Posts Tagged ‘lies’

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

Now and Then

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I found a few interesting quotes regarding the financial crisis. Let’s take a look at what people (that is, Democrats) are saying Now, versus what they were saying Then.

Now:

The fundamental issue is we have got to put an end to this situation in which there is no sensible regulation, and irresponsible individuals in the private market, or unwise individuals in the private market can incur the kind of risks that put us in a threatening situation.

Barney Frank (D-MA), September, 2008

Then:

These two entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems…the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.

Barney Frank, (D-MA) Sept 11, 2003
source: New York Times

What was Frank responding to? From the same NYT article:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

That is, Bush was pushing for oversight in the increasingly risky portfolio (i.e. mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them). The legislation, introduced by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) was blocked by the Democrats in Congress. Barney Frank at the time was the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

Harry Reid, on the same legislation:

The legislation from the Senate Banking Committee passed today on a party-line vote by the Republican majority, includes measures that could cripple the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out their mission of expanding home ownership. While I favor approving oversight by our federal housing regulators, to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that could limit Americans from owning homes and potentially harm our economy in the process.

Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader
Press Release, July 28, 2005
(also quoted here and here)

The Republicans saw it coming, and Democrats blocked their efforts to avert disaster. (Of course, by “expanding home ownership”, he means giving out mortgages to as many people as you possibly can — give out zero down, interest-only mortgages so people can “own” a house.)

That same bill reappeared as S-190, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, sponsored by Sen. Charles Hagel [R-NE], and co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Dole [R-NC], John Sununu [R-NH], and (wait for it…) John McCain [R-AZ].

Now:

8 years of de-regulatory zeal by the Bush Administration, an attitude of “The market can do no wrong” have led us down the short path to economic recession. From the unregulated mortgage brokers, to the opaque credit default swaps market, to aggressive Short Sellers who were driving down the price of even healthy financial institutions based on innuendo, this Administration has failed to take the steps necessary to protect both Main Street and Wall Street.

Chuck Schumer (D-NY), September 2008

Then:

With the benefit of hindsight, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which imposed a new regulatory framework on all public companies doing business in the U.S., also needs to be re-examined. Since its passage, auditing expenses for companies doing business in the U.S. have grown far beyond anything Congress had anticipated. Of course, we must not in any way diminish our ability to detect corporate fraud and protect investors. But there appears to be a worrisome trend of corporate leaders focusing inordinate time on compliance minutiae rather than innovative strategies for growth, for fear of facing personal financial penalties from overzealous regulators.

Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of New York)
To Save New York, Learn From London“, Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2006

In their infinite wisdom, they were arguing to reduce the regulations passed after the fall of Enron.

They’re liars. All of them.

But remember: it’s all Bush’s fault.

[cribbed from Smallest Minority]

[Significant Update Sept 27: Added source links in quotes; added additional excerpt from NYT, and rewrote some text.]

Alas, Poor Leftists….

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

On this blog, over four years ago, I said:

To be blunt: The Democrat Party as we know it will no longer exist in 20 years. Possibly 10 years.

Modern liberalism is in its death throes. I predict that Bush will win this fall?s election by a handy margin, and that Hillary Clinton?s 2008 presidential run will be the last stand for modern leftists in this country. If they win 2008 they have a few more decades; if not, they?re toast.

Someone will of course take their place ? perhaps Ross Perot?s party. Sorry Libertarians, I don?t think it?s gonna be you?.

If I recall correctly, Hillary at the time was publicly saying that she was not considering running for president. I’ll admit I didn’t see Obama coming in to snatch the ticket from Hillary. Heh.

Anyways — The leftist implosion over Sarah Palin is quite a thing to see. The media keeps flinging shit, and are surprised when nothing sticks. Guys — here’s a hint — Your stories will get more traction if they’re…. oh, what’s that word… “true”.

“She tried to ban books” — No she didn’t. Funny how the list of books she wanted to ban includes books that didn’t exist at the time. Funny how it is in fact a well-known list of “books that have been banned somewhere, at some time, in the United States”.

“She supported the Bridge to Nowhere” — She shot down the Bridge at a point when both Obama and Biden still supported it.

“Can she been Vice Pres and still raise kids?” — Would anyone ever ask this if she were male? You’re showing your true colors there, Democrats. By the by, her husband is a full-time dad.

“She was a member of an Alaskan Separatist group” — Has anyone backed this up with anything? Anywhere? Buehler? I suspect the only “source” for this is anonymous — nobody seems to know where it came from.

“Other Republicans have denounced her, so she must be bad” — Yeah, the Republicans she opposed in winning the governorship. Oh no, her political opponent said something bad about her — it must be true!!?????

“She’s a religious zealot and has said that invading Iraq is ‘God’s Will'” — She said, in a church, that they all should pray that it is God’s will. There’s a big difference between saying “This is true” and “I hope this is true.” Charlie Gibson’s “exact words” quotation, and a few YouTube videos I’ve seen, all cut in in the middle of a sentence.

These are not a mistakes — they’re lies. In her case they are such bizarrely blatant lies that the public is catching on. Finally. It’s going to be an interesting two months.

[Update: This post was inspired by an article at American Digest]

[Update: Oh, you wanted a source? Here ya go.]

Poll, Yu Push Mi

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Note: This article appears backdated because it was delayed by technical difficulties.

A week or so ago I received a phone call from a polling organization. I donate money from time to time to political organizations, including various conservative organizations and candidates, and the NRA, so I get lots of political mail soliciting more donations, and for the past few years, the occasional phone call.

This one was asking me for my opinion. It sounded like your average poll — “Do you support X Very Much, Somewhat, Somewhat Against, or Very Much Against?” and so forth.

This one was unusual, though, for a couple reasons. First, it was unusually long. They asked several general questions about what causes and ideas I support, and then they moved into a section regarding two local candidates for Congress.

This last part was the interesting part, because it’s where the poll suddenly veered into the realm of dirty politics. The guy said “Okay, I’m going to give you arguments why you might vote against [the Democrat]. These are reasons given by his opponents. Tell me if this reason would influence you a lot to support the candidate, somewhat to support him, somewhat against him, or a lot against him.” There were a whole bunch of these , probably fifteen or twenty. Then he moved on to reasons to vote for the Democrat — these of course being the arguments made by his supporters. Again with the range of for/against for each argument. Then he moved on to the reasons to vote against the Republican, and finally…

“Okay, that’s the end of the questions. Thanks and you have a good night.”

Did you notice the problem there? I think the idea is that they ask you so many damned questions that by the time he says he’s done, you’re happy to hang up. What he’s hoping you didn’t notice what that he never got around to naming any of the reasons people give to vote for the Republican. First, against the Dem, then FOR the Dem, then AGAINST the Republican. This completes our impartial poll. ‘Night folks!

It’s called a “push poll“. It’s illegal in some areas, though not mine, and incredibly unethical. Admittedly, this one was a bit more subtle than most. It’s a new tactic I haven’t heard of before — the poll would have been legit if they’d only balanced the equation.

Illinois politics is such a goddamned embarrassment. Still these hypocrites get elected. Vote early and vote often, as they say.

(in case you didn’t get the title….)