Friday, November 30, 2012

Supreme Court: Go Ahead Citizen And Record Police Officers! ^ | 29 November, 2012 | Tim Brown

For a while now, especially since the arrival of YouTube ordinary citizens have been attempting to make police accountable for their actions by videoing them. Many times police officers do not have a problem being videoed. However the State of Illinois does not like their officers being videoed and sought to impose a penalty of up to 15 years in prison tied to a 50-year-old anti-eavesdropping law.

Obviously lower level courts and even a Justice Department backing, in an Obama administration, concluded that there was nothing criminal about citizens videoing police officers. Officers are not above the law. Their role is to be servants of the citizens, not tyrannical thugs. It seems many police officers think they are somehow free to video a citizens every move with surveillance cameras in their cars, at their buildings and out in the open, but they do not want citizens recording them.

Recording of police officers violates no one’s rights. In ensures the privacy rights of both officers and citizens. It may be annoying, but that’s just tough. Many things about “free speech” can be annoying and even disagreeable, but that doesn’t mean that people who disagree with you are not allowed to speak.

The ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court blocking Illinois’ unconstitutional law and kicking it back to the lower court should be clear enough that this should never come up again, but it will. Liberals and tyrants will not rest until the freedoms of the people are thoroughly cast under foot and trampled upon. Therefore, we must be ever vigilant against them.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


Older than dirt!

'Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?'
'We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,'
I informed him.

'All the food was slow.'

'C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?'

'It was a place called 'at
home,'' I explained. !
'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.'

By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :

Some parents NEVER owned their own house, never wore Levis, never set foot on a golf course, never traveled out of the country or had a credit card.

In their later years they had something called a revolving charge card. The card was good only at Sears Roebuck. Or maybe it was Sears &Roebuck.
Either way, there is no Roebuck anymore. Maybe he died.

My parents never drove me to soccer practice. This was mostly because we never had heard of soccer.
I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow)

We didn't have a television in our house until I was 17.
It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a..m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people.

I was 21 before I tasted my first pizza, it was called 'pizza pie.' When I bit into it, I burned the roof of my mouth and the cheese slid off, swung down, plastered itself against my chin and burned that, too. It's still the best pizza I ever had.

I never had a telephone in my room. The only phone in the house was in the living room and it was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn't know weren't already using the line.

Pizzas were not delivered to our home. But milk was.

All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers-- my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. It cost 7 cents a paper, of which he got to keep 2 cents. He had to get up at 6AM every morning.
On Saturday, he had to collect the 42 cents from his customers. His favorite customers were the ones who gave him 50 cents and told him to keep the change. His least favorite customers were the ones who seemed to never be home on collection day.

Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren
Just don't blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

Growing up isn't what it used to be, is it?

MEMORIES from a friend :
My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother's house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it.. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to 'sprinkle' clothes with because we didn't have steam irons. Man, I am old.
How many do you remember?
Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz :

Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about. Ratings at the bottom.

1. Blackjack chewing gum
2.Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water
3. Candy cigarettes4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes 6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
7. Party lines on the telephone
8 Newsreels before the movie 9. P.F. Flyers
10. Butch wax 11.. TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels... [if you were fortunate])
12. Peashooters
13. Howdy Doody
14. 45 RPM records 15. S& H greenstamps
16. Hi-fi's17. Metal ice trays with lever
18. Mimeograph paper19. Blue flashbulb20. Packards21. Roller skate keys22.Cork popguns
23. Drive-ins24. Studebakers25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older

If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 16-25 = You' re older than dirt!

I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

Don't forget to pass this along!!

Especially to all your really
OLD friends....

People are too dependent on the government!


This is exactly why Mitt Romney said that 40 something % of the people are too dependent on the government. They have learned to work the system.

A Ford Dealer's Report - From Tom Selkis' (Latham Ford) Facebook - True story yesterday at the dealership.
"I'll try to make this as short and to the point as I can”.

One of my salesmen here had a woman in his office yesterday wanting to lease a brand new Focus.

As he was reviewing her credit application with her he noticed she was on social security disability.

He said to her you don't look like you're disabled and unable to work.

She said well I'm really not. I could work if I wanted to, but I make more now than I did when I was working and got hurt (non-disabling injury).
She said the gov't sends her $1500.00 a month in 1 check. And she gets $700.00 a month on an EBT card (food stamps), and $800.00 a month for rent. Oh yeah, and 250 minutes free on her phone. That is just south of $3500.00 a month. When she was working, she was taking home about $330.00 per week.
Do the math and then ask yourself why the hell should she go back to work.

If you multiply that by millions of people, you start to realize the scope of the problem we face as a country.

Once the socialists have 51% of the population in that same scenario, we are finished.
The question is when do we cross that threshold if we haven't already, and there are not enough people working to pay enough taxes to support the non-working people? Riots?? Be prepared to protect your homes.

She didn't lease the Focus here because the dealer down the road beat our deal by $10.00/month.

Glad to know she is so frugal with her hard earned money."

Society Of No Responsibility

Political Realities ^ | 11/30/12 | LD Jackson

ResponsibilityExcuse me while I go off the normal, beaten path of Political Realities. Today's post is so different, I had to create the new category of society to properly define it. It's more than a little safe to make the following statement. The society we live in today is not the society we grew up in. By we, I mean those of us who are middle-aged, possibly 40 and older. Today's society has changed so drastically, it is almost unrecognizable. The most glaring example of that change is the lack of responsibility that is displayed by so many people. No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. They are always looking to blame someone, or something else, for what is happening in their lives.
To see an example of this, we have no further to look than the results of the recent elections. No, this is not a post about politics, but the lack of responsibility in our society has led directly to a second term for Barack Obama. Otherwise, more Americans would have been able to realize our country was on the wrong path and would have voted to correct our course. As it stands, many Americans failed to display enough responsibility to even get out and vote. But, that rabbit trail is for another day and another post.
At the risk of raising the ire of those who may be less socially conservative than I, this lack of responsibility is one reason abortion is so rampant in America. It is also one reason so many people fight so strongly for the right of a woman to kill her unborn child. They want the pleasure of sex, without taking the responsibility of making sure they do not get pregnant, or the responsibility of raising and caring for the children that is the likely result of their actions. If the people of our society felt more responsibility for their actions, we would have fewer abortions, fewer broken families, and less crime. Am I judging by proclaiming this? Yes, I am, and I will stand by that statement.
What happens when the people of a particular society fail to take responsibility for their actions? That depends, but if those people are teaching those same traits and habits to their children, then we have a second generation coming up with total lack of responsibility. If there is one thing I have learned in my life, from observing what goes on around me, it is that children usually act like their parents after they are grown. Therefore, if a father refuses to work and make a living for his family, his children, especially his sons, are apt to have that same character flaw. Passed on from generation to generation, this leads to each one having a greater lack of responsibility about them.
Feel free to disagree with me in the comments, but it seems to me every generation gets a little worse. When the going gets tough, when a job doesn't go right, when family problems arise, far too many people believe it is okay to just walk away. They take no responsibility for the situation they have had a part in creating. Don't like your job? Just quit and find another. Never mind your children and spouse at home who are needing food, clothes, and other necessities. The society we live in today believes it is okay to do just that. That's one of their excuses for such a large government, which is needed to take care of those who have such a lack of responsibility.
I know it may seem like I am harsh as I write this post. Before someone goes off on me and starts explaining how so many people are victims of circumstances beyond their control, I realize that. Sometimes, things just happen. Some of them are out of our control. What we can control is how we respond to them. Even if life's problems spiral out of control, we are responsible for how we respond to the hand we are played. Life's ups and downs do not negate the responsibility we bear for our response to the negatives and positives we face every day.
Our society can not continue on its current path. As each generation comes up, more and more of the individuals bear less responsibility. How much longer can our society bear that kind of load, before it collapses under the pressure. I'm afraid that collapse may not be as far in the future as we would like to believe.

The USS Enterprise's Last Tour (After 51 Years in Service It Is To Be Decommissioned)

Air Space Mag ^ | November 30, 2012 | Rebecca Maksel

After 51 years of service, the historic aircraft carrier is about to be decommissioned.

When the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) sailed away from Norfolk, Virginia, on its maiden voyage in 1962, it was the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and the eighth Enterprise in a long dynasty reaching back to the Revolutionary War. Its eight nuclear reactors, reported the Chicago Daily Defender, had an energy potential "as great as that of all the reactors in the free world."
The most recent Enterprise played a role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, along with other ships in the Second Fleet, blockading shipments of military equipment to Cuba. During the height of the Vietnam War, nearly 100 aircraft were launched each day from the Enterprise, laden with explosives and bound for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the carrier—headed home after a long deployment—steamed overnight to the North Arabian Sea to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom.
On December 1, 2012, the carrier will be inactivated, ending 51 years of service. See the gallery above for more about its history. Here, two F/A-18 Super Hornets fly past the Enterprise on its last deployment, on October 4, 2012.

There has been an Enterprise since 1775, when Captain James Smith was ordered to Lake Champlain to take command of the 70-ton sloop that originally belonged to the British. Enterprise II was an eight-gun schooner purchased in 1776 that convoyed transports in the Chesapeake Bay. Enterprise III, a 12-gun schooner, searched for British privateers off the coast of Maine in 1812. Enterprise IV launched from the New York Navy Yard in 1831; while Enterprise V, a steam corvette with auxiliary sail power, was commissioned in 1877. . | 2 of 9 | Next »»
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Report: Obamas to spend holidays in Hawaii at $4 million cost to taxpayers!

The Daily Caller ^ | November 29, 2012

(screw you...I won!)

The first family will be vacationing in Hawaii for the Christmas holidays at a cost of at least $4 million to taxpayers, according to a report from the Hawaii Reporter.

The Hawaiian paper reports that residents living near the beachfront homes at Kailuana Place, where the President Obama and first family have visited annually since 2008, were notified Monday that there will be restrictions on their movements in place for 20 days, from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6.

The Hawaii Reporter calculated the $4 million cost to taxpayers based in part on the price of a round trip flight to the island on Air Force One, the transport of the president’s support equipment, housing of security and staff and the cost of police to local taxpayers.

The first family pays for their own rental on the beach, according to the paper.

The White House Dossier notes that the White House has yet to officially announce the vacation or the president’s travel plans and notes Obama could be in Hawaii on the day the country goes off the “fiscal cliff” if no deal is reached in time.

The Dossier adds that the vacation could help to add “subtle pressure” the president to reach a deal.
Author Robert Keith Gray estimated in his book “Presidential Perks Gone Royal“ that last year taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on the first family, compared to the $57.8 million British taxpayers spent on the royal family, The Daily Caller reported in September.

Last year the Hawaii Reporter estimated the president’s 17-day holiday vacation in Hawaii was more than $4 million as well.

Californians Are The New Wetbacks Headed For Mexico

chrissstreetandco ^ | 11/30/12 | Chriss W. Street

President Obama met with the newly elected President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto yesterday. While the press focused on the Administration’s talking points for discussions on a wide range of issues from energy to climate change, the real concern is that the Mexican economy is far out performing the U.S. and the new immigration concern is increasingly from Americans illegally moving to Mexico.
Nowhere is this trend more challenging than in California, which was just awarded the booby-prize by 24/7 Wall Street survey, as the “Worst Run State” in the United States. The State has unemployment: 10.1% (2nd highest), Budget deficit: 20.7% (17th largest), Debt per capita: $4,008 (18th highest), Median household income: $57,287 (10th highest), percentage in poverty: 16.6% (18th highest) and the worst credit ratings.
State politician’s answer to get finances back on track, was to convince voters to raise sales taxes and increase the income tax rates for people making over $250,000 a year to the highest in the nation. This wasn’t difficult, since 40% of Californians don’t pay any income tax and a quarter are on Medicaid. Residents making $1 million per year saw their state tax burden rise to $96,189 from $87,459 last year. For every dollar earned over $1 million, the California income tax rate jumps to 13.3%.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Killing themselves off has kept Blacks, Hispanics from the numeric advantage the Left yearns for! ^ | Nov 30, 2012 | Emma Karlin, staff writer

One of the many persistent lies we hear from the Left is Whites are no longer the majority of America. Citing a US Census report the New York Times said the latest Census showed that just over 50% of Americans under 1 year old are non-White.
This was an example of the liberal media disregarding the truth to write a story that fits its narrative. The Census Bureau is not the definitive source of data about the race of babies born in America. That role is filled by National Center For Health Statistics (NCHS).
The NCHS reports something very different. It says 54.4% of babies born in the latest reporting period were non- Hispanic Whites.
Moreover rather than slipping toward the tipping point that would cause delight in America’s newsrooms, the trend of births since 2008 has been more White births than non-White births.
In the years from 2009 to 2011 Black births have held just about even, Hispanic births have dropped almost 1 ½ percentage points and White births have climbed by 1 percent.
Why would this be?
The Gutmacher Institute, a group known for its love of death through abortions, offers this data which explains the growing gap between White and non-White births.
“Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic women have higher rates of abortion (40 and 29 per 1,000 women aged 15–44, respectively) than non-Hispanic white women do (12 per 1,000). The higher rates reflect the fact that black and Hispanic women have high unintended pregnancy rates (91 and 82 per 1,000 women, respectively), compared with non-Hispanic white women (36 per 1,000 women)”
The rate at which non-White women kill their babies is three times higher than the rate at which White women kill their babies….
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Ted Cruz speech stokes 2016 speculation

Politico ^ | 11/29/12 11:30 PM EST | DAVID CATANESE

Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of “Opportunity Conservatism” during a sweeping speech Thursday night that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.

“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice. “We didn’t even make the argument.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

On the Harvesting of Democrat Votes ^ | 11/30/2012 | Forrest Gump

David Horowitz brings us a very disturbing report on the extent to which the traditional harvesting of votes by parties has degenerated into massive, uncontrollable ballot manipulation by Democrats.
Traditional "vote harvesters" have as their mission the gathering of "... unthinking collectives of potential voters -- nursing home residents, college students, skid-row dwellers, recent immigrants -- and get them to vote[.]"
Mr. Horowitz is a red-diaper baby and a former "Marxist intellectual"-turned-militant conservative who here recounts a conversation he had with his "... brother-in-law, Henry, who has lived most of his life in a home for the mentally disabled and although now in his 40s, has the intelligence level of a 6-year-old."

"Obama saved me," he said to me out of the blue. "What do you mean?" "I voted for him for president and now he's saving me." I was taken aback by these words, since Henry had no idea who Obama was, or what a president might be, and would be unable to fill out a registration form let alone get to the polling place by himself.
So I asked him how he knew that and how he had registered and cast his vote. In halting, impeded speech he told me that the people who take care of him at the home filled out "the papers" to register him to vote, told him how Obama cared for him, even taught him the Obama chants, and then took him to the polling place to vote. They did the same for all of the mentally disabled patients in their care, approximately 60 in all.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

No more tax increases: Why Grover Norquist is right

The Lakeland Times ^ | 11/30/2012 | Richard Moore

There was quite a dust-up in the Republican Party this past week when Georgia U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss uttered the unthinkable and said he would no longer adhere to the famous Taxpayer Protection Pledge conceived by Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Chambliss was blunt in renouncing his commitment not to vote to raise taxes: “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge. If we do it his (Norquist’s) way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”
Now this is not particularly surprising coming as it does so quickly after President Obama’s re-election, which has sent weak-kneed, spineless Republicans hotfooting it from their principles. And it is not particularly surprising coming from Sen. Chambliss because conservative groups have already put a target on his back for his past RINO proclivities.
While it might not be surprising, it is telling. Mr. Chambliss said straight up that we must raise taxes, or we will continue in debt. It is a Democratic argument, and it is false, as most Democratic arguments are. Let’s take a look why.
Follow the conditional statement, and there can be only two possibilities to validate it. Either revenues are slumping in dramatic, irreversible fashion, and so more are needed to meet the realistic, indeed necessary, demands of the modern state, or we are held hostage by nondiscretionary spending, that is to say, we’re spending so much because we have to, not because we want to.
Implicit in the first possibility is that the money stream is historically low and not likely to recover sufficiently. ...
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Dems put U.S. on road to ‘cliff’ ^ | 11/29/2012 | George F. Will

With a chip on his shoulder larger than his margin of victory, Barack Obama is approaching his second term by replicating the mistake of his first.

Then his overreaching involved health care — expanding the entitlement state at the expense of economic growth. Now he seeks another surge of statism, enlarging the portion of gross domestic product grasped by government and dispensed by politics. The occasion is the misnamed “fiscal cliff,” the proper name for which is: the Democratic Party’s agenda.
For 40 years the party’s principal sources of energy and money — liberal activists, government employees unions — have advocated expanding government’s domestic reach by raising taxes and contracting its foreign reach by cutting defense. Obama’s four years as one of the most liberal senators and his four presidential years indicate he agrees. Like other occasionally numerate but prudently reticent liberals, he surely understands that the entitlement state he favors requires raising taxes on the cohort that has most of the nation’s money — the middle class.
Mitt Romney as candidate and others before and since have suggested increasing revenues by capping income tax deductions. This would increase that tax’s progressivity, without raising rates that would dampen incentives. Obama’s compromise may be: Let’s do both. Remember the story of when the British Admiralty sought six new battleships, the Treasury proposed four, so they compromised on eight.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Barack Obama - National security is just a video game!


Obama's video game mentality when it comes to National Security.
It's no big secret the the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue always has the glowingest of things to say about our Armed Forces.
You know the real 1 percenters the liberal media seems to forget about on a daily basis.
But I digress, Barry-O recently heaped faux tele-zombied praise on our Warriors during the most recent State of the Union Address:
"At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down they exceed all expectations."
Awww... I dunno 'bout you, but I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy all over.
Oh, One More Thing...
Brother Barry forgot to mention that he plans on sending 100,000 of these wonderful folks who "never let us down" and "exceed all expectations" from the ranks of the military to the ranks of the unemployed.
Yup, the Mocha Messiah is slashing 20,000 gunslingers from my Beloved Corps, and 80,000 from the God Bless 'Em Army.
Oh, One One More Thing...
He also plans on cutting Combat Pay (or Hazardous Duty Pay, or Imminent Danger Pay, or Keep Your Head Down, Dumb Ass or whatever it's called nowadays), to a pro-rated system, where our life-takers and heart-breakers will pull in a whopping $7.50 a day for being in a combat zone.
President Awesome really is in touch with what our kids in the Service deal with, 'eh? {Sarcasm off}
Socialist Claus Brought Me A PlayStation 3!

Debt Limit: The Other Fiscal Cliff

Politico ^ | 11/27/12 4:33 AM EST | By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN and JAKE SHERMAN

Nothing raises the ire of Republicans in Congress like the specter of Obama taking matters into his own hands. If the White House goes that route and raises the debt ceiling by executive order, Boehner and his leadership team would likely take immediate legal action to halt the debt ceiling increase, sources familiar with his thinking said.

President Barack Obama made a demand of House Speaker John Boehner near the end of their first White House meeting on the fiscal cliff: Raise the debt limit before year’s end.
Boehner responded: “There is a price for everything.”

And with that exchange, described by sources familiar with the Nov. 16 session, an issue that has been overshadowed by the fiscal cliff showdown moved to the forefront of already complicated negotiations to avert more than $500 billion in spending cuts and tax increases by the new year. With bitter memories of the 2011 debt-limit standoff still fresh, both sides are engaged in another aggressive round of hardball.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Top Five Reasons Republicans Should Take Us Over the Fiscal Cliff

As the clock ticks and we watch the various players move their pieces into place, it's becoming increasingly obvious that Republicans are in a no-win situation. They’re ether going to have to cave and agree to a tax increase without meaningful spending cuts or take the blame for going over the fiscal cliff. 

Here are five reasons why going over the cliff is by far the best option.

1. It's a Trap!
Though House Speaker John Boehner foolishly helped to manufacture this trap by making tax increases the primary issue in the fiscal cliff negotiations, there's still time to extricate himself and his party.
Obama and the media could not care less about the economy or the deficit or the middle class. What they want is a rerun of 1992 in 2014.
There was all kinds of media praise and back-slapping from Democrats after George H. W. Bush agreed to break his "read my lips" tax pledge in exchange for spending cuts. The result of that broken promise, though, was that he looked weak, like a dupe, and faced a bruising primary challenge for reelection in '92. And during this campaign, the same media that had baited Bush into breaking his most memorable campaign promise, turned on him. We all know how that ended.
If House Republicans abandon the cornerstone of their party and agree to Obama's tax increases, they are almost certain to lose the support of much of their base. The fallout would likely be worse than 1992.
After all, if conservatives can't count on the GOP to hold the line on taxes, what good are they?
2. No Meaningful Spending Cuts Will Happen Between Now and Christmas
The other half of the fiscal cliff negotiations -- which we haven't heard a whole lot about in the media -- is supposed to be real and meaningful spending cuts, which can only happen through serious entitlement reform. Again and again and again, though, from the likes for Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin and even some in the media, we're told this kind of reform can't possibly be done between now and the deadline at the end of this year.
This is nothing more than a ruse meant to fool the public into believing serious spending reforms passed this year would be reckless
Though all kinds of serious and thoughtful plans already exist to reform entitlements (like the Ryan Plan, which has passed the House twice), Democrats choose to pretend they don’t exist. This proves how unserious they are about meaningful spending reductions.
Should Republicans once again fall for raising taxes with only a "promise" from Obama regarding serious entitlement reform -- a promise he's made before and not kept -- Republicans would be in even more electoral trouble than if they just raised taxes.
Agreeing to tax increases would be bad enough. Raising taxes after being suckered would be unforgivable.
3. Going Over the Cliff Gives Republicans Time to Fix Their Messaging
The biggest negotiating disadvantage Republicans are at right now is that they're getting murdered on the messaging front. Both the media and Obama are running circles around a Party that seems thoroughly incapable of making the case for spending cuts and against raising taxes -- a position that was once so easy to articulate it actually won us a few elections.
What the GOP needs more than a lousy deal is time to regroup, get their message down, and come up with a post-holiday plan for a media offensive that will get a message across that penetrates.
The moral and economic arguments against raising taxes on anyone, much less job producers, are legion. Moreover, this so-called crisis is not a revenue crisis; it's a spending crisis. But Obama and the media have most Americans hoodwinked into believing otherwise -- which is our fault.
The option between making a lousy deal now and taking the heat for going over the cliff but with the result being a better deal later, isn't a great choice, but it is an easy one.
4. Real Spending Reform Can Happen Next Year
If Republicans hold firm to their principles and show Democrats they’re absolutely serious about spending cuts -- serious enough the take the hit they’re sure to take for us going over the cliff -- Republicans might be able to make this work for them in the long-term. Right now, Boehner has a gun to his head. Once that gun is fired, though, it's fired. That takes some of the pressure off and immediately changes the negotiating dynamic because we no longer have a gun to our head.
With the right messaging from Republicans (always a concern), the current card Democrats are playing about how serious entitlement reform can't be rushed, is off the table. From there, Republicans can pressure Obama and Democrats to get their act together. Best of all, there's still a ticking clock. The sooner Democrats get serious about spending cuts, the sooner all Americans stop paying the higher taxes that will result in missing the end-of-year deadline.
5. A Tax-Hike Without Meaningful Spending Cuts Is Meaningless
Every year we rack up over a trillion dollars in unsustainable debt, and it's just a fact that even if Obama got everything he wanted with respect to this income tax increase, it adds up to a drop in the bucket -- it's purely symbolic. But purely symbolic only in the arena of deficit reduction, not the very real effect tax increases could have on job creators.
Republicans caving before the deadline might win short-lived accolades from the media and Democrats, but on top of costing them the respect of their base, it would also be a cowardly move that accomplished nothing more than to take the pressure off.
Waiting till next year could mean actual and very real spending reductions.
Think about it...
And what good did TARP do us? Because we panicked and merely held off the inevitable, we're now entering year five of anemic economic growth and unnecessarily high unemployment. Had we stayed out of the way and let the free market do what it does best -- correct itself -- we wouldn't be in the mess we are now. Rather than let the bottom fall out, we spent trillions to extend the time it took for the bottom to fall out -- which has only served to explode the deficit and prolong our economic woes.
This country needs a smart economic plan, not another fast and meaningless one that will do nothing to solve our spending problem.
Democrats are always talking about "shared sacrifice." Let's beat them at their own game and sell a little short-term "shared" pain from some long-term gain in the area of fiscal sanity and responsibility.
Republicans have history, facts, and economic policy on their side. If they can work on messaging and steel their spines, they can not only win politically, they can also do what's right for their country.
But step one is going require the nerve necessary to hold firm.
If Republicans do the right but tough thing, I'm with them. If they cower and cave… I don’t even want to think about it.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC

Krauthammer On Fiscal Cliff Negotiations: "Republicans Ought To Simply Walk Away"

Real Clear Politics ^ | 11/29/2012 | Charles Krauthammer

It's not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal. What Geithner offered, what you showed on the screen, Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War. 

The Democrats won by 3% of the vote and they did not hold the House, Republicans won the house. So this is not exactly unconditional surrender, but that is what the administration is asking of the Republicans.

This idea -- there are not only no cuts in this, there's an increase in spending with a new stimulus. I mean, this is almost unheard of. What do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think the Republicans ought to simply walk away. The president is the president. He's the leader. They are demanding that the Republicans explain all the cuts that they want to make.

We had that movie a year-and-a-half ago where Paul Ryan presented a budget, a serious real budget with real cuts. Obama was supposed to gave speech where he would respond with a counter offer. And what did he do? He gave a speech where he had Ryan sitting in the front row. He called the Ryan proposal un-American, insulted him, offered nothing, and ran on Mediscare in the next 18 months.

And they expect the Republicans are going to do this again?
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Brain-Lock inside the Beltway

The National Review ^ | 11-30-12 | Jonah Goldberg

It’s at times like this I’m ashamed to admit I live inside the Beltway.

Well, that’s probably not specific enough, since I’m usually ashamed to admit I live inside the Beltway.
Still, the second you try to explain the stupidity of this “fiscal cliff” fiasco to a normal person, it makes William F. Buckley’s famous declaration that he’d rather be governed by the first few hundred people listed in the Boston phone book than by the faculty of Harvard seem all the more reasonable.
While there are some responsible politicians and policymakers in Washington, if you look at the whole place collectively, Uncle Sam starts to look like a junkie. The logic of addiction dictates that you make a deal that allows you to avoid all of your problems now and enjoy a quick high in exchange for a painful confrontation with reality down the road.
Almost exactly a year ago, during the famed debt-ceiling negotiations, Speaker of the House John Boehner boasted that he’d forced tough concessions from the Democrats, achieving the first real cut in government spending in ages. He claimed his “real, enforceable cut” amounted to $7 billion for fiscal year 2012. The Congressional Budget Office objected, saying the real savings were closer to $1 billion.
“Which of these numbers is accurate?” asked columnist Mark Steyn at the time. Answering his own question, he wrote: “The correct answer is: Who cares?”
And he was right. At the time, the U.S. was spending $188 million of largely borrowed money every hour of every day. So, going by the CBO number, if you started watching the official Godfather trilogy box set right after the deal was cut, the government would have burned through its “savings” before Fredo went on his last fishing trip. If you went by Boehner’s math, you could actually watch the whole trilogy about four times before the “savings” ran out.
America already has a more progressive tax system than Europe, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Democrats insist that the rich need to start paying their “fair share,” which means even more progressivity. The Republicans, meanwhile . . . agree! The difference is that the GOP wants to eliminate loopholes and exemptions while keeping rates where they are. Democrats would prefer simply raising the rates.
Now here’s a distinction that the first few hundred people in the Boston phone book would probably grasp better than the folks at Harvard (or in Congress): A tax increase is a tax increase. If I make the same amount of money as I did last year but pay more in taxes, then my taxes have gone up. If I pay less, my taxes have gone down. Whether the numbers moved this way or that because of closed loopholes or rejiggered tax rates, the result for me is the same. That doesn’t mean tax simplification doesn’t make sense, but dodging a rate hike isn’t the same as dodging a tax hike.
So the Republicans are, in fact, in favor of raising taxes by the rules of the real world. In exchange for doing this, they want the Democrats to deal with the real problem: spending. You could confiscate 100 percent of income over $1 million, and it would cover about a third of the deficit (and crush the economy in the process). You’d still have to deal with spending, particularly entitlement spending.
But the Democrats want to do . . . nothing. Or at least that’s the position they seemed to be taking this week.
The White House and the Democrats have been floating the idea that we can worry about entitlements later, if ever. The urgent thing is to raise taxes on the wealthy as soon as possible. When asked what he was prepared to cut, Senate majority leader Harry Reid said Wednesday, “Now remember, we’ve already done more than a billion dollars worth of cuts. We’ve already done that. So we need to get some credit for that.”
Okay, here’s the credit: That is about .09 percent of the deficit. Take .09 percent of a bow, Harry.
Meanwhile, the GOP seems to be obsessed with Talmudic interpretations of Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. You see, if the Bush tax cuts expire, we’ll all pay a lot more in taxes. But letting them expire wouldn’t violate the pledge, while voting for a smaller net tax increase would.
As Republicans sort all that out, the guy who actually won the election by claiming he had a better plan hasn’t proposed any plan at all. That’s life inside the Beltway for you.

Gitmo North Returns: Obama's Shady Prison Deal! ^ | November 30, 2012 | Michelle Malkin

If you thought President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder had given up on closing Guantanamo Bay and bringing jihadists to American soil, think again. Two troubling developments on the Gitmo front should have every American on edge.
The first White House maneuver took place in October, while much of the public and the media were preoccupied with election news. On Oct. 2, Obama's cash-strapped Illinois pals announced that the federal government bought out the Thomson Correctional Center in western Illinois for $165 million. According to, a recent appraisal put the value of the facility at $220 million.
Democratic Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin led the lobbying campaign for the deal, along with Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who is overseeing an overall $43 billion state budget deficit and scraping for every available penny. The Thomson campus has been an empty Taj Mahal for more than a decade because profligate state officials had no money for operations. Economic development gurus (using the same phony math of federal stimulus peddlers) claim the newly federalized project will bring in $1 billion.
Durbin told a local Illinois paper that "the decision to move ahead came directly from President Barack Obama" and that he had secured the green light during a discussion on Air Force One earlier in the spring. But this gift to Obama's Illinois homeboys wasn't just a run-of-the-mill campaign favor.
Obama's unilateral and unprecedented decision steamrolled over bipartisan congressional opposition to the purchase. That opposition dates back to 2009, when the White House first floated the idea of using Thomson to house jihadi enemy combatants detained in Cuba. As you may recall, the scheme caused a national uproar. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department's budget, blocked the administration from using unspent DOJ funds for the deal. With bipartisan support, Congress passed a law barring the transfer of Gitmo detainees to Thomson or any other civilian prison.
The message was clear: Taxpayers don't want manipulative Gitmo detainees or their three-ring circuses of transnationalist sympathizers and left-wing lawyers on American soil. Period.
But when this imperial presidency can't get its way in the court of public opinion, it simply circumvents the deliberative process. As Wolf noted: The shady deal "directly violates the clear objection of the House Appropriations Committee and goes against the bipartisan objections of members in the House and Senate, who have noted that approving this request would allow Thomson to take precedence over previously funded prisons in Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Hampshire."
Obama and his Illinois gang insist that Thomson will not become Gitmo North. But denial is more than a river in the Muslim Brotherhood's homeland.
The 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, which spearheaded the movement against shipping jihadi detainees to the mainland, exposed the fine print of the Obama DOJ's deal with the state of Illinois. The purpose of the Thomson facility acquisition, according to the DOJ notice filed in the D.C. courts, included this clause:
"... as well as to provide humane and secure confinement of individuals held under authority of any Act of Congress, and such other persons as in the opinion of the Attorney General of the United States are proper subjects for confinement in such institutions."
Guess whom that covers? Yup: Gitmo detainees, who are being held under the 2001 congressional act known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
Now, bear all this in mind as you consider the second and more recent Gitmo gambit. On Wednesday, in response to a whistleblowing report from Fox News homeland security reporter Catherine Herridge, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., released a General Accounting Office report exploring the feasibility of transferring the Gitmo gang to civilian prisons.
Lo and behold, Feinstein concluded, the report "demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperiling our national security."
The "political will" does not exist now, nor has it ever. But thanks to Obama's sneaky, back-door misappropriation of government funds to buy Thomson, the feds have exactly what they need to fulfill the progressive-in-chief's Gitmo closure promise: a shiny, turnkey palace in crony land tailor-made for union workers, lawyers and terror plotters to call their new home.


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You Arrogant Ass

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Our Model

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National Blunder

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What comes next!

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They are Fu--ed

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Pay Up

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They Stole Christmas

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Spontaneous Attack

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Final Approach

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In all honesty...

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Timothy Geithner: End debt ceiling for good? (Obama wants a No Limit Credit Card)

politico ^ | 11/30/2012 | By JOSEPH J. SCHATZ

Nobody on Capitol Hill likes raising the debt ceiling.

But now Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants to end the practice.

GOP aides say that in talks with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Geithner proposed a “permanent” increase in the debt ceiling — meaning changing the law so that Congress no longer has to approve an increase in the statutory borrowing cap, which has been in place since 1917.
He hinted at it in an interview with Bloomberg News a few weeks ago. But the fact that Geithner is proposing giving the administration such authority behind the scenes adds a new dimension to the idea.
The need for a separate vote on spending, and then the borrowing cap, is somewhat unique to the United States. “The United States is unusual among the countries we reviewed in using the authorization of additional borrowing authority as an occasion to draw attention to past fiscal policy decision,” the Government Accountability Office noted in a 2011 report.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

No Time to Give Up in the Fiscal Fight ^ | November 30, 2012 | Mark Davis

If I keep reading the advice of those who are saying we should give Barack Obama what he wants, let him take the American economy into the quicksand and make him own it, I am going to be tempted to agree.
So I’m going to stop reading such things.
With respect to those who offer that strategy, it is flawed on multiple levels. It may not work, it would confuse people about what conservatism is and what it does, and it would slam the brakes on our most valuable passion right now-- the desire to save what we can of America during this perilous second Obama term.
So, if you are in the mood, this is a call to battle.
The Obama win and the GOP Senate failures were like a tranquilizer dart to the neck, draining the will of millions of conservatives, and plenty of Republicans in Congress.
But we are starting to slowly awaken, and if we play our cards right, we can stand on core values and still look at ourselves in the mirror, win or lose.
I understand the appeal of an argument that says, “Okay, Mr. President. You won. You want this ship? Steer it into the rocks and we’ll be there to fix it afterward. Maybe then people will hear what we have to say.”
Except maybe they will, maybe they won’t. The notion of the public flocking to Republicans for rescue is a hard sell. Didn’t we kind of think they would do it this year?
Americans generally believe spending is out of control. We did not like the stimulus. We still don’t like Obamacare. November 6 was the perfect opportunity to turn to Republicans for relief from all three headaches.
It didn’t happen.
So now we think we’ll enjoy a popularity burst for throwing up our hands when the going gets tough?
And here’s the tricky thing: what if we let the Obama agenda roll and the expected disasters do not exactly happen?
Make no mistake, I know this second term is the worst news our economy could get. We should not be surprised to see America swirl even more deeply into the fiscal toilet.
But what if our system displays its occasional pesky resilience, and unemployment stays right where it is, or maybe only a tick or two worse? What if the stock market goes up another 3000 points by the 2014 elections? Markets rebounded strongly in 2009 and 2010 even as the fangs of Obama’s policies sank in.
Welcome to the worst conservative nightmare-- an American economy spunky enough to strain against the shackles of Obama, managing a glimmer of health just barely sufficient to fend off the stain of failure we would need for this grand experiment in surrender to succeed.
So as attractive as it sounds to abandon the post-election battlefield so that Obama can “own” the result, the risks are unacceptable.
It is time to re-arm.
Think of the candidates who will try to return the Senate to Republican hands, already mapping strategies for campaigns that will begin next year. Do we want to surround them with the torpor of ambivalence, or inspire them with a spirit determined to stave off the sour fate the 2012 results might otherwise deliver?
Unfair argument-settler: which one sounds like the path Ronald Reagan would choose?
So if we dispense with the capitulation talk, what remains is the debate over how to fight.
Republicans are dividing into characteristic corners of boldness and pragmatism. There are voices calling for choosing some battles now, saving others for later. This could prevent fiscal cliff-diving a month from now, but more perilous cliffs may await-- the ones that could spell our fiscal doom even if the Obama agenda bats .500.
So is it time to draw a line in the sand, asking America to join us in a quest for what we need most-- spending cuts? It is, and I pray there are enough stiff spines in Congress to make that stand.
We should not sign on to any plan that involves making job creators pay higher tax rates. If we are to entertain any closing of loopholes or striking of deductions (which are also tax increases), it should be upon receipt of iron-clad commitments from Democrats for real entitlement reform and other meaningful spending cuts.
That would seem highly unlikely. Still high on the adrenaline buzz of an election that seemed to smile on their big-government aspirations, Democrats are not in the mood to make deals.
Fine. Then let them be judged by that.
I know the media will paint any dark result as the fault of Republicans. Let them. It is time to stop worrying what the media say or how young and non-white voters might recoil at first.
We must do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may. Only then can we go to those voters we so deeply want to attract and say that we did it for them. They may not have appreciated it, but when we refused to let spending get even more obscene, we said no, and we did it for all Americans.
When we say no to further milking of top earners, we do it not to protect the Bentleys in their garages, but to protect the jobs they create with the money we let them keep.
Republicans lost in 2012 because we did a poor job of teaching voters why we are right. We are up against growing generations of people who are not learning life lessons from intact families instilling virtues of work and self-reliance. They are learning from government schools, liberal colleges and a twisted popular culture.
We will not deserve their attention if we have to explain how we gave up the fight in 2012 because the fight got hard. We will not deserve their respect if we fold our arms in a petulant tantrum and dare the Democrats to ruin the country so we can score an I told you so.
With Democrat heels dug in, the only common ground will be found when Republicans cave on core principles.
So let’s refuse to do that. This is not the last so-called fiscal cliff we will face. The second Obama term will feature deadline after deadline and crisis after crisis, all accompanied by Democrats and the media condemning us for our our refusal to give in to ideas that will only worsen the economy.
The first step toward earning public trust is to lead by example, even when the march is hard. It does not get much harder than right now. But wherever events lead, I want a Republican party that faces voters in 2014 toughened by fighting the good fight, proud of the stands we took, unwilling to buckle for political expediency but always ready to work with anyone who wants to work with us.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Republicans must walk away from any deal with Obama and the Democrats on the fiscal cliff!

The Right Scoop ^ | 11-29-2012 | The Right Scoop

Yesterday Charles Krauthammer said that Republicans have leverage right now with the president on this fiscal cliff deal because if tax rates go up on all Americans, Obama’s second term will begin in a recession as the higher tax rates will slow growth even more, and Krauthammer contends that Obama doesn’t want that.

But Rush passionately disagrees noting that analysis disregards Obama’s entire first term. Rush believes that Obama doesn’t care about having a successful economy in his second term, that it’s all part of his push to transform this country into a welfare state because that’s what is fair in his eyes and that’s the only legacy he cares about.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

No Virginia, the RNC CANNOT Monitor Polls for Ballot Security!

PJMedia ^ | 11-29-12 | J. Christian Adams

Much of the conservative world seems shocked that the RNC is constrained from doing anything about voter fraud. The left wing blogosphere is laughing at everyone who didn’t know this already. To me, it’s old old news – sort of like the abolition of poll taxes. In fact, the abolition of poll taxes in 1964 is closer in time to the consent decree that the RNC entered with the DNC in 1982 than we are today distant from that same 1982 consent decree.
Simply, under the terms of the order, the RNC cannot engage in ballot security efforts to combat voter fraud.
This is part of the larger pattern of conservatives simply not understanding the way the left has manipulated the Machine. Read my piece at Front Page for more warnings about the state of play.
To the RNC’s credit, they’ve tried to get out of it. So it is up to private citizens to make sure our polls are free from criminal conduct.

Does Boehner and the Republican leadership in the House even have a clue?

Word is slowly seeping out for Washington about a grand bargain being worked out between Barack Obama and John Boehner.

As we hear about the negotiations, the obvious question to be asked is, does Boehner and the Republican leadership in the House even have a clue?

What is going on that is so dangerous?

The Republicans are going to surrender on taxes. According to published reports a deal is going to be made. It is your typical Republican deal. The GOP will agree to a trillion in new taxes and there will be spending cuts in the future.

When will the Republican Party learn that tomorrow never comes?

The Republicans have made these kinds of deals before. In 1986, Ronald Reagan agreed to Amnesty for an estimated three million illegal aliens. The deal was amnesty today and a sealed border tomorrow.

Twenty-six years later the border is still not sealed.

Now the Republicans want to make the same kind of deal.

Wait, didn’t they do that last year?

Yes. Yes they did.

Anyone remember the debt ceiling crisis of August 2011?

Anyone remember John Boehner’s great stroke of genius?

He would give Obama $2 trillion more to borrow in exchange for a promise of spending cuts. Either the Democrats would agree to spending cuts or automatic spending cuts would kick in. These spending cuts disproportionately hurt national defense and other programs that Republicans allegedly believe in.

What about the programs of the Nanny State? Their growth would be slowed only a little.

That was last year.

Now that day has come and what is the GOP doing? It is running around like Chicken Little screaming the sky is falling and asking Obama for his terms of surrender. Obama has already gone through that $2 trillion and is going to be asking for more. John Boehner is ready to surrender on taxes that will not reduce the deficit but will only fuel additional government spending.

Does anyone in the Republican Party bother to looks at history? George H.W. Bush broke his infamous “read my lips” pledge. He went from 90% approval a little more than a year before the election to being soundly defeated by Bill Clinton.

Breaking his “read my lips” pledge was one of the main reasons he lost.

On November 6, John Boehner showed up at the Republican Victory Party in Washington DC. He was ecstatic. He would have another two years as House Speaker. He said the Republicans were the party of less government, less spending and lower taxes.


Under John Boehner, we could say the Republicans are the party of gullible fools.

We know what the plan to raise taxes will do to the economy. For Obama and the Democrats, this is like winning the lottery.

They knew raising taxes was such a bad idea they did not want to do it before Obama ran for reelection. Now the circumstances are perfect. John Boehner and the Republicans will go along with the Obama-Boehner Tax Hike. It will give the Democrats perfect cover.

When the economy tanks even worse than it is already tanking, and Republicans want to run against the Great Obama Depression, the Democrats will be able to say not so fast. You own this depression as much as we do. Minutes after Obama and Boehner shake hands over the deal that video footage will be in the archives of the DNC to be used as ammo in attack ads against any Republican who challenges the Democrats on the economy.

Even worse for Republicans, this deal with destroy the base.

As reports come out that John Boehner and the House leadership are considering a grand bargain with Democrats, many rank and file Republicans are now openly talking about leaving the Party.

Christmas is coming early for the Democrats. 2014 is the Republican’s best chance for taking control of the Senate in the next two or three election cycles. Yet the GOP is doing everything possible to depress its base and possibly shatter the party.

Meanwhile, the Obama, Pelosi, Reid axis of fiscal evil is laughing all the way towards a permanent Democrat Majority in government. 

Protein's destructive journey in brain may cause Parkinson's!

ScienceNews ^ | November 16, 2012 | Laura Sanders

Clumps of alpha-synuclein move through dopamine-producing cells, mouse study finds
The insidious spread of an abnormal protein may be behind Parkinson’s disease, a study in mice suggests. A harmful version of the protein crawls through the brains of healthy mice, killing brain cells and damaging the animals’ balance and coordination, researchers report in the Nov. 16 Science.
If a similar process happens in humans, the results could eventually point to ways to stop Parkinson’s destruction in the brain. “I really think that this model will increase our ability to come up with Parkinson’s disease therapies,” says study coauthor Virginia Lee of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.
The new study targets a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease — clumps of a protein called alpha-synuclein. The clumps, called Lewy bodies, pile up inside nerve cells in the brain and cause trouble, particularly in cells that make dopamine, a chemical messenger that helps control movement. Death of these dopamine-producing cells leads to the characteristic tremors and muscle rigidity seen in people with Parkinson’s.
Lee and her team injected alpha-synuclein into the brains of healthy mice. After 30 days, the protein had spread to connected brain regions, suggesting that rogue alpha-synuclein moves from cell to cell, the scientists found. Months later, the spreading was even more extensive.
Alpha-synuclein appeared to colonize several areas of the otherwise...
Scientists don’t know whether such cell-to-cell transmission happens in people, because it’s impossible to do similar studies on humans. But some clues come from the brain of a woman with Parkinson’s who received stem cell transplants in an effort to replenish her missing neurons. Fourteen years after the procedure, Lewy bodies were found in these previously healthy transplanted cells, raising the possibility that alpha-synuclein had spread there from the rest of the brain....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Immigrant Welfare: The New Colossus. Do the huddled masses yearn to breathe free or eat for free?

National Review ^ | 11/29/2012 | Jillian Kay Melchior

Here’s a perplexing pair of statistics: Compared with native-born Americans, immigrants are more likely to start a business — and they’re also more likely to depend on welfare.

These dissonant data are even more irksome considering the state of the U.S. economy. Government social-aid programs consume an ever-growing portion of the federal budget, surpassing a trillion dollars even before Medicare and Social Security are factored in. And entrepreneurial activity is slowing. Census Bureau statistics show that start-ups accounted for 12 percent of American businesses in 1980 but less than 8 percent today. And earlier this fall, the Hudson Institute found that under the Obama administration, we’ve averaged 7.8 start-up jobs per 1,000 people. During the Bush years, it was 10.8, and during Clinton’s years in office, it was 11.2.
The question then becomes how to devise an immigration policy that encourages entrepreneurship and discourages government dependency.
First, the facts. Already, immigrants make a significant contribution to the American economy. Earlier this year, a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that immigrants account for 18 percent of all small-business owners, even though they make up only 13 percent of the overall population. These immigrant-owned businesses provide around 4.7 million jobs. And the Department of Labor reported that, last year, foreign-born workers (including both legal and illegal immigrants) had higher labor-force participation than native-born Americans, especially among men.
But despite their entrepreneurial vigor, immigrants are disproportionately dependent on welfare. Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), crunched numbers from the Department of Agriculture and found that the number of non-citizens on food stamps has risen to 1.634 million, roughly quadrupling since 2001. Moreover, in August, the Center for Immigration Studies found that 36 percent of immigrant-headed households received at least one major welfare benefit. Food assistance and Medicaid have become especially popular among immigrants.
Two policy trends are driving the problem. First, the United States has promoted broader welfare use in recent years, also leading campaigns that market social aid specifically to immigrants. And second, our immigration rules are not crafted to weed out would-be freeloaders and give preference to highly skilled, highly educated applicants.
Welfare use is becoming more common among all American households, immigrant or not. Census Bureau data revealed that in the early months of 2011, 49.1 percent of Americans lived in a household where at least one person drew a government benefit. Last year, 54 million people were on Medicaid, according to the Senate Budget Committee. And 46.7 million people — more than one in seven Americans — received food stamps in 2011, according to the Department of Agriculture.
But the deliberate expansion of welfare has been particularly targeted at immigrants, and that represents a major cultural shift. The United States has long preached that opportunity and liberty together constitute a sufficient guarantor of success, for immigrants and non-immigrants alike. That’s been one of America’s big selling points. But government marketing has shifted, and any number of “outreach” programs, both public and private, now seek to persuade immigrants to utilize the benefits newly available to them. Legal immigrants are potentially eligible for dozens of welfare programs, and even illegal immigrants can benefit indirectly, provided at least one member of their household is here legally. prominently features information on how new immigrants can obtain benefits, including cash assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid. Furthermore, a program established in 2004 ensures that Mexican consulates on U.S. soil promote food-stamp benefits to immigrants. And earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture created a Spanish-language “novela” ad promoting the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. It featured a character who is initially reluctant to go on food stamps because her husband brought home a sufficient income. Finally, bending to pressure from her peers, she enters the program and learns to love it.
The United States’ increasingly prolific provision of welfare is egregious regardless of the national origin of the beneficiaries — but when it comes to immigrants, it’s also potentially unlawful. Federal law states that the U.S. should not admit immigrants who are likely to become a “public charge.” Yet the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State examine only the Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs when making this assessment. That ignores more than 75 other federal-assistance programs. Even so, State Department data show that only 0.068 percent of visa applications were denied in fiscal year 2011 because a prospective immigrant was at risk for becoming welfare-dependent.
The federal government also largely ignores educational attainment, which is probably the biggest indication of whether an immigrant will become a lifelong welfare recipient. While 58.8 percent of immigrants without a high school-education rely on welfare, only 16.3 percent of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher do. The National Research Council once found that on average, college-educated immigrants contribute $198,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits. However, immigrants without a high school-education draw $3 in benefits for every $1 they add to the public purse, and those who hold a diploma but not a college degree aren’t much better, says Robert Rector, an expert on the U.S. welfare system and immigration at the Heritage Foundation.
Such uneducated, unskilled immigrants “are just a huge drain on society, basically from the moment they cross the border,” Rector said. “The real factor is the education level. An immigrant with a college degree is not going to be dependent on welfare. An immigrant with a high school education or less is going to be highly dependent on welfare throughout his life.”
Yet a college education — or even a high-school education, for that matter — is almost never a criterion when the federal government considers whether to allow prospective immigrants to enter the country. Different immigration routes have different admissions criteria, but only about one in ten immigrants are required to have educational attainment beyond high school. And the Pew Research Center has reported that two-thirds of recently arrived immigrants lack a college degree.
When we keep this in mind, immigrant reliance on welfare suddenly looks less a function of national origin or work ethic, says Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. “If you’re unskilled — native-born or immigrant — you’re going to have a hell of the time in the U.S.,” he explained. “[But] our system is certainly not designed to bring in highly skilled people. That’s for sure.”
This problem becomes especially acute as elected officials grapple with the growing debt. The Senate Budget Committee reported that in 2011, state and federal government spending on 83 means-tested welfare programs, not including Social Security or Medicare, cost $1.03 trillion. And these expenditures are burgeoning. The Congressional Research Service found that between 2008 and 2011, federal spending on welfare programs increased by 32 percent. The Heritage Foundation has reported that over the next ten years, the U.S. will spend twice as much on welfare as national defense.
That comes at a high economic cost. More social spending inevitably means more taxes. Those taxes are often levied on small businesses and successful entrepreneurs, a fact that hasn’t escaped ambitious prospective immigrants. Hong Kong is brimming with foreign-born entrepreneurs who won’t consider starting businesses in the U.S. because of the growing tax burden. Some even say they’d prefer the economic freedom of Hong Kong to the political freedom of the United States. Yet those are precisely the sort of immigrants the United States should be welcoming.
Instead, we’re expanding welfare among native-born and immigrant Americans alike, and we’re pursuing an immigration policy that doesn’t draw the best and brightest. It would be tragic indeed if the United States went from being the land of opportunity to the land of alms.
— Jillian Kay Melchior is a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

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