Sunday, January 20, 2013

Utah company fires 2 workers who supported Obama

MSN ^ | James Eng

The head of a Utah forensics company says it's only fair that two liberal employees were let go because liberal policies are costing his business.

A Utah business owner says he fired two employees in large part because they supported President Barack Obama.

“They were Obama supporters. We just knew they were," Terry Lee, owner of Terry Lee Forensics, a Cedar City, Utah, digital forensics company, told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday.

**SNIP**

Contacted by the Tribune Thursday, Lee said he picked the two employees in large part on the basis of their politics, according to the newspaper. But he added that there were other issues as well, which he didn’t detail, and said the two workers "were not top performers."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.msn.com ...

Sequestration Will Hollow Out Force Fast, Dempsey Says

Defense Dot Gov ^ | 17 Jan 13 | By Jim Garamone

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Jan. 17, 2013 – The across-the-board spending cuts that would result if a “sequestration” mechanism in budget law kicks in March 1 will hollow out U.S. military forces faster than most Americans imagine, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said during a recent news briefing that if sequestration happens, the American military “will be less prepared in months and unprepared in a year.”
During an interview today on his return trip from NATO meetings in Brussels, the general said the cuts would quickly bring about a new type of hollow force.
The chairman stressed that deployed and deploying service members will be exempted from the effects of a sequester. The United States will not send any service member overseas without the best preparation, equipment and supplies possible, he said.
This actually covers a great many people. Service members in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Kuwait, aboard ships at sea, and flying and supporting deployed aircraft “will continue to have our unwavering support,” Dempsey said. “We have a moral obligation to make sure that they are ready and the next [unit] to deploy is ready.”
If sequestration is triggered March 1 -- six months into fiscal 2013 -- the department will have only six months to absorb those cuts, the chairman noted. So, if the deployed force is ready, and the next force to deploy is getting ready, “there’s not going to be any operations and training money left for the rest of the force,” he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at defense.gov ...

I am so disgusted by the Republicans. At least we know the Democrats are Marxists. Where is the GOP leadership on this?

According to the Weekly Standard, the GOP secretly agreed last year to gut the military in previous negotiations with Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

As Bob Woodward recounted in his book on the debt-ceiling negotiations of 2011, The Price of Politics, Krone traveled with Reid to the White House that summer during the intense debate over extending the debt limit. In the Oval Office, Reid began explaining the outline of a $2.7 trillion debt limit extension before turning it over to Krone to explain the details. Reid’s plan included another round of defense cuts that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell had “secretly pledged to honor.”

I have finally lost complete faith with the Republican party.

NBC's Richard Engel Highlights Second Term Obama's "Diminished" Global Influence

 by kristinn

NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel spoke about President Barack Obama's "diminished" influence over global affairs this morning on NBC's Meet the Press, saying that "authoritarian" China was being seen as a model for governance by more of the world's youth than the United States.
Engel was on a panel hosted by David Gregory that also included Obama campaign honcho David Axelrod, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, NBC's Tom Brokaw and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
Engel made his comments toward the end of the first segment of the round table discussion on Obama's second term which started today.
Engel faced push back from Scarborough, but stood his ground.
My transcription from the Meet the Press video segment Panel weighs in on President Obama's second term:
David Gregory: "..Just as somebody who lives abroad, and I talk about, you know, as The Economist did, America's ability to have influence in the rest of the world, how do you see the challenges he (Obama) faces?"
Richard Engel "Well, it's greatly diminished. I think the Chinese model is one that appeals more and more in the developing world. People see that an authoritarian state can hold on to power, can hold on to stability and can drive the economy forward.
"When you look, when you talk to people in Africa and across the Middle East they're not satisfied with the way things are going. Sure this idea of democracy was injected in to the region, but it has brought mostly chaos. But I think the U.S. role, the U.S. example is not the one that is on the mind of the youth internationally. People are looking more to different kinds of..."
Smug Manhattanite Joe Scarborough talks down to the globe traveling reporter Engel: "The Soviet model seemed pretty attractive to some of these same regions in the 1950s. So I would be skeptical that an authoritarian model is going to..."(Crosstalk)
Richard Engel:
"...It certainly has its issues, but you don't hear people talk about the United States the way they used to. You don't hear them talk about the U.S. and this idea that--sure people would like to come here and set up their (businesses), get visas and green cards--but the U.S. just doesn't seem to have the kind of clout..."
Doris Kearns Goodwin (for the save for Obama): "We still have the most successful economy in the whole world, though, right?"
Crosstalk, end of segment.
Later in the broadcast, Engel cast doubt on the wisdom of Obama turning his back on long time American ally Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, saying that led to the current turmoil across the whole Middle East. He said that it would be up to historians to decide whether Obama took the right decision.

Milbank on Obama's First Term: 'Messiah Never Came'

NewsBusters.org ^ | January 20, 2013 | Nole Sheppard

As NewsBusters reported Friday, Newsweek magazine's newest cover touts Barack Obama's upcoming inauguration as "The Second Coming."
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank apparently doesn't agree, and wrote about the President's first term Friday the "messiah never came."
"Monday’s phony ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol contributes to the overall letdown that is this 2013 inauguration," said Milbank. "For all the grand preparations, the moment feels small."
"Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the capital, sleeping on floors and lining the streets so that they could be part of history: the inauguration of the first black president, who had the promise of being a transformational figure that could bring hope and change to a broken political system," Milbank observed.
"That messiah never came, and a sluggish economic recovery overshadowed his term," he added. "Obama was reelected less because he inspired the nation than because he discredited his opponent."
Indeed. But wouldn't it have been nice if folks like Milbank made such observations before Election Day rather than hours before the president was getting inaugurated for the second time?
Nah. That would have been too much like journalism and might have led to Americans voting for someone else.
Can't have that

Pickup truck used by George W. Bush auctioned for $300,000

Reuters via Yahoo! ^ | 1/20/2013 | Marice Richter

DALLAS (Reuters) - A pickup truck used by former President George W. Bush at his Texas ranch was sold for $300,000 at an auction on Saturday after he donated it to benefit a charity that serves U.S. military families.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...

POST-INAUGURATION: GOP HAS 2014 SENATE RACE EDGE

Big Government ^

While Obama is officially sworn in today as President for another four years, smart strategists are keeping their eye on the 2014 ball. There are 32 senators up for reelection in 2014. Of those, 20 are Democrats and 13 are Republicans. With Senator Rockefeller's (D-W.Va) retirement in 2014, an additional senate seat is in play. Democrat resources will be spread thinner than the GOP's on account of this seven seat discrepancy; there will be a Republican advantage in the upcoming campaign season. Digging deeper, 12 of those 20 Democrat seats come from a state that is red or swing: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, W. Virginia, and Virginia. Those seats are vulnerable should the party run strong candidates.
An additional advantage for the GOP is Obama's latest attempt to encourage some kind of gun control legislation. Those senators in gun-friendly states will have to choose: either back the President's gun control agenda or risk handing their GOP opponents an effective talking point.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

There was no GOP entitlement-cutting plan (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid untouched)

Washington Examiner ^ | 01/19/2013 | Byron York

In the fights over the fiscal cliff and now the debt ceiling, many conservatives were adamant: Republicans should reach an agreement with President Obama only in exchange for serious cuts in entitlement spending. It is the entitlements — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — that will drive future deficits, the conservatives argued, and without real cuts, the nation’s debt will spiral out of control in the not-too-distant future.
Some Republican lawmakers have been stressing that point for weeks and demanding that the president agree to “real cuts” before any deal could be struck. But what has emerged from the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia is that Republicans did not have an entitlement-cutting proposal to present to Obama in debt-ceiling talks, had the president ever agreed to negotiate with them. The talk about big entitlement cuts, at least in connection with a debt-ceiling agreement, was mostly talk.
Now, by deciding to pass a short-term debt-limit bill, and at the same time demand that Democrats pass a budget — something Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not allowed in nearly four years — Republicans have sidestepped the entitlement issue altogether, at least for a while. That might have been the GOP’s only option, since it had not agreed on an entitlement-cutting proposal.
House Republicans placed themselves on the side of entitlement reform when they voted for the Ryan budget. But the Ryan budget was a far-reaching, intricately interconnected plan that addressed not only entitlement spending but taxes and revenues and more. It was not a proposal that Republicans could just throw at the president and say, Here, this is our position. As for the actions on entitlements that might have been part of GOP demands for a debt-ceiling deal, says one participant in the Williamsburg meeting: “Long term, those have to be figured out. But my sense of that is that it is not going to happen in ten days. This is complex, important.” In other words, there was no plan for major entitlement cuts as part of the debt-limit strategy.
Rather than come up with their own plan for extensive entitlement cuts, Republicans considered focusing on some smaller proposals that Obama has spoken of favorably in the past and has now abandoned. If the debate had reached a discussion of entitlements, it’s likely the GOP would have latched onto those and pushed for the president to live by his own words.
None of this means Republicans didn’t discuss among themselves some possible options for cutting entitlements. “There were a lot of discussions about cuts and what to cut,” says another Republican who has been involved in the process. “Fifty-five and above was discussed. What could we get and where were discussed.” But discussing does not mean agreeing on a plan. And the bottom line is that if President Obama had had an incredible change of mind and said to Republicans, “OK, you’re right. I will negotiate. And we need to cut entitlements. What’s your plan?” the GOP would have had little to offer beyond what Obama himself has already said.

Obama campaign arm begins gun control push

cnn.com ^ | January 17, 2013

President Barack Obama's political operation began asking its wide network of backers Thursday to voice their support for the president's gun violence proposals, the first step in Obama for America's post-campaign iteration.

An email from Obama's 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina asks supporters to "stand with President Obama in tackling this critical issue," directing readers to a webpage with a button to express support for Obama's plan, which includes executive actions and legislative proposals to curb gun violence.
The appeal comes as Obama for America, the operation formed in 2007 to elect Obama to the White House, transitions from a political organization into an effort to rouse supporters behind Obama's policy initiatives.

Obama for America is holding an "Obama Campaign Legacy Conference" in Washington on Sunday, coinciding with the president's swearing-in ceremonies on Monday. Sara El-Amine, the organizer of the event, told supporters in an email the group would be "discussing and planning for the future of this movement."
Aside from large sessions focused on what's next for OFA, the agenda includes workshops on grassroots fundraising, earned media, and organizing seminars for specific voting blocs, including Latinos, African-Americans, and the LGBT community.
An informational packet sent to supporters says more than 4,000 former staff and volunteers will be in attendance.
Senior Obama campaign aides are currently working on the specifics of how to restructure Obama for America, but are considering several different options such as converting it to a 501(c)4 or perhaps a super PAC, a source familiar with the campaign told CNN last week.
The new campaign organization will be headed by Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager who oversaw the president's victory over Republican Mitt Romney in November. Messina, Stephanie Cutter, Jennifer O'Malley Dillon and several other top Obama aides are working out the details.
(Excerpt) Read more at politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com ...

Say you're in (Email from Obama re: Organizing for Action)

Email

Today, a new grassroots organization is being launched: Organizing for Action.
Following in the footsteps of the campaign you built, Organizing for Action will be an unparalleled force in American politics. It will work to turn our shared values into legislative action -- and it'll empower the next generation of leaders in our movement.

Michelle recorded a video to tell you more about the new organization -- take a look and let OFA know you're in:

http://my.barackobama.com/Organizing-for-Action

We may have started this as a long shot presidential primary campaign in 2007, but it's always been about more than just winning an election. Together, we've made our communities stronger, we've fought for historic legislation, and we've brought more people than ever before into the political process.
We have the power to do even more to change our politics and our country for the better. With Organizing for Action, you'll have every resource you need to do it.

But it starts with you. This new organization is in your hands.

I'm so excited to see what you all do next -- and so grateful to be part of it.
Thanks,
Barack
----
Paid for by Organizing for Action.
You are receiving this message as a member of BarackObama.com's online community. Organizing for Action is solely responsible for the content of this message.

New Proposal Will Force Gun Owners to Store Assault Weapons At Government Authorized Storage Depots

shtfplan.com ^ | January 19, 2013 | Mac Slavo

Because you can never have too many laws, regulations and mandates, Massachusetts State Representative David Linsky has filed a new bill that would, among other things, force gun owners to undergo mental health background checks, acquire liability insurance, pay an additional 25% tax on all forms of ammunition, and require firearms categorized as “assault weapons” to be stored outside of their homes and only at government approved storage depots.

Provisions in the bill include:

Having one standard of the issuance of all gun licenses, giving local police chiefs the ability to evaluate all aspects of an application for a gun license.
Requires proof of liability insurance for possession of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.
Requires that all large capacity weapons and grandfathered assault weapons must be stored at gun clubs or target ranges.
Requires live shooting as part of the curriculum for a basic firearms safety course; this is not a current requirement.
Requires all applicants for gun licenses and FID cards to sign a waiver of mental health records for review to be destroyed after decision.
Imposes 25% sales tax on ammunition, firearms, shotguns, and rifles; dedicates funds towards firearms licensing, police training, mental health services, and victim’s services.
Brings Massachusetts into compliance with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Limits gun buyers to one firearm purchase per month.
(Excerpt) Read more at shtfplan.com ...

CBS News Political Director: 'Obama Can Only Cement His Legacy If He Destroys the GOP'

NewsBusters.org ^ | January 19, 2013 | Noel Sheppard

"The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat."

So astonishingly wrote CBS News political director John Dickerson at Slate Friday evening in a piece astonishingly titled "Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party."

Dickerson is no longer interested in Obama trying bipartisanship in his second term - as if that's what the President did in his first.
"Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize," Dickerson wrote. "Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition's most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray."
Did I mention this man was the political director for CBS News?
"[B]y exploiting the weaknesses of today’s Republican Party," Dickerson continued, "Obama has an opportunity to hasten the demise of the old order by increasing the political cost of having the GOP coalition defined by Second Amendment absolutists, climate science deniers, supporters of 'self-deportation' and the pure no-tax wing."
"The president can stir up these fights by poking the fear among Republicans that the party is becoming defined by its most extreme elements, which will in turn provoke fear among the most faithful conservatives that weak-willed conservatives are bending to the popular mood," added Dickerson. "That will lead to more tin-eared, dooming declarations of absolutism like those made by conservatives who sought to define the difference between legitimate and illegitimate rape—and handed control of the Senate to Democrats along the way."
"Presidents don’t usually sow discord in their inaugural addresses, though the challenge of writing a speech in which the call for compromise doesn’t evaporate faster than the air out of the president’s mouth might inspire him to shake things up a bit," Dickerson concluded. "If it doesn’t, and he tries to conjure our better angels or summon past American heroes, then it will be among the most forgettable speeches, because the next day he’s going to return to pitched political battle. He has no time to waste."
So the recommendation of CBS News's political director is that Obama begin his second term by "going for the throat" of his opponents to destroy one of the nation's two political parties.
Is this in any way appropriate for a so-called journalist that's supposed to remain neutral and impartial in his dealings with political leaders?
This is what one expects from people on MSNBC.
After Bob Schieffer's absurd comments earlier in the week comparing Obama's anti-gun initiatives to America defeating the Nazis in World War II, is CBS making another huge turn to the left further distancing itself from being an impartial news source?
If not, maybe someone at CBS ought to remind Dickerson of what his role is at the organization and what it means to be a journalist.
Like most in his industry, it appears Dickerson has forgotten

There was no GOP entitlement-cutting plan (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid untouched)

Washington Examiner ^ | 01/19/2013 | Byron York

In the fights over the fiscal cliff and now the debt ceiling, many conservatives were adamant: Republicans should reach an agreement with President Obama only in exchange for serious cuts in entitlement spending. It is the entitlements — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security — that will drive future deficits, the conservatives argued, and without real cuts, the nation’s debt will spiral out of control in the not-too-distant future.
Some Republican lawmakers have been stressing that point for weeks and demanding that the president agree to “real cuts” before any deal could be struck. But what has emerged from the House GOP retreat in Williamsburg, Virginia is that Republicans did not have an entitlement-cutting proposal to present to Obama in debt-ceiling talks, had the president ever agreed to negotiate with them. The talk about big entitlement cuts, at least in connection with a debt-ceiling agreement, was mostly talk.
Now, by deciding to pass a short-term debt-limit bill, and at the same time demand that Democrats pass a budget — something Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has not allowed in nearly four years — Republicans have sidestepped the entitlement issue altogether, at least for a while. That might have been the GOP’s only option, since it had not agreed on an entitlement-cutting proposal.
House Republicans placed themselves on the side of entitlement reform when they voted for the Ryan budget. But the Ryan budget was a far-reaching, intricately interconnected plan that addressed not only entitlement spending but taxes and revenues and more. It was not a proposal that Republicans could just throw at the president and say, Here, this is our position. As for the actions on entitlements that might have been part of GOP demands for a debt-ceiling deal, says one participant in the Williamsburg meeting: “Long term, those have to be figured out. But my sense of that is that it is not going to happen in ten days. This is complex, important.” In other words, there was no plan for major entitlement cuts as part of the debt-limit strategy.
Rather than come up with their own plan for extensive entitlement cuts, Republicans considered focusing on some smaller proposals that Obama has spoken of favorably in the past and has now abandoned. If the debate had reached a discussion of entitlements, it’s likely the GOP would have latched onto those and pushed for the president to live by his own words.
None of this means Republicans didn’t discuss among themselves some possible options for cutting entitlements. “There were a lot of discussions about cuts and what to cut,” says another Republican who has been involved in the process. “Fifty-five and above was discussed. What could we get and where were discussed.” But discussing does not mean agreeing on a plan. And the bottom line is that if President Obama had had an incredible change of mind and said to Republicans, “OK, you’re right. I will negotiate. And we need to cut entitlements. What’s your plan?” the GOP would have had little to offer beyond what Obama himself has already said.

Making downtown less dodgy (Urban renewal in South Africa)

The Economist ^ | Jan 12th 2013

DAYLIGHT filters through the ether in Africa’s tallest residential building, a brutalist cylindrical skyscraper with a hollow core that drops 54 floors to a ragged base of exposed bedrock. The view into the interior is eerie, a dim light giving it a sci-fi feel that recalls the film “Blade Runner”. But the outward-facing windows offer breathtakingly clear views, some of the best in Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital.
Ponte City was a posh address when it opened in 1975 at the edge of what was then the trendy inner-city district of Hillbrow, during the race-segregated era when central Johannesburg boomed. Ambitious developers planned to add an indoor ski slope inside the building.
(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...

FBI Documents Shine Light on Clandestine Cellphone Tracking Tool

slate.com ^ | Jan. 10, 2013 | Ryan Gallagher

The FBI calls it a “sensitive investigative technique” that it wants to keep secret. But newly released documents that shed light on the bureau’s use of a controversial cellphone tracking technology called the “Stingray” have prompted fresh questions over the legality of the spy tool. Functioning as a so-called “cell-site simulator,” the Stingray is a sophisticated portable surveillance device.

 The equipment is designed to send out a powerful signal that covertly dupes phones within a specific area into hopping onto a fake network. The feds say they use them to target specific groups or individuals and help track the movements of suspects in real time, not to intercept communications. But by design Stingrays, sometimes called “IMSI catchers,” collaterally gather data from innocent bystanders’ phones and can interrupt phone users’ service—which critics say violates a federal communications law. The FBI has maintained that its legal footing here is firm.

Now, though, internal documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group, reveal the bureau appears well aware its use of the snooping gear is in dubious territory. Two heavily redacted sets of files released last month show internal Justice Department guidance that relates to the use of the cell tracking equipment, with repeated references to a crucial section of the Communications Act which outlines how “interference” with communication signals is prohibited. It’s a small but significant detail.

Why? Because it demonstrates that “there are clearly concerns, even within the agency, that the use of Stingray technology might be inconsistent with current regulations,” says EPIC attorney Alan Butler. “I don't know how the DOJ justifies the use of Stingrays given the limitations of the Communications Act prohibition.”

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...

Saving America From The “Make Somebody Else Pay” Mindset

Townhall.com ^ | January 20, 2013 | Austin Hill

“I don’t know what ‘moral grounds’ you think you’re standing on, but as far as I am concerned, what you’re saying is very immoral…”

I was an interview guest last month, and the radio talk show host was asking me about the looming fiscal cliff. In the midst of discussing how our government must cut spending, the host had noted the title of my latest book – “The Virtues Of Capitalism, A Moral Case For Free Markets” – and after a few minutes of discussion, asked “do you mind if we take a phone call, Austin?”

Sometimes that word “moral” in the book title gets people very upset. This was one of those times.
“I’m a Pastor,” the show caller said, “and my Bible tells me that the ‘moral’ thing to do is to to love and to pray for our President, not to hate on him.” I noted to the caller that I had not said a word about President Obama. “Yeah, but all this rhetoric about ‘fiscal responsibility’ and ‘cutting spending’ is code talk for ‘I hate it that Obama won.’ Obama did win, and he did not create this crisis, so get over it…”
Thus was my experience a few weeks ago, being interviewed on a radio talk show in the “Bible Belt” region of the U.S. And the reaction I got from the clergyman (he has since emailed me, and I have every reason to believe that he’s really a Pastor) underscores some serious problems in our country. They are problems that both underlie, and yet transcend, our government debt crisis.
For one, Americans far too often trivialize our nation’s public policy. The Super Bowl is about “my team versus your team,” but debates about the laws and policies of our country are far more important. When Americans dismiss concerns over government debt as “you’re just hatin’ on my guy” – as the talk show caller did to me, and as many other Americans do regularly – then we’re in serious trouble.
Government debt is at a “code red” level of danger, and the choices that elected officials make over the coming two to four years or so will shape the world and our country’s future for decades to come. Save your zealotry for the “big game” – it’s time for Americans to engage their brains, not merely their passions.
And here’s another problem: far too many Americans seem to be illiterate when it comes to basic economics. We understand competition and excellence, success and failure, when it’s on the playing field or American Idol. But success in business is presumed by many to be ill-gotten gain, and people who make lots of money with successful enterprises are frequently dismissed as “greedy,” and deserving of more government confiscation of their money.
Worse yet, many of us seem to lose all sense of reality when it comes to the economic promises of politicians. Most American adults seem to understand that a drunken person cannot drink themselves to sobriety, and that no individual or household can spend their way out of debt. Yet when politicians promise to “help” us by spending more of our money, many of us seem to believe it.
Yet the existing federal government debt, on a per-capita basis, translates to approximately $54,000 per individual citizen, and about $200,000 per household. Simply saying “I don’t understand economics very well” is unacceptable. Americans must grow up and realize that a stable society needs prosperous private enterprise, and government that operates within its means.
And here’s a really tough one that our overwhelmingly religious nation needs to understand: economic systems are neither morally relative, nor are they morally neutral. Big government, little government, high and low taxes – these distinctions are not morally inconsequential. The President and the Congress can be blamed for running up debt, but they are an expression of the American electorate’s desires. If there was sufficient political pressure for fiscal responsibility in Washington, then there would be a sufficient number of elected congressional members who would require it, and the President would get on board with it too.
Likewise, it is not morally inconsequential to support a “make somebody else pay” public policy. Indeed, this is morally reprehensible. Amid an environment where nearly 50% of all households are receiving one or more types of government benefit checks, Americans mostly support the President’s “soak the rich” fiscal policy. Yet many of us are indignant at the thought of paying more taxes ourselves (and many more are outraged that, despite the President’s promises to the contrary, all of us who work are having more taxes taken out of our paychecks this year).
In my native homeland of California, the “make somebody else pay” philosophy could not be more obvious. Last November, voters there rejected a modest state sales tax increase that was on the ballot (a tax that would have impacted all consumers), yet overwhelmingly supported an income tax hike on – you guessed it, “rich people.” “Don’t stop my government services,” a majority of California voters seemed to say, “but make somebody else pay for it.”
Debt, out of control spending, and making somebody else pay – they all amount to a lethal combination. Will Americans grow up in sufficient time to choose more wisely?