies wiggling and crying on hospital tables (for the unforgiveable crime of surviving an abortion),

And

B. A liberal Republican with no allegiance to the Constitution, no convictions about infanticide, or defending natural marriage, nor the right of every child to a natural human family, but who brazenly lies into the camera and magically morphs into a “conservative” before elections.

“Excuse me, sir; did you want four drops of cyanide with that Kool-Aid or just three?”

Hard as it is to break old habits, it might be prudent for Republican power brokers not to serve up any cyanide next time.

In the last two weeks, one potential GOP presidential nominee, South Carolina’s Governor Sanford, squandered his options when his adulterous affair became public.  Then the 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, abruptly resigned. Some prognosticators speculate this move anticipates a presidential run.  Others say it kills her chances for 2012.

This is music to the jaded ears of GOP’s limousine-chasing lawyers, pundits and other hot shots who did the hard-selling for former Massachusetts’ Governor Willard Mitt Romney in ’08.   Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Tony Perkins, Jay Sekulow, Hugh Hewitt, James Bopp and Bill Bennett continue to peddle the bizarre claim that Romney is our man for 2012.

Memo to the GOP:

We’re tired of the Kool-Aid. If you try again to force Willard Mitt Romney down our throats, or anyone remotely like him, we will gag and you will lose.  Again. Barry Sotero will continue his scorched earth war against everything that made America good and prosperous.

Conservatives will not turn out in large enough numbers to defeat Obama to vote for a Republican-branded liberal with no allegiance to the Constitution, no convictions about infanticide or defending natural marriage or the right of every child to a natural human family who lies brazenly and morphs into a “conservative” before elections.

Been there. Done that.   More than once.

Lurking behind Romney’s hundred million dollar propaganda machine is the brutal reality that on abortion, marriage, basic parents’ rights, sexual indoctrination of children, homosexual adoption, mandatory socialized health care, taxes and the economy, he did to Massachusetts much of the damage Barry Sotero has in mind for America.

Although Romney is peddled surrealistically as a man “whom pro-family voters could support” (Dr. James Dobson), “a friend to the pro-family movement” (failed former Dobson protégé Tony Perkins), and “manifestly our best candidate” in the GOP (Ann Coulter), his record brutally exposes him as a Barack Obama in a flimsy Reagan costume.

Purportedly “conservative” media like Human Events, National Review, Fox News and the nearly bankrupt Townhall.com/Salem Radio tirelessly concealed that as governor of Massachusetts Romney actually:

  • Signed in a socialist healthcare plan endorsed by Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy that in the words of the Wall St. Journal is in “intensive care” whose costs are expected to more than double and which the Cato Institute and Boston Globe have said is a total failure.
  • Pretending that a court opinion forced him to, established $50 abortions as a “healthcare benefit” in his socialist medical plan endorsed by Planned Parenthood (AFTER his purported “pro-life conversion”).
  • Unconstitutionally established a permanent Planned Parenthood representative on the state health care board. (with no pro-life appointee)
  • Under cover of the legally impotent Goodridge court opinion, fulfilled a secret 2002 campaign promise to homosexual “Log Cabin” Republicans by unconstitutionally bypassing the Legislature and imposing homosexual “marriage” in direct violation of the marriage laws.  Romney lied about the state Constitution which explicitly says the governor and judges have no such authority.
  • Boosted government funding for pro-homosexuality indoctrination of schoolchildren.
  • Refused throughout his entire time in office to enforce the statute guaranteeing parents’ right to protect their own children from such indoctrination.
  • Cited a non-existent “law” to illegally and unconstitutionally force Catholic Charities to place foster and adoptive children with homosexuals or go out of business (which they ultimately did).  Former Gov. Mike Dukakis exposed this as a brazen lie.
  • Over-ruled his own health commissioner to force Catholic Hospitals to administer abortion pills, claiming he was required to by law.  Former Gov. Mike Dukakis exposed this too as a lie.
  • Opposes a ban on homosexual scoutmasters.
  • Opposed the Bush Tax Cuts.
  • Raised taxes and fees by over $900 million as governor which has destroyed the Massachusetts economy.

During the primaries in ’08 one of the authors of this article told conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly that she and other conservative “pro-family” leaders should unify behind an authentic conservative early on to make that candidate competitive with the cash-laden frontrunners, all of whom were liberals (Romney, McCain and Giuliani).  Schlafly answered that though she liked Duncan Hunter she would wait to see “how things shake out.”

Well we know how they “shook out.” And it aint pretty.  Serious scholars of the Constitution question whether the person sleeping in the White House and printing all the fake money is even legally the President and Commander-in Chief or just an ineligible person of alien birth whom the media slipped past the electorate.

GOP power brokers still stubbornly shilling for Romney would be wise to follow the lead of the late Paul Weyrich, a founder of the Reagan Revolution, who in February of ’08 told conservative leaders in a packed room at the Council for National Policy meeting in New Orleans: “endorsing Romney was the biggest mistake of  my life.”

To halt this country’s steep decline into a failed socialist system with an authoritarian reach and Orwellian government never experienced in America, Republicans must boldly and unequivocally break ranks with counterfeit conservatives such as Romney and unify behind authentic social and fiscal conservative candidates.   The clock is ticking.  There’s no time to waste.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

Cyanide is cyanide.  We may be stupid but we’re not crazy.  Nominating Mitt Romney would bring the death of two-party democracy and a tragedy for America.

Romney=GOP RIP in 2012.

And You Wonder Why I Call Him ‘President ‘Prompter’?

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:21 pm

The audio is here at Real Clear Politics.

Obama “Not Familiar” With Key Provision In Health Care Bill:

ObamaAndMickeyMouseDr0709

(Bottom-left graphic credit: FreeRepublic)

RCP’s accompanying text:

RCPonObamaHealthCrUnfamiliarity0709

In the additional audio that follows, Obama repeats the falsehood exposed in the Wall Street Journal today, which expanded further upon what IBD noted last week:

Let me just speak for, uh, the Obama Administration — I have committed myself consistently to a very simple proposition: If you have health insurance, and you like it, if you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.  And I won’t, uh, sign a bill that somehow would make it tougher for people, uh, to keep their health insurance.

As WSJ said, and proved, “he’s wrong. Period.”

Then why is he pushing a bill that does exactly what he supposedly doesn’t want it to do, like it’s the last, most important thing he’ll ever do while he’s on this earth?

He’s self-evidently wrong in his characterization of the bill. If he were as “brilliant” as his supporters and the media have insisted all along that he is, he would know by now that he is wrong. But he isn’t “brilliant.”

That’s why he’s President ‘Prompter. TOTUS and its text preparers know more than POTUS.

Lucid and Lickety-Split Links (072109, Morning)

Filed under: Life-Based News — Tom @ 9:59 am

Lucid Links:

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WSJ backs and reinforces IBD; those who gave TB/BB uninformed grief for this post can GPS (go pound sand)

One by one, President Obama’s health-care promises are being exposed by the details of the actual legislation: Costs will explode, not fall; taxes will have to soar to pay for it; and now we are learning that you won’t be able to “keep your health-care plan” either.

….. The House bill says that after a five-year grace period all Erisa insurance offerings will have to win government approval—both by the Department of Labor and a new “health choices commissioner” who will set federal standards for what is an acceptable health plan. This commissar—er, commissioner—can fine employers that don’t comply and even has “suspension of enrollment” powers for plans that he or she has vetoed, until “satisfied that the basis for such determination has been corrected and is not likely to recur.”

In other words, the insurance coverage of 132 million people—the product of enormously complex business and health-care decisions—will now be subject to bureaucratic nanomanagement. If employers don’t meet some still-to-be-defined minimum package, they’ll have to renegotiate thousands of contracts nationwide to Washington’s specifications. The political incentives will of course demand an ever-more generous “minimum” benefit and less cost-sharing, much as many states have driven up prices in the individual insurance market with mandates. Erisa’s pluralistic structure will gradually constrict toward a single national standard.

…. So when Mr. Obama says that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” he’s wrong. Period. What he’s not telling the American people is that the government will so dramatically change the rules of the insurance market that employers will find it impossible to maintain their current coverage, and many will drop it altogether.

IOW — DOL and the HCC (Health Choices Commissioner) can arbitrarily declare existing employer health plans illegal.

WSJ shows that this POS (President Obama Stealth) is far worse than IBD imagined. As I said above, GPS.

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At yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, a predictably prescient prediction that the productive and producing will, in effect, “go Galt”:

(House Democrats) claim that this surtax would raise $544 billion in new revenue over 10 years. America’s millionaires aren’t that stupid; far fewer of them will pay these rates for very long, if at all. They will find ways to shelter income, either by investing differently or simply working less. Small businesses that pay at the individual rate will shift to pay the 35% corporate rate. When the revenue doesn’t materialize, Democrats will move to soak the middle class with a European-style value-added tax.

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The WSJ is OAR (on a roll) today. This excerpt is from an editorial about the former WTC:

It took eight years from the time John Kennedy declared we would go to the moon to the day an American landed on it, 40 years ago this week. It was also eight years ago this September that terrorists struck the World Trade Center, the site of which continues to be a hole in the ground and a national disgrace.

…. it is hard not to see in the contrast between the moon program and the failure to rebuild Ground Zero a warning about America’s national will.

Mark Steyn has observed that other countries have devolved into situations where its citizens’ highest priority is collection and perpetuation of welfare-state “entitlements.” This is an outlook that inevitably constricts opportunity and as it unfairly subsidizes and rewards mediocrity and sloth. If future generations’ well-being must be mortgaged to maintain sacrosanct, unsustainable benefit levels, so be it.

Of course, the welfare state also saps national will. The 40-year contrast the Journal cited tangibly demonstrates that we are heading dangerously in the wrong direction.

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Lickey-Split Links:

  • PJM“UK Crime Statistics Hit Record High.” Ah, the virtues of gun control.
  • Erickson at RedState“Judge Sotomayor Deliberately Lied.” Under oath.
  • CPUSA says BHO is AOK , in a perfectly-titled piece called “Change Is Coming” (HT American Thinker).
  • CNN“White House misses deadline on spending cuts report.”
  • IBD“Czar 54, Where Are You?” Actually, Obama “only” has over 30. Critics who fretted that Bush 43 was consolidating too much power in the Executive Branch are predictably and hypocritically silent.
  • IBD, which is also OAR (on a roll), in “Walter Cronkite Without Tears” — “After the eulogies, the fact remains that ‘the most trusted man in America’ betrayed that trust. He helped snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Vietnam and tried hard to do the same in Iraq.” Of course he did. That’s why the Associated Press’s video report on his death cheerfully told us that “For most Americans he was the man to turn to on everything from the assassination of President Kennedy to what to think about the war in Vietnam.” IBD reminds us that “Cronkite’s analysis was almost pure fiction and dead wrong.”

AP Report on WH Budget Delay Avoids Details, Buries Predix That 3Q Will Be Negative

DownGraph0309Noel Sheppard mentioned this Associated Press story by Tom Raum yesterday at NewsBusters (Raum is tagged as the writer at this version of the report).

Noel characterized Raum’s report as suggesting that “the White House’s delay in releasing an update about the budget might be tied to the administration’s desire to get controversial bills on healthcare reform and cap and trade passed before Congress and Americans know just how large the deficit really is.” That’s because the delayed report would more than likely tell the nation that this year’s deficit is expected to be even bigger than expected (using proper cash-flow reporting, which I’ll get to), and future years’ projected deficits are even more likely to be unsustainably high.

Two important things were missing from Raum’s report. First, there was a total dearth of detail about how badly the current fiscal year that began on October 1 of last year has gone — most especially the last quarter. Second, Raum saved until near the end of his report a prediction by one of the wire service’s go-to “experts” — the first such prediction I’ve seen — that Gross Domestic Product will contract yet again in the third quarter.

Concerning the first problem, the AP reporter only had six dollar amounts in his entire report, quoted as follows:

(Fourth paragraph) The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

That’s old news, and as many, including the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have noted, an incredibly squishy estimate.

(Seventh paragraph) Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5% in June and appears headed for double digits.

Again, old news.

(16th paragraph) The nation’s debt — the total of accumulated annual budget deficits — now stands at $11.6 trillion.

Zzzzz. Do you get the sense that someone is stalling?

(17th paragraph) The administration has projected that the annual deficit for the current budget year will hit $1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year’s deficit of $455 billion. Private forecasters suggest that shortfall may top $2 trillion.

That’s it. Every number Raum “revealed” is old. It’s as if there’s no data available on what has happened since the last White House estimate or the Congressional Budget Office’s last version that estimate far higher out-year shortfalls.

There’s plenty of information that would have helped Raum give readers more insight if he had cared to do a little looking.

Let’s start with receipts. The CBO and the White House, in the only number that both parties agree on (as seen at this PDF White House vs. CBO comparison), estimate that the fiscal year total will be $2.186 trillion.

Not a chance. Year-to-date receipts are only $1.589 trillion. Uncle Sam will have to take in $597 billion during the fourth fiscal quarter, which would be about 1.5% ahead of last year’s total (or about 1.5% behind it if you ignore last year’s $15 billion or so of stimulus payments).

That’s going to be a pretty mean trick, given how the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008:

Final2Q09v2Q08

Even if you deducted 2008′s stimulus payments of about $78 billion from the second quarter 2008′s receipts total, 2009 still trailed 2008 by about 24%.

It’s not unreasonable to believe that the government’s take will be $50 – $100 billion lower in the fourth fiscal quarter; I’m leaning towards the higher end of that estimate, especially given the the first half of July looks just as bad as previous months.

As to outlays, the administration made that area nearly indecipherable back in April when it decided to retroactively adopt so-called “Net Present Value” accounting for the government’s “investments” in financial institutions, auto companies, parts suppliers, and others. Despite that adjustment, which arbitrarily reduced reported outlays by $175 billion, and continues to affect month-to-month reporting, outlays through nine months have been $2.675 trillion. The real number should be closer to $2.9 trillion. Combine the fact that the government seems destined to spend $300 billion or more a month on recurring programs with the administration’s perceived need to start disbursing a large chunk of that $787 billion in stimulus money as promised on top of that, and the government appears destined to drive total spending closer to the $4.018 billion CBO predicted than the $3.853 trillion the White House is clinging to (the March CBO comparison was done before the “Net Present Value” accounting change took place).

So pre-”Net Present Value” hocus pocus, the deficit looks to be about $1.9 trillion (about $2.1 tril in receipts minus $4.0 tril in outlays). Even with hocus pocus, which might be expected to take it down to $1.7 trillion or so, Treasury should be forced to write down its combined $70 billion-plus investments in Chrysler and GM to their realizable present values, which would cause “outlays” to increase by tens of millions.

Then there’s the “little” gem Raum saved the worst until not far from the very end specifically at Paragraph 23 of 27:

(Standard & Poor’s chief economist David) Wyss, like many other economists, says he expects the recession to last at least until September or October. “We’re looking for basically a zero second half (of 2009). And then sluggish recovery,” he said.

Well, isn’t that something — especially the “many other economists” part? That isn’t burying the lede; it’s dropping it into a 50-foot pit and filling it with reinforced concrete.

If Wyss and others are right, a negative third quarter of GDP will put an enormous amount of pressure on the fourth quarter to come in at a highly positive level if the Fed’s most recent predictions for full year growth, as reported here, are to occur.

The following charts show what would have to happen with and without Wyss’s recession continuation prediction for the third quarter:

GrowthEstimatesFor2ndHalf2009

The first quarter is actual; the second quarter’s annualized -1.8% is a consensus estimate as reported here. The first chart shows what second half growth would have to be to achieve the Fed’s most recent and previous best- and worst-case scenarios. The second chart shows what fourth quarter growth will have to be if the third quarter’s recession is the tiniest number possible.

If the second quarter consensus predictions hold when the actuals come out next week, and if Wyss and others are right about a recession continuation into the third quarter, the fourth quarter is going to have to go gangbusters to reach the Fed’s full-year estimates. It looks more likely that the economy is going to run out of calendar days of growth first.

It would be one thing if the government’s spending orgy was demonstrably turning the economy around, but it’s not. Thus, the prediction by Wyss and others that contradicts that claim is arguably more damaging to the administration that the fact that the deficit is going to be even larger than it was thought to be a few months ago. Perhaps that’s why Tom Raum and AP buried it so deeply.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.