Tuesday, November 20, 2012

55 Reasons Why You Should Buy Products That Are Made In America This Holiday Season

TEC ^ | 11/20/2012 | Michael Snyder

This is the time of the year when Americans run out to their favorite retail stores and fill up their shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic crap made by workers in foreign countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. By doing this, the American people are actively participating in the destruction of the U.S. economy. You see, buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride. It is a matter of national survival. If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country. If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate. Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars. More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead. If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe. As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth. Both major political parties have sold us out on these issues, and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day. We desperately need a resurgence of economic patriotism in the United States before it is too late.
Yes, I know that it is very tempting to buy foreign-made products. After all, they are almost always cheaper.
But most people don't often think about why they are cheaper.
Unfortunately, in the name of "free trade" American workers have been merged into a global labor pool where they have to compete directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. This makes employing American workers a tremendous liability.
If a company hires you and pays you 10 to 15 dollars an hour with benefits, how is it going to compete with another company that pays workers a dollar an hour with no benefits on the other side of the planet?
Both major political parties are pushing this emerging "one world economic system", but it is absolutely killing American jobs. We have already seen a mass exodus of jobs and businesses out of this country, and wages for the jobs that remain in the United States are being forced down because there are hordes of unemployed workers that are willing to take just about any decent job they can find.
It has become painfully obvious that our politicians are not going to do anything to help us on these issues, so what we need is a mass awakening among the American people.
We need to educate people that buying things that are made in America is good for the economy and that buying things that are made elsewhere is bad for the economy.
But for now, most Americans are clueless. They will line up on Black Friday morning and trample one another in a desperate attempt to save a few bucks on cheap plastic devices that were made on the other side of the planet.
And they will pay for much of this "shopping" with credit cards.
Credit card debt is on the rise once again. In fact, average credit card debt per borrower was 4.9 percent higher in the third quarter of 2012 than it was in the third quarter of 2011. It looks like most of us didn't learn our lessons from the last financial crisis.
But not all Americans enjoy the shopping that is typically involved with this time of the year. One recent survey found that approximately 45 percent of all Americans think that there is so much financial pressure associated with the holidays that they wouldn't mind skipping them completely.
That same poll found that approximately 41 percent of all Americans would only be able to survive for two weeks without a paycheck. Many Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt, their incomes are not keeping up with rising prices, and they find themselves scratching and clawing just to make it from month to month.
Meanwhile, we continue to destroy our own jobs and businesses by spending our money on products that have been made outside the country.
The following are 55 reasons why you should buy products that are made in America this holiday season...
1. When you buy products that are made in America you support American workers.
2. When you buy products that are made in America you support companies that are doing business in America.
3. In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million.
4. The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.
5. Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion. That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.
6. In 2011, our trade deficit with China was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990 and more than 49,000 times larger than it was back in 1985.
7. When NAFTA was passed in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. In 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.
8. One professor has estimated that cutting the U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.
9. Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the globe since 1975. That 8 trillion dollars could have gone to support U.S. businesses and pay the wages of U.S. workers. Federal, state and local taxes would also have been paid on that 8 trillion dollars if it had stayed in the United States.
10. According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
11. The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
12. According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, the United States has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years.
13. During 2010 alone, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities permanently shut down in the United States every single day.
14. Overall, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
15. The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
16. Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
17. As I have written about previously, 95 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were middle class jobs.
18. Due in part to the globalization of the labor pool, only about 24 percent of all jobs in the United States are "good jobs" at this point.
19. Right now, more than 41 percent of all working age Americans do not have a job, and the vast majority of the new jobs that are being created are low paying jobs.
20. The United States now has 10 percent fewer "middle class jobs" than it did just ten years ago.
21. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every $1 billion of goods that are imported from overseas.
22. As our economic infrastructure is gutted, formerly great manufacturing cities all over America are being transformed into festering hellholes.
23. Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-Mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.
24. In 2001, American consumers spent 102 billion dollars on products made in China. In 2011, American consumers spent 399 billion dollars on products made in China.
25. The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
26. Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Today, China’s high-tech exports are more than twice the size of U.S. high-tech exports.
27. In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in "advanced technology products" of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
28. The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.
29. Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
30. The Chinese undervalue their currency by about 40 percent in order to gain a critical advantage over foreign competitors. This means that many Chinese companies are able to absolutely thrive while their competition in the United States goes out of business.
31. According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.
32. In 2010, China produced more than twice as many automobiles as the United States did.
33. Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.
34. Do you remember when the United States was the dominant manufacturer of automobiles and trucks on the globe? Well, in 2010 the U.S. ran a trade deficit in automobiles, trucks and parts of $110 billion.
35. In 2010, South Korea exported 12 times as many automobiles, trucks and parts to us as we exported to them.
36. In 2010, China produced 627 million metric tons of steel. The United States only produced 80 million metric tons of steel.
37. In 2010, China produced 7.3 million metric tons of cotton. The United States only produced 3.4 million metric tons of cotton.
38. Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.
39. 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.
40. Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.
41. China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems. How stupid can we possibly be?
42. According to author Clyde Prestowitz, China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, during 2010 the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.
43. All over the United States, road and bridge projects are being outsourced to Chinese firms. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent ABC News article....
In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
"When we subsidize jobs in China, we're not creating any wealth in the United States," said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
44. The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.
45. The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
46. The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.
47. The Chinese economy is projected to be larger than the U.S. economy by 2016.
48. One economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
49. In recent years the U.S. economy has embraced "free trade" and the emerging one world economy like never before. Instead of increasing the number of jobs in our economy, it has resulted in the worst stretch of job creation in the United States in modern history....
If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.
50. If you gathered together all of the workers that are "officially" unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.
51. China now holds approximately more than a trillion dollars of U.S. government debt. If you were alive back when Jesus was born and you had spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent that much money by now.
52. Jeffrey Immelt, the head of Barack Obama's highly touted "Jobs Council", has shipped tens of thousands of good jobs out of the United States.
53. Without enough good jobs, more Americans than ever before are falling into poverty. Today, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.
54. According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.
55. If U.S. consumers do not start supporting U.S. workers and U.S. businesses, eventually we will all be so poor that very few of us will be able to afford to buy any gifts during the holiday season.

Socialism Is A One-Way Street To Oblivion

CNSNews ^ | July 9, 2012 | Charlie Daniels

We are all aware of the slippery slope that the profligate spending of our politicians has put our nation on, and those who are honest enough to admit it know that the mighty United States of America is headed for a fiscal disaster that, if our course is not drastically altered, will shake the very foundations of our stability and reduce the greatest nation the world has ever known to a Greece-like shell complete with social upheaval and worthless currency.
When we think about the ramifications of our decades of foolishness, we tend to be concerned about the social fall out, the unemployment, the effect on take home pay, the quality of life and the unpleasant and painful changes in America.
What we do not tend to think about is what will happen to a military that is no longer able to keep up with our enemies in the development and manufacture of modern weapons. We fail to consider the consequences of falling behind the rest or the world in an age where a short lag in research and development can mean facing a weapon we have no defense for. (article continues at site)
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...

Hostess and the GM Bailout: Why the Chevy Volt Shouldn't Exist but Twinkies Still Will

schaeffersresearch.com ^ | November 19, 2012 | Minyanville

Reports of the death of Twinkies have been greatly exaggerated. You can bet your less-than-a-UAW-worker's next paycheck that the delightfully unnatural confections and wondrous white breads from Interstate Bakeries Corp. are not going away, news stories to the contrary notwithstanding.
I wish we could say the opposite about the financially disastrous, U.S.-government-subsidized Chevy Volt, but we can't. The fact that the Invisible Hand will ultimately keep us in golden sponge cake reveals everything about what goes wrong when the bumbling hand of politics intervenes in free markets, as it did in the case of General Motors (NYSE:GM).
As you've by now read over and over via the past few days' dominant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)/Twitter meme, we are about to see the death by liquidation of Interstate Bakeries Corp., maker of Hostess Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, and Wonder Bread, among other nutritionally vacant delights. The sentiment behind most of the posts is one of sadness at the pending disappearance of the products, along with rampant nostalgia for the days when we all carried them in our lunchboxes.
Dry your cream-puffed eyes, my friends. The spongy confections with all the qualities of tasty blown-in foam insulation will almost certainly not disappear from store shelves for very long, if at all.
Why not? Because the economics of selling Twinkies still work just fine. The economics of making Twinkies with a grumpy, highly unionized labor force don't. And our system can and will correct that.
Interstate said its Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union-member line workers would need to take significant wage and benefit cuts to allow the company to bring its operating costs into line with other industry players. As a result, the workers told the company where it could shove its Twinkies. Interstate's ownership group essentially responded by saying, "You Ding-Dongs -- forget it. We're closing it all up and selling off the assets."
Which virtually guarantees Twinkies will survive. Given their notoriously long shelf life, my guess is they'll be back in production before your stash even runs out. Why? Because the products made by Interstate are still in high demand. They wouldn't be on every store shelf in America if they weren't, so the brands will be revived and improved.
I guarantee every private equity firm in the country that likes the consumer products industry is taking a hard look at making a bid for all the Twinkie-related assets -- the recipes, the brand name, the equipment that mixes whatever chemical soup goes into those little buggers -- and that within a few months we'll hear who the successful bidder is. They'll bring in a smart, lean management team, and that team will likely contract out Twinkie production to a highly mechanized, software-savvy, non-union baking firm that will pump out those golden babies at a fraction of the cost of the old ones, but with the exact same (or higher) quality.
Twinkie drought solved, new company created, old industrial economy hangover cured. The economy streamlines, Twinkie-per-worker output will doubtless soar (I'm sure there were a pile of ridiculous work rules that governed who could press the "on" button of the Twinkie-lator), and the new investors will make a pile of dough, so to speak.
Because that's how capitalism works. When something in demand has a lousy, expensive process or management team wrapped around it, the company can go bankrupt but the product can live on. It's happened thousands of times in our system before -- if you wear Converse (NYSE:NKE) sneakers or Hugo Boss (PINK:BSHI) shirts, ride a Schwinn (PINK:DIIBF) bicycle, or stick Ray-o-Vac (NYSE:SPB) batteries in your flashlight, to name just a few -- thank the buyer who bought the assets or backed the company out of bankruptcy. They kept what was right and shed what was wrong.
The result? A vibrant new product line and a vibrant new company. A more efficient economy and happier consumers. That's the way the American system works -- except when the government intervenes.
In the case of General Motors, the Obama Administration determined that it was more important to save United Auto Workers jobs than it was to have the painful but ultimately highly beneficial process of free market restructuring go forward. If GM had been "allowed" to have a normal bankruptcy process, just as in the case of Interstate Bakeries, private equity and strategic industry buyers would have been lined up ten-deep to get a crack at making a major play for the valuable brands and technology assets, distribution networks, and manufacturing plants where the cars were made.
What they wouldn't have wanted or kept were the wildly-overpaid UAW workers and their sleeping-in-the-back-room work rules. They wouldn't have wanted electric car projects like the Chevy Volt that pandered to "green" politicians while losing immense amounts of money on every vehicle made and sold, so they'd have left that "asset" behind, unloved and unbought.
They'd have slimmed down, modernized, and de-calcified an industry that found itself so fundamentally screwed-up and upside down that it managed to take down its entire home city with it. They'd have invested in new, labor-saving and quality-improving technologies, and rather than a perpetually ailing "Sick Man" of the auto industry, we'd have a more focused, more efficient, and more innovative industry powerhouse on our hands. The new company's suppliers would likely mirror that investment, too, with new plants and new jobs to fuel a resurgent American auto industry.
That, in turn, would have benefited our entire national economy, helping it prepare for an ever more competitive future, and ultimately throwing off greater income and wealth for its workers, investors, and suppliers. In short, it would have helped contribute to the prosperity of every American.
Giving them money to buy more Twinkies. The system works brilliantly, if it's allowed to.

White House Announces $6 Billion to Promote Clean Energy –in Asia!

http://cnsnews.com ^ | november 20, 2012 | fred lucas

The White House announced the federal government will spend $6 billion over four years for a “sustainable energy future” plan with Asian countries that involves loaning tax dollars to other countries to increase their purchasing power for U.S. technology, services and equipment.
“Recognizing that energy and the environment are among the most pressing issues confronting our region, President Obama, in partnership with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei and President of the Republic of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, today proposed the U.S.-Asia Pacific Comprehensive Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future,” the White House announced Tuesday as Obama visits Asian Pacific countries.
The initiative comes after the Obama administration has been criticized for spending billions to subsidize U.S.-based green energy companies that went on to declare bankruptcy, including Solyndra, Ener1, A123, Beacon Power and other failed renewable energy ventures.
The White House announcement goes on to say that, “The United States will provide up to $6 billion to support the partnership.” Most of that will come from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which will launch a $5 billion export credit financing program to certain Asian countries over the next four years “to increase access to American technology, services and equipment to implement energy infrastructure.”
(Excerpt) Read more at cnsnews.com ...


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Beat The Drum Slowly

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Out of the loop!

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Obama's Screen

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Executive Orders

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The Big Fat One

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Fatal Error

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Hope and Change

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Come and get me...

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Liberal Logic

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Thank a UNION!

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Twinkies for Thanksgiving

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Hostess Shrugged!

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Trust Me?

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Cream Filling

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It's Still Halloween

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In the foot

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The People vs. Unions: Cash, Credit and Corruption!

Townhall.com ^ | November 20, 2012 | John Ransom

While it’s a truism that for every finger you point at someone else you’ve got three pointed right back at you, for liberals it’s part of their laws of physics.
It would be impossible for the laws of liberals to govern without this binding hypocrisy that keeps them in orbit.
That’s why it shouldn’t surprise you that for all the leftist rhetoric about corporations and greed contributing the decline of the country, there’s one corporate outfit that’s really screwing up this country- and it’s a creation and a creature of the left.
Like most Big Left organizations it is a corporate body that is funded by you and I, but serves only the holy trinity of liberals, leftists and liars.
That corporation is, of course, Union, Inc.
Some call it Big Labor, but that’s an insult to the dignity of labor.
And if you want to see examples of corporate personhood gone bad you needn’t look to Wall Street. No; the stakes there are too high and the disclosures too transparent for mere corporation law to shield corporations from poor governance.
The laws of economics- the real laws, not the theories- usually take care of things in the private, corporate marketplace.
Instead- like many things in the country- you need to look farther left for real-life examples of rogue corporate personhood.
Union domination of the Democrat Party has become so entrenched- and so full of government money- that it’s impossible to tell if Union, Inc. is the parent corporation of the Democrats, or if the Democrats control the unions. And the symbiotic and sybaritic relationships between the unions and the Democrats have helped screw up corporations, municipalities and public policy in this country for too many decades.
Even as the so-called recovery notches another year, and state revenues begin to stabilize, municipalities and school districts are increasingly filing for bankruptcy in order to containing the rising cost of benefits demanded by unionized public workers.
In California, the greedy, union-benefits outfit working for public employees, called Calpers, is treated with kid gloves in both law and in practice. Law says that when municipalities file for bankruptcy, Calpers must be paid even if the benefits paid to Calpers are causing the bankruptcy. Police can be fired, private vendors stiffed, teachers laid off, investors in public debt can get zero pennies on the dollar, but union benefits must be paid.
The city of San Bernardino however is challenging union dominance over their balance sheet. The city is $5 million behind in pension payments, “the city simply says it's broke,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. But “San Bernardino is treating CalPERS like any other creditor that's not getting paid.”
Of course the Chronicle is livid over union benefits being treated “like any other creditor that's not getting paid.”
“We urge San Bernardino to come to a solution with CalPERS that doesn't involve shorting the fund and its own retirees - or dumping its burdens on California's other taxpayers,” says the Chronicle.
But that’s exactly what Calpers already does.
Calpers is under-funded by anywhere from 55 percent to 75 percent in large part because Calpers uses math that would land private pension managers in jail. Calpers uses annualized growth rates of 7.5 percent when in fact the pension system only returned one percent last year. A 30-year Treasury right now only returns 2.79 percent. Last year the stock market returned zero percent and this year is up about 5 percent.
And really, under the law, a private pension manager would go to jail for using a 7.5 percent assumption to manage their pension fund.
That’s because someone will have to pay the difference between the assumption and the real rate of return. In both the Calpers and the private cases it will be the taxpayers who will pick up the tab.
Why should the city have to lay off workers because previously-elected officials entered into unsustainable retirement programs with unions who bankrolled their candidacies? Or because unions don’t have to use generally accepted accounting practices?
Cities -and states- shouldn’t have to choose between public safety and other necessities so that liberal council members and legislators can have an adequate supply of yard signs and bumpers stickers during an election year.
And taxpayers shouldn’t have to bailout union bad behavior again, just because they bought the Democrats with cash, credit and corruption.

Americans Are Pro-Israel: Obama's Party? Not So Much!

Townhall.com ^ | November 20, 2012 | Ken Blackwell

This article was co-authored by Bob Morrison.

It seems every time the Republicans lose a presidential election, white board-toting architects and backroom strategists descend on the Sunday talk shows. Republicans must dump the social issues. Defending the right to life of unborn children and upholding the civil right of marriage is just costing too much support with the voters. We have to moderate our positions, they say.

It’s as if the Second Officer on the Titanic were to run down six flights of stairs and yell at the grimy, coal dust covered sweating stokers shoveling coal in the engine rooms: This is all your fault!

What we saw on Election Day was a strong turnout among Evangelicals and Catholics for Mitt Romney. Evangelicals backed the former governor even more strongly than his fellow Mormons did. Catholics who attend Mass regularly were also strong backers of the GOP nominee.

What the so-called strategists—those architects of defeat-- are proposing is an abandonment of a 36-year commitment of the Republican Party. Since 1976, the Republican Platforms have rejected the infamous Roe v. Wade ruling. They have applauded those in Congress and the states who are trying to restore the protections for mothers and their unborn children. This is what the Supreme Court stripped away when it unconscionably overturned the abortion laws of all fifty states. Those laws were all a part of state homicide codes. And this long-term commitment is what the consultant class wants Republicans to throw overboard.

Compare this reaction with that of the Democrats over Israel. A recent CNN-ORC poll shows that 59% of Americans support Israel’s position in today’s crisis in Gaza. Israel is responding with deadly force to the almost daily rocket attacks by the terrorist group, Hamas on Israeli towns and schools. Only 13% of Americans back Hamas in this clash. This is a 4-1 commanding majority of Americans at the grassroots level.

Would anyone like to guess where Democratic Party activists are on this clash? You have only to consider the behavior of credentialed delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last summer. The Democratic Party Platform—as reported out by its Platform Committee—dropped all reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was no oversight. When pro-Israel Democrats pointed this out and urged the delegates on the convention floor to restore the Jerusalem-is-Israel’s-capital plank to the party’s platform, there were shouted Nos that clearly outnumbered the Yeses. Realizing they could not mount a national election campaign as an avowedly anti-Israel party, the powers-that-be quickly gaveled the Jerusalem plank back into the platform. Then we heard loud boos.

Regardless of what the Democratic Party Platform now says, with the Jerusalem post-it note plastered over it, the stance of this administration is quite clear. State Department weasel-worder Victoria Nuland has repeatedly refused to state that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. And the Obama administration has gone into court to evade congressional requirements for “ Jerusalem , Israel” to be stamped on passports and birth certificates for Americans abroad.

The public opinion is four-to-one against the administration and the Democratic Party’s sentiment on a vitally important foreign policy issue.

Did the GOP ticket press this point during the televised debates? Not at all. Did the nominees raise this issue on the campaign trail? If they did, it was not in big way.
Did the Republican Party take out ads to drive home the point that the Democrats’ liberal activists are hostile to Israel. No.

But the Democrats did take out ads to press for more abortions. Fifty-five million unborn children killed since Roe are not enough. Now, we must have abortion-on-demand and you must pay.

It was a small pro-life group that produced this powerful ad for the Internet. Eduardo Verástegui in this video says President Obama wants your thirteen year old to have access to a free abortion—with you paying and without your ever knowing. No Republican strategist has dared to say something that strong, that true in forty years.

Instead of abandoning convictions and a party’s commitment to tens of millions of voters, perhaps it would be better for the Republicans to throw their strategists overboard. Then, they just might start winning again.

Invasion of the Liberal Body Snatchers

AmericanThinker.com ^ | 11/20/2012 | Selwyn Duke

People often ask how it is that northerners move to the South, or Mexicans and other foreigners to the US, for a better life, but then vote as they did whence they came. Don't they know this only ensures that the South will become more like the North or the US more like south of the border? Again, whatever they know, it isn't mainly a matter of knowledge.
Of course, in many cases people do fail to make the proper associations between cause and effect. Yet this is often due to emotional blocks, as the intellect cannot adjudicate facts not given their day in court. Then there is rationalization, when we bend reality for ourselves because we can't bear to bend our wants to reality. The truth is that the cold intellect is generally outmatched by hot emotion, even, sometimes, when we do know better.
Failing to consider how often emotion, or our animal nature, trumps intellect is one of the most common mistakes made when predicting man's behavior. George W. Bush was guilty of this when making the case for Mideast "nation building" and saying "All people want freedom." Perhaps. But so does a wild animal in a city zoo; so does a toddler. Yet neither can negotiate civilization without endangering himself and/or others. And this mistake is also apparent in continual Kumbaya calls to ignore the perils of cultural incongruity, such as "All people want the same things."
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Mitt Wasn't All Wrong About "Gifts"


Townhall.com ^ | November 20, 2012 | Pat Buchanan

Set aside the idealized Hispanic of the Republican consultants' vision. What does the real Hispanic community look like today?
Let us consider only native-born Hispanics, U.S. citizens.
According to Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, which analyzed Census Bureau statistics from 2012:

-- More than one in five Hispanic citizens lives in poverty.
-- One in four Hispanic-American men 25 to 55 is out of work.
-- More than half of all Hispanic women 25-55 are unmarried.
-- Half of all Hispanic households with children are headed by an unmarried woman, and 55 percent depend on welfare programs.
These numbers do not improve with time, as they did with the Irish, Italian, Polish, Jewish and German immigrants who poured into the United States between 1890 and 1920. Third-generation Hispanics do worse than second-generation Hispanics in all the above categories.
This is a huge community being sucked into the morass of a mammoth welfare state. Consider a typical Hispanic household with children.
It is headed by an unmarried women who receives food stamps and public housing or rent supplements to feed and house her children.
Her kids are educated free from Head Start to K-12 and fed by school breakfast and lunch programs. Should they graduate high school, Pell Grants and student loans are there for college.
For cash, mom gets welfare checks. If she takes a job, she will receive an earned income tax credit to supplement her income. If she loses her job, she can get 99 weeks of unemployment checks.
For health care, there is Medicaid and Obamacare. And like 45 percent of all Hispanic households, she has no federal income tax liability.
Why should this woman vote for a party that will cut taxes she does not pay, but reduce benefits she does receive?
Rename Romney's gifts "government services," writes Aaron Blake citing a Washington Post poll, and one discovers that 67 percent of Latinos favor "a larger government with more services."
These are big government people. And why should they not be?
According to Heather Mac Donald, writing in National Review, a 2011 survey found that California Hispanics by four to one objected more to the GOP on class-warfare grounds -- the party "favors only the rich," Republicans are "selfish" -- than to the GOP stand on immigration.
Writes Mac Donald: California's Hispanics will likely prove more decisive in passing Proposition 30, to raise state income taxes to 13.3 percent, the highest level in the nation, than to Obama's victory.
Nor is this unusual. Populist programs to stick it to the rich have always had an appeal south of the border.
There are 50 million Hispanics in America today. California is lost to the GOP. Nevada and Colorado are slipping away. Arizona and Texas are next up on the block.
With the U.S. Hispanic population in 2050 projected to reach 130 million, the acolytes of Karl Rove have their work cut out for them.

MSNBC's Bias Against Mitt Romney Was Astonishing

TBI ^ | 11-19-2012 | Brett LoGiurato

No one really expects MSNBC's coverage to put a positive spin on Republicans — but in the final week of the 2012 presidential campaign, the network's coverage toward presidential nominee Mitt Romney skewed entirely negative.
According to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, MSNBC provided no "positive" coverage of Romney during the campaign's final week.
Here's a look at the chart of polarization:

By comparison, 57 percent of MSNBC's coverage toward Romney was negative during the first three weeks of October — and it did provide at least some positive coverage. Throughout the entirety of the campaign, the network's coverage was 68% negative. The rest of the combined news media's coverage of Romney, Pew found, was only 33 percent negative.
Pew found that Fox News became similarly biased during the campaign's final week — though it was not as polarized as MSNBC. Only 5 percent of its Obama coverage was positive, while 56 percent was negative. This differed from the rest of the news media, which provided more positive coverage of the president during the Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts and as polls pointed to a definitive Obama victory.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...

Now that the Election Is Over, the Washington Post Admits that the Obama Recovery Has Been Terrible!

Townhall.com ^ | November 20, 2012 | Daniel J. Mitchell

I agree that Obama inherited a crappy economy, and I think it is silly to assert that he bears any responsibility for the severity of the 2007-2009 recession.
But it is very fair to hold him responsible for what’s happened since the recession ended. I’ve cited data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve on both employment and gross domestic product to show that Obama has presided over the weakest recovery in the post-World War II period.
And I think it is fair to blame Obama for the economy’s anemic performance during that time, largely because his agenda of faux stimulus and Obamacare exacerbated the statist policies of Bush. In other words, he promised “hope” and “change,” but delivered more of the same.
Well, now that the election is over, even the Washington Post is willing to admit that Obama’s economic performance is dismal. Here’s a remarkable chart showing that growth is far below the average.

There are actually two very important conclusions to draw from this chart.
  • First, the economy has not recovered the lost output from the recession, which is a point made by Nobel laureate Robert Lucas. That’s bad news.
  • Second, it appears that the economy is now a lower-growth trend line. That’s worse news.
Indeed, I fear permanently lower growth is the legacy of the Bush-Obama years. We now have a substantially bigger burden of government spending, and things will get worse rather than better in the absence of real entitlement reform.
And we have a lot more cronyism and interventionism, which undermines economic efficiency. To make matters worse, Obama wants higher tax rates and more double taxation of saving and investment.
To be blunt, those are not the policies that create jobs and wealth.
Last century, a good rule of thumb was that the United States was about halfway between the high-growth, small-government economics such as Hong Kong and Singapore and the low-growth, big-government economies of Europe.
But as we move closer and closer to European-style economic policy, it should be no surprise that we get anemic European-style economic performance.
We know the recipe for growth and prosperity. But the political elite is oblivious or doesn’t care.

Government Website For Immigrants: Come To America And Take Advantage Of Our Free Stuff!

The American Dream ^ | 11-19-2012 | Michael Snyder

A website run by the federal government (“WelcomeToUSA.gov“) encourages new immigrants to the United States to apply for welfare benefits. This website is run by the Department of Homeland Security and it says that it “is the U.S. Government’s official web portal for new immigrants.” So your tax dollars were used to build and maintain a website that teaches immigrants how to come into this country and sponge a living off of federal welfare programs paid for by your tax dollars. What in the world is happening to us? Yes, we will always need some legal immigration. We are a nation of immigrants and immigration has been very good to this country. But at a time when there are millions upon millions of American citizens out of work and at a time when we are absolutely drowning in debt, do we really need to encourage millions more immigrants to come over and take advantage of our overloaded social welfare programs? WelcomeToUSA.gov actually encourages new immigrants to apply for food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Of course not all immigrants are eligible for all of those programs, but if an immigrant can get over to the U.S. and just get signed up for a couple of programs they can enjoy a higher standard of living doing nothing here than they can working at a low paying job back home. We have created a perverse system of incentives that makes it very attractive to people all over the world to do whatever they can to hitch a ride on “the gravy train” and take advantage of all of the benefits that they possibly can. And once immigrants get on welfare, many of them never leave. For example, one study discovered that 43 percent of all immigrants who have been in the United States for at least 20 years were still on welfare. We can’t even take care of our own citizens, and yet more immigrants hop on to the safety net every single day. At some point the safety net is going to break and then we won’t even be able to take care of the struggling Americans that really need it.
When I first discovered WelcomeToUSA.gov I was absolutely floored. In particular, the page that encourages immigrants to apply for federal welfare benefits is just shocking. Here is the opening paragraph…
Depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income, you may be eligible for some federal benefit programs. Government assistance programs can be critically important to the well-being of some immigrants and their families. Frequently, however, there is a lack of information about how to access such benefits. Benefit programs can be complicated and you may be given misleading information about how they operate.
The page also contains a list of links where new immigrants can find instructions about how to apply for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families…
The links below will lead you to official government websites describing a range of assistance programs.
Official website with information on all available federal benefit programs. (English version – Spanish version)
Official website for Medicare, the health insurance program for people 65 years of age or older or who have specific disabilities.
Official website for Medicaid, the joint federal/state medical care program for low-income people.
Official website for the Social Security Administration. (English version – Spanish version)
Social Security information available in foreign languages.
Information on Supplemental Security Income benefits for aliens.
Information on the Food Stamp Program for low-income families.
A website containing links to available federal information in other languages.
Information on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program.
Information on access to federal benefits and services for immigrant survivors of domestic violence.
So why is the Department of Homeland Security doing this? The following is what the Daily Caller was told when they asked…

USCIS spokesman Bill Wright told The Daily Caller that the site is not intended to advise individuals on their eligibility.
“The website seeks to improve access to federal government information on the Internet by consolidating information into helpful categories and highlight new resources available to immigrants and the organizations that serve them,” Wright explained in an email. Well, isn’t that special?
Perhaps this could be their new slogan: “Come To America And Take Advantage Of Our Free Stuff”.
Sadly, the truth is that our insane immigration policies are doing an incredible amount of damage to this country. Our current system makes it very difficult on those immigrants that want to do things the right way and that want to come into this country for the right reasons. On the other hand, our current system makes things very easy on those that want to come into this country illegally and on those that want to take advantage of our generosity.
Posted below is a list of 10 things that are going to happen if the federal government continues to systematically legalize illegal immigration that comes from one of my previous articles. Illegal immigration is causing chaos in communities all over America, and it is going to get a lot worse if changes are not made…
#1 There Will Be Fewer Jobs For American Workers

In the United States today, 53 percent of all college graduates under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed. Many of them are absolutely desperate for work.
Overall, there are more than 100 million working age Americans that do not have jobs right now.
Meanwhile, millions of illegal immigrants are occupying jobs that could otherwise be held by American citizens. Many employers prefer to hire illegals because they work for a lot less money.
Sadly, many prominent politicians actually support the “right” of these “undocumented workers” to steal our jobs as a recent article by Devvy Kidd pointed out….
In April 2008, the very popular, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, prostituted himself during a speech for votes at an event sponsored by the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey by assuring his audience illegal aliens were not really here illegally, but were simply “undocumented.”
The ‘unofficial’ number of unemployed Americans is close to 25 MILLION. Those “undocumented” criminals Gov. Christie refers to are illegally holding 11.5 MILLION jobs that belong to Americans and naturalized citizens. Shame on you, Gov. Christie for thumbing your nose at our federal immigration laws and encouraging even more criminals to break into our country. Roll out the welcome mat. Unemployment in New Jersey is holding at a steady 9.3%. Gov. Christie apparently doesn’t care if jobs go to illegal aliens instead of legal citizens in his state. After all, they’re simply “undocumented”.
#2 Wages For American Workers Will Continue To Decline

When you have a lot more workers competing for the same number of jobs, what happens?
That is right – wages go down.
We are seeing this happen in industry after industry.
For example, several decades ago a roofer could live a nice middle class lifestyle and support an entire family on one income.
But today that is no longer the case.
So what has changed?
A flood of illegal labor has entered the marketplace.
#3 Illegal Immigrants Will Overwhelm Our Welfare System

Every year, illegal immigrants receive tens of billions of dollars in welfare payments. They get free food assistance, free housing assistance, free health care benefits and free education for their children. Life is good if you are an illegal immigrant and you know how to game the system.
In fact, many cities in United States now openly advertise that they will help illegal immigrants with these things.
Unfortunately, according to Devvy Kidd the cost to taxpayers is getting to be astronomical….
Last year alone, the cost to taxpayers of LA County was whopping $600 MILLION dollars in welfare for children of illegal aliens. I guess it doesn’t bother the people there getting fleeced in taxes to pay for all that welfare because they continue to elect governors who refuse to lock down the border and sympathizers of the invasion across the southern border of California to their legislature.
Overall, it has been estimated that U.S. taxpayers spend $12,000,000,000 a year on primary and secondary school education for the children of illegal immigrants.
#4 Mexican Drug Cartels Will Establish A Presence In Nearly Every City In The United States

Mexican drug cartels continue to expand their influence inside the United States at a frightening pace. They are slowly taking over our communities. How far do things have to go before we say enough is enough?
The amount of money that Mexican drug cartels bring in from selling drugs inside the United States is absolutely staggering….
In the sober reckoning of the RAND Corporation, for instance, the gross revenue that all Mexican cartels derive from exporting drugs to the United States amounts to only $6.6 billion. By most estimates, though, Sinaloa has achieved a market share of at least 40 percent and perhaps as much as 60 percent, which means that Chapo Guzmán’s organization would appear to enjoy annual revenues of some $3 billion — comparable in terms of earnings to Netflix or, for that matter, to Facebook. Can you imagine that?
We are talking about serious money.
And Mexican drug cartels are not just operating in huge cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The truth is that they have become deeply embedded in many rural communities as well….
News of cartel machinations are common in cities near the border, such as Phoenix, and the far-flung drug hubs of New York, Chicago or Atlanta, but smaller towns bring business, too. In unsuspecting suburbs and rural areas, police are increasingly finding drugs, guns and money they can trace back to Mexican drug organizations.
The numbers could rise in coming years. The Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center estimates Mexican cartels control distribution of most of the methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana coming into the country, and they’re increasingly producing the drugs themselves.
In 2009 and 2010, the center reported, cartels operated in 1,286 U.S. cities, more than five times the number reported in 2008. The center named only 50 cities in 2006.
#5 There Will Be Increasing “Anti-American Violence” Inside The United States

These days a lot of Americans are being attacked (and sometimes killed) down in Mexico.
The following is from a recent ABC News article….
American travelers to Mexico should beware of possible violent retaliation for this week’s arrest of alleged Zetas drug cartel associates and family members inside the U.S., the U.S. State Department has warned.
Though the warning does not specify which “Transnational Criminal Organization” might engage in “anti-American” violence, on Tuesday federal authorities arrested seven alleged associates of the powerful Zetas drug cartel in New Mexico and Oklahoma for allegedly laundering millions in drug profits through breeding and racing quarterhorses in the U.S. Those arrested included Jose Trevino Morales, the brother of Zetas leaders Miguel Angel and Oscar Omar Trevino Morales, who were also indicted but remain at large in Mexico.
As Mexican drug cartels and criminal gangs expand north, it is inevitable that “anti-American violence” will spread deeper and deeper into the U.S. itself.
The level of violence that we are seeing down in Mexico right now is absolutely frightening. These drug cartels can be absolutely brutal….
Fourteen dismembered bodies were found in a truck in the center of a town in northern Mexico on Thursday in what appeared to be the latest atrocity committed by rival gangs battling over drug-smuggling routes, local media said.
The bodies of 11 men and three women were discovered in the sugar-cane farming town of Ciudad Mante in the south of Tamaulipas state, which borders on Texas, daily Milenio reported on its website. Overall, more than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006.
Is that the kind of violence we want in this country?
Already the region along the U.S./Mexico border is an open war zone.
Just across the U.S. border, the city of Juarez, Mexico is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities on the face of the earth. In fact, Juarez is now the murder capital of the western hemisphere.
But instead of strengthening security along the border, Barack Obama wants to make the border meaningless.
#6 Massive Bribes Will Corrupt Our Judicial System

When there are billions of dollars involved, it is inevitable that some members of the police and some members of the judiciary will take bribes.
Just look at what has happened down in Mexico. The following is from a recent article in the New York Times….
When you tally it all up, bribery may be the single largest line item on a cartel’s balance sheet. In 2008, President Felipe Calderón’s own drug czar, Noe Ramirez, was charged with accepting $450,000 each month. Presumably, such gargantuan bribes to senior officials cascade down, securing the allegiance of their subordinates. “You have to recruit the high commands, so they can issue the information to lower ranks and order whatever they want,” the corrupt cop, Fierro Méndez, testified. But in key jurisdictions, the cartel most likely makes payments up and down the chain of command.
In a 2010 speech, Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s secretary of public security, speculated that together, the cartels spend more than a billion dollars each year just to bribe the municipal police. What would you do if you were offered a bribe of $450,000 a month?
Don’t assume that Americans are so much more “moral” than the Mexicans are.
#7 Gang Activity Will Continue To Grow In The United States By Leaps And Bounds

Gang activity is absolutely exploding inside the United States.
According to the FBI, there are now 1.4 million gang members involved in the 33,000 different gangs that are active inside the United States.
The number of gang members in America has increased by 40 percent since 2009.
Those stats should be very alarming to all of us.
What are we going to do if gangs keep growing at this rate?
According to federal statistics, gang members are responsible for up to 80 percent of all violent crimes committed in the United States every year.
A very large percentage of these gang members have entered the United States from Mexico, but the federal government refuses to do anything to stop it.
#8 The Decline Of Our Health Care System Will Continue To Accelerate

Illegal immigrants are overwhelming emergency rooms all over the country. They walk in, receive high quality treatment and often never pay after they leave.
Things have gotten so bad in many areas of the nation that it is causing entire hospitals to go bankrupt and shut down.
In a previous article, I described what unchecked illegal immigration is doing to the health care system in California….
Thanks to illegal immigration, California’s overstretched health care system is on the verge of collapse. Dozens of California hospitals and emergency rooms have shut down over the last decade because they could not afford to stay open after being endlessly swamped by illegal immigrants who were simply not able to pay for the services that they were receiving.
As a result, the remainder of the health care system in the state of California is now beyond overloaded. This had led to brutally long waits, diverted ambulances and even unnecessary patient deaths. Sadly, the state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.
#9 Legalizing Illegal Immigrants Will Cause A Huge Shift In Voting Patterns

Instead of looking out for the American people, many Democrats support legalizing illegal immigration because it will give the Democratic Party more support at the polls.
This is incredibly selfish and self-serving, but this is the way that the political game is played in 2012.
#10 There Will Be A Flood Of New Illegal Immigrants

Amazingly, far more people move into the United States illegally than come in through the legal immigration process.
As word spreads of the “Obama amnesty”, millions more will come on over. After all, what would they have to lose? If they get caught crossing over they will just get nicely sent back and can try again in a few days.
If they make it they can take advantage of all the free goodies here in the United States. Thanks to Obama, the odds of deportation are now very slim. And they can often make significantly more money in the “underground economy” in the U.S. than they can back home.

How Liberal leaders flunk math. They Fail to grasp human response to heavy taxes!

Washington Times ^ | 11/20/2012 | Richard Rahn

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the largest teachers union, the National Education Association, failed fifth-grade math last week. The question he failed is: If X (government spending) is growing faster than A (government tax revenue) plus B (new revenue from higher tax rates on “the rich”), when will A plus B equal X? President Obama met with leaders of left-leaning organizations, including Mr. Van Roekel, to discuss the “fiscal cliff.”
After the meeting, Mr. Van Roekel appeared on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show to discuss the budget deficit. Mr. Van Roekel told Mr. Cavuto that he had recommended taxing the top 2 percent more to deal with the problem. Mr. Cavuto then correctly explained that taxing the top 2 percent could not solve the problem because even with the increase, spending would still be growing far faster than revenues — primarily because of entitlement programs.
After some back and forth, Mr. Van Roekel could not identify one item in the budget that he was in favor of cutting and kept insisting the problem could be solved only by taxing the top 2 percent, even though Mr. Cavuto again correctly and clearly explained that even taxing the top 2 percent at a 100 percent rate would not produce enough revenue because entitlements are growing faster than the economy. Mr. Van Roekel appeared to be unable to grasp this rather simple concept.
At the end of last week, Hostess Brands Inc., the company that makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread, asked to be liquidated because the bakery workers and their union bosses could not understand this: If A (workers’ salaries and benefits) is growing faster than B (sales revenue), company H (Hostess) will run out of money and be forced into liquidation. So 18,500 workers are losing their jobs
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

The Latest Taxpayer Housing Bust. With the election over, we now learn that the FHA is insolvent!

Wall Street Journal ^ | 11/20/2012 | The editors

Vindication is overrated, especially in a losing cause, so it brings no satisfaction to have predicted that the Federal Housing Administration would sooner or later threaten taxpayers. That day has arrived. Safely past the election, the feds announced Friday that the FHA's liabilities exceed its assets by at least $16.3 billion—and the gap could reach $93.7 billion in the worst case.
Yet it's worth recalling that when we warned about FHA's troubles in September 2009, we got an accounting lecture from HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and a letter from FHA Commissioner at the time, David Stevens, that we were "just plain wrong." He added that, "I can say undoubtedly that the FHA fund is playing a key role in the housing recovery and poses no immediate risk to the American taxpayer."
Taxpayers will "undoubtedly" be pleased to know that the threat wasn't "immediate" but arrived a mere three years later. Can taxpayers claw back the salaries of Messrs. Donovan and Stevens the way Congress has tried to do with those of financial CEOs?
The Administration is trying to spin the FHA's troubles as one more result of the housing bust, which is true but disingenuous. Fannie Mae FNMA -0.37% and Freddie Mac FMCC -1.02% went belly up in 2008 because of the housing boom and bust. At the time, the FHA was in relatively good shape because it had played a minor role during the housing mania.
The FHA got into trouble because it deliberately expanded in 2007-2009 even as the market was crashing. As Mr. Donovan likes to say, the FHA was steered to play "an important countercyclical role in the housing market." The point was to ramp up FHA's loan-guarantee business to prop up housing prices as much as possible during the bust.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

What Price ‘Fairness’? (Will an even more progressive tax code solve our debt problems?)

National Review ^ | 11/20/2012 | Mona Charen

Realistic Republicans understand that President Obama and the Democrats head into fiscal-cliff negotiations in a far stronger bargaining position now than in 2011. When voters were asked on November 6 whether they favored raising taxes to reduce the deficit, a total of 60 percent said yes (47 percent favored increasing taxes for those who earn $250,000 or more, and 13 percent approved tax increases for all).

So taxes will be going up. As a matter of political strategy — not to say survival — Republicans will have to agree to raise taxes on those defined as rich. It’s more than just the exit poll on support for tax increases. Republicans must also contend with the Pew poll that asked who would be more to blame if a fiscal-cliff deal were not reached. Before a single meeting has been held or talking point fed to the press, 29 percent said they’d blame President Obama, while 53 percent said they’d blame Republicans in Congress.
President Obama sounds so reasonable when he asks for a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction. Whether the implied spending cuts — the flip side of his balance — will materialize is the great question.
Obama is the anodyne face of a leftist party — a party perhaps best defined by newly elected Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Her speech to the Democratic convention in September was a protracted roar of grievance, a fulmination against the (imagined) entrenched interests who were “rigging the system” against the poor and the middle class.
Wow. A nation that is skating to the brink of bankruptcy because it spends so much on the middle class is whipped into a righteous frenzy about how rigged the system is toward the rich? As the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson wrote in April, 60 percent of the federal government’s non-interest spending goes to transfer payments to the poor and middle class. Spending on the ten largest means-tested programs — that is, programs for the poor — has increased from about $4,300 per person in 1980 to $13,000 per person in 2011 in inflation-adjusted dollars.
The bill for this spending is disproportionately paid by the wealthy. The top 20 percent of income earners pay 70 percent of the taxes. Soon they will pay even more. If this is what happens when the rich rig the system, the poor and the middle class should beg them to keep rigging it.
The Democratic party is consumed by the insatiable appetite to make America more “fair” — by which they mean taking from some to give to others. As noted above, the U.S. tax code is already steeply progressive. You needn’t love the rich to understand that chasing the goal of redistribution rather than growth can result only in everyone becoming poorer.
Like many European social-democratic countries, the U.S. has gotten into trouble by spending far more than it collects in taxes. Andrew Biggs, Kevin Hassett, and Matt Jensen examined studies on how other nations have recovered from their fiscal improvidence. Looking at 21 countries over 37 years, they concluded that 1) effective resolutions are rare, only about 20 percent of cases, and 2) successful attempts to balance budgets rely heavily on spending cuts, whereas failed ones rely on tax increases. What about the “balanced” approach? “On average,” the authors noted in the Wall Street Journal, “the typical unsuccessful consolidation consisted of 53% tax increases and 47% spending cuts.”
Yes, taxes are going up, but let’s remember, as we bow to the inevitable, that raising taxes on the rich will put only the most trivial dent ($80 billion, according to one proposal) in our trillion-dollar annual deficits. Thus is the great god “fairness” appeased while the demon debt continues to breathe fire.
The sane policy goals for a nation in the kind of trouble we’re in would be economic growth and entitlement reform. The progressive agenda, Richard Epstein writes in Why Progressive Institutions Are Unsustainable, supplies a “one-two punch.” First, it reduces the private sector by ill-advised regulation. “Second, it imposes extensive and counterproductive programs of redistribution that cannot be supported by a stagnant economy and a shrinking productive wealth base. As that base gets smaller, the demand for a stronger safety net induces yet another round of transfer payments and makes the tax burden heavier and the rate structure more progressive. The new redistributive tax regime in turn exerts greater negative pressures on production levels.”
And down we go. The worship of “fairness” is a death cult.
— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist.