Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

The United States of Argentina

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

We are so screwed.

I just hope the revolution come soon enough that the people who caused this are still alive to be put against the wall.

President Obama

Friday, November 7th, 2008

I was going to say “my guy lost”, but it would be more accurate to say “The guy who is less not my guy lost”. Which is to say I didn’t really like either of them, but McCain was significantly the lesser of two evils.

But it’s done, and I’m not going to be one of those “Not MY President!” assholes that have plagued the political left for the past eight years, nor am I going to pursue arguments that he’s not “legitimate” for some reason or another; because acting like a petulant child is not the proper response to others acting like petulant children. Come January 20, he will indeed be my president, for better or worse.

And frankly, I hope I’m wrong. I think he’s going to be a poor president, but I hope I’m wrong; because my country is more important to me than winning the argument.

So good luck to you, Mr. Obama. You’ve got one hell of a can of worms on your hands, and will very quickly have to deal with Russia, a potentially nuclear Iran (and almost certain Iran/Israel nuclear war to follow), and the ongoing war on Islamic Fascism, not to mention all of the promises and wildly overinflated expectations of the people who elected you. Good luck and good health. Do well for your country.

And we’ll see what happens in four years.

The Parable of the Sports Car

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

I remember a number of years ago (probably a decade or so now…) when a British actor came on one of the late-night talk shows. Frustratingly, I don’t remember the actor, and I can’t recall if the show was Conan’s, or Dave’s, or (less likely) Jay’s. He talked about how he absolutely loved the United States, and had an interesting statement as to why he thought things were better here than in England.

He said (paraphrasing):

“In America, a guy with no money can be walking down the street and he sees a hot sports car parked along the street. He’ll stop and look at it, saying, ‘Oh yeah, that’s awesome. I love this car — one day I’m going to make it big and I’m going to have a car just like this.’

“In England, that car can be parked along the street, and the guy with no money will come along, and he’ll get mad. He’ll say, ‘Screw you you bastard with your fancy car.’ And he’ll pull out his keys and key the car.”

I thought it was an interesting distinction, and it’s really the type of thing that a non-American is more able to observe. Americans don’t see it, because we’re too close to it to realize it exists. We used to talk about it. We used to see it. We even have a name for it. But in the crush of media manipulation and the politics of class envy, we’ve lost sight of it. That interview was probably over ten years ago, and it’s only gotten worse since. Our name for the phenomenon the actor was describing? The American Dream.

Something that Americans often don’t see about the wide world around them is just how unique this country is in terms of social and financial mobility. A person can be born with nothing and become a multimillionaire, and vice versa. More important is the fact that people in this country aren’t born into “classes”. People are not so segregated into the groups into which they are born. Again, politics (this time of identity) has caused some damage here, but the proof is in a little girl named Condoleeza who started life in the segregated 60s in a poor Alabama neighborhood, and grew up to become the Secretary of State.

In the story of the sports car, the hypothetical American knows that even though he doesn’t have much today, tomorrow is another story. The course of your life can go in whatever direction you take it. The Englishman in the story sees his life as much more set. He resents that somebody else has such desirable things because he knows that he will never have it. There is a divide between the wealthy and the “common folk” that can’t be crossed, so why try?

What brought this to mind was the recent attacks by leftists against Joe Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. “Joe the Plumber”. I read a lot of blogs, and in the attacks against Joe, the most common I’ve seen is that he’s a liar because he doesn’t make the $250,000 that would cause him to fall under Obama’s take hike on “the rich”. If you’re paying attention of course you know that Joe didn’t say he did. He said that somewhere down the road he was going to buy a business. He was talking about the future. Why is this important?

The attacks on Joe go beyond the simple fact that he doesn’t make that amount of money. I have seen, over and over again, very pointed statements that he doesn’t make that much money, and never will. That is, he’s a liar because he says that some day he’ll make that much money, when “we” all know damned well that he’ll never make that much in this lifetime.

“In this lifetime”. I see that particular turn of phrase in many of these statements. Apparently they believe very strongly in the lesser model that you are born to a particular station in life. You’re a fool (or, for Joe, a liar) if you think otherwise. What happened to the American Dream?

I personally know a plumber who has millions of dollars to his name. He’s in his 70s now, and retired; but he worked hard for years, invested his money, built a good business, and made good. Need I say that he is an immigrant with a heavy accent? I don’t think the fact that he is foreign-born is a coincidence. People born in this country are in recent years inundated with a message that the rich “got lucky”, whereas those on the outside looking in know that American opportunity — the American Dream — is something you have to jump at, grab on to, and use, actively.

When I was shortly out of college I had a job at a bookstore. I worked full time, quickly became a supervisor, with corresponding pay raise and added responsibility. A co-worker was a woman hired around the same time I was. After we’d been working together about six months, we had a conversation in which she was stunned to learn that I had only worked there as long as she had, and she became angry that she wasn’t a supervisor too. “You work part-time” I pointed out. I then discovered that the reason she worked part time was that she was on welfare, and if she earned more than X amount per week she would lose the government payout. This folks, is not “bad luck”. She had explicitly chosen to keep herself on welfare when there was full-time work for the taking. (Not unrelated, she also had the “bad luck” to be unmarried and pregnant.)

This is why I am so infuriated when I hear politicians such as Barack Obama refer to the wealthy as the ones who “got lucky”, and conversely the poor as the “less fortunate”. America is not a lottery — success is far more likely the result of hard work, and responsibility. As the founder of Jimmy John’s Sandwiches once said, “Tenacity will beat brains seven days a week.” Tenacity. Work. Guts. Luck is in there somewhere; but as in poker, luck will carry you for a hand, but not for the whole game.

When Obama talks about the “fairness” of evening things out between the tenacious and those resting on welfare payments, it is a lie. When he acts as though success is just a result of being “lucky”, it is a lie. When he talks about tax cuts as “giving” something to the rich, rather than letting them keep what is already theirs, it is a lie. When he refers to his plan for writing checks to people who don’t pay taxes as “tax cuts”, it is a lie. It is an offense against reason, and it is a direct assault on the American Dream. His brand of socialism threatens to destroy the very thing that makes this incredible country unique in the history of mankind: the ability to have such dreams, and for such dreams to be attainable by anyone willing to take responsibility for their own fate.

[Update: Brian links and responds.]

Four Color Obama

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Got this via email:

Found these over at Treacher’s place:

The Biggest Issue of the Election

Monday, October 27th, 2008

As bad as I think Obama will be (if he SUCCEEDS in what he wants to do — that is, if he is “good” at being President…) I would probably be okay with him winning if it were not for the probability of multiple SCOTUS appointments — because if those turn out bad they don’t end in four (or even eight) years, they will significantly affect the country for at least a generation.

Obama has openly said that he will seek to appoint judges who rule according to their own sense of “fairness”, rather than what the Constitution says. Such judges place everyone else in the position of never truly knowing what the law is until they are told in the courtroom. The whole point of “rule of law” is that all cases are (in theory) treated similarly, AND that people can know what the law is, and base their decisions on that. If you get sued or arrested, and the judge is going to make up the law on the spot regardless of what the existing law says (because he doesn’t deem the written law “fair” enough) then you can never truly act without fear of criminal charges. It’s judicial tyranny, and it’s incredibly destructive to a free society.

A bit of overlooked legislation….

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I would like to draw your attention to Senate bill S-190, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, sponsored by Sen. Charles Hagel [R-NE] on January 26, 2005, and co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Dole [R-NC], John Sununu [R-NH], and… John McCain [R-AZ].

Simply put, this was a law that would have put further oversight on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which might have averted, and certainly would have lessened the severity of, the financial crisis and the housing crash.

John McCain sponsored it. Bush supported it. Obama voted against it.

I’m just sayin’.

They vote on the issues.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

This is amazing, hysterical, and frightening. Go give a listen to this excerpt from a radio show. Even if you dislike Howard Stern, keep listening. It’s a group of man-on-the-street interviews with Barack Obama supporters… with a twist.

Listen to the clip.

Stepping on Dreams

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

This is all kinds of awesome. Possibly my favorite political piece of the entire year. I’m not going to quote it, just go read: Joe The Plumber: American with a Capital A

I’ll plan to do a follow-up post later this evening….

Socialism in Sheep’s Clothing

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Or “How to give tax cuts to people who already don’t pay taxes”

That has been the big question of the Presidential campaign, and one puzzlingly unasked by McCain — How can Barack Obama, as he claims, give a tax cut to 95% of Americans when roughly 40% of Americans already don’t pay a penny in taxes?

The answer: You massively expand welfare to include tens of millions of new recipients, and call it a “tax cut”.

The Wall Street Journal explains it nicely:

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.”

…Here’s the political catch. All but [one of his tax credits] would be “refundable,” which is Washington-speak for the fact that you can receive these checks even if you have no income-tax liability. In other words, they are an income transfer — a federal check — from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this “welfare,” or in George McGovern’s 1972 campaign a “Demogrant.” Mr. Obama’s genius is to call it a tax cut.

The clincher? As with all things government, it would start out huge, and grow…

The total annual expenditures on refundable “tax credits” would rise over the next 10 years by $647 billion to $1.054 trillion, according to the Tax Policy Center. This means that the tax-credit welfare state would soon cost four times actual cash welfare.

Who would pay for this? Ostensibly the evil rich, of course. Obama’s proposed tax hike on those making over $250,000 would be the largest tax hike in American history. The primary government program it would fund would be to simply turn around and divvy that cash out among everyone else.

This is not freedom — it is socialism, plain and simple.

The real problem is that while theoretically the rich would pay for it, it would actually hurt practically everyone. For those under the $250,000 line, it would hurt in the form of an income-based dropoff in handouts that would act as a massive disincentive to work harder for that 3% raise…

Because Mr. Obama’s tax credits are phased out as incomes rise, they impose a huge “marginal” tax rate increase on low-income workers. The marginal tax rate refers to the rate on the next dollar of income earned. …[T]he marginal rate for millions of low- and middle-income workers would spike as they earn more income.

Some families with an income of $40,000 could lose up to 40 cents in vanishing credits for every additional dollar earned from working overtime or taking a new job…. The tax credits are sold in the name of “making work pay,” but in practice they can be a disincentive to working harder, especially if you’re a lower-income couple getting raises of $1,000 or $2,000 a year.

Translation: That $1.50 an hour raise blue-collar Joe just got? Under Obama’s tax plan, it would become $1.10. Why? Because Obama is all about “fairness”, and his idea of fairness is that you should be punished for making more money.

Hat tip: Brian Dunbar

“Joe the Plumber” Speaks Out

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Straight from the plumber’s mouth:

PM: You?re a plumber, and you?re looking to buy your own plumbing business?

Joe Wurzelbacher: Correct.

PM: Would that plumbing business employ other people or would it just employ you?

JW: Eventually it would employ other people. Right now it?s a two man shop and it?s got a very good footprint and a very good reputation, so eventually I would want to put other people out there. I don?t want to get huge because if you get too big your quality goes, but I definitely wouldn?t mind having two good plumbers out there with me working.

PM: So a potential tax increase ? how do you see that affecting your ability to hire more people to work with you at your company? […]

JW: Essentially what that would do is, I?d have to see how much money is available after everything else is paid, to see if I can one, afford a new vehicle, two, outfit it, and then three, pay a good salary. And if I?m being taxed too much, one of those three things is going to get shorted. One, I won?t be able to buy as good a good vehicle or I won?t stock it as well, or the guy I hire ? if I?m able to hire somebody ? is not going to make as much as he should.

JW: […]I believe in working for what I get. I don?t want to say it?s a handout, but essentially that?s what it comes down to. You?re going to tax someone else more that?s been working hard to fulfill the American Dream and you?re gonna give it to other people who ? I?m not saying they don?t work as hard, but I?m sure some of them don?t ? and I don?t think it?s right just to give it to them or reduce taxes on their part and hike it up on my part like a teeter totter to bring it back even. So no, that wouldn?t ? well, let me rephrase that. It would appeal to me because back then I was struggling. That kind of thing appeals to me ? anybody wants to cut my taxes, I look at it very seriously, it?s like, it sounds great. But you gotta see what the other hand is doing too.

I love this guy. It’s funny, but this guy might just be the game changer. McCain should put this guy on the stage, bigtime.

Go read the whole thing.

Hat tip: Cold Fury