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Canada‘s Top Ten List of American Stupidity

Number 10) Only in America…could politicians talk about the greedy rich at a $35,000 per plate campaign fund-raising event.

Number 9) Only in America…could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 20% of the federal workforce is black, while only 14% of the  population is black.  And 40+% of all federal entitlements go to black Americans, which is 3X the rate that go to whites and 5X the rate that go to Hispanics! (This one should probably be closer to #1 than #9)

Number 8) Only in America…could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the House Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax evaders who are in favor of higher taxes!

Number 7) Only in America..can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

Number 6) Only in America..would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just ‘magically’  become American citizens.

Number 5) Only in America …could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by their country’s Constitution be thought of as extremists .

Number 4) Only in America ..could you be asked to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.  This one is a real joke!

Number 3) Only in America ..could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of that of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

Number 2) Only in America could a country collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year (for total spending of $7-Million PER MINUTE), and complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.

And Number 1) Only in America could the rich people (who pay 86% of all income taxes) be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who do not pay any income tax at all.

Playing Numbers To Keep Americans In The Dark reported yesterday that there is a plan being considered by the Obama Administration to keep American workers in the dark about the consequences of going over the ‘fiscal cliff.’ According to the article, the idea is that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will simply adjust the tax withholding tables so that Americans do not see the results of going over the cliff in their paychecks. Politically this might work for a short time, but practically, it could easily be a disaster.

The article reports:

This idea is being floated now. Bill Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center, explained, “If we were to, say, go over the cliff and the rates go up, he could modify those withholding tables such that the average employee out there would not effectively see any more or less taken out of his paycheck.”

As Treasury Secretary, Geithner is responsible for setting withholding tables “most appropriate” in implementing tax law. Joseph Minarek, senior vice president and director of research at the Committee for Economic Development, said that Obama could use Geithner’s power as leverage in forcing Republicans to come to a deal on the fiscal cliff.

The article also points out that this strategy could result in a lot of angry taxpayers next April when they realize that they have to write checks to the IRS.

The article concludes:

But the Obama Administration knows that if the fiscal cliff is hit, other taxes, such as the alternative minimum tax, the estate tax and taxes on capital gains and dividends will rise precipitously, so they are considering the withholding plan as a way to fool the middle-class long enough so they forget who was responsible for raising their taxes.

It’s not about who is responsible for what–it is about what is best for America. It would be nice if more people in Washington understood that.

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An Interesting Twist In The Budget Saga

Today’s Washington Examiner is reporting that Harry Reid has blocked a vote in the Senate on President Obama’s budget proposal.

The article quotes Senator Reid:

“There is no Geithner proposal,” Reid said. “This is all made up.” Reid’s comment might come as a surprise to Geithner and the reporters who interviewed him over the weekend.

“We laid out a very detailed, carefully designed set of spending, savings and tax changes that help put us on a path offiscal responsibility,” Geithner told Fox NewsChris Wallace on Sunday.

The article concludes:

Tweaking the Democrats from the Senate floor, the Republican leader (Mitch McConnell) said wasn’t surprised they refused to vote on the president’s proposal.

“As I just indicated, it includes a $2 trillion tax increase over 10 years — the biggest real dollar tax increase in U.S. history,” he said. It increases taxes on nearly one million small businesses — in the middle of a jobs crisis.  According to Ernst and Young, this type of rate hike would cause more than 700,000 Americans to lose their jobs. It raises taxes on investment income, harming economic growth even more. It includes tens of billions of dollars in more Washington spending — in a deal to cut the deficit.”

If it was a serious offer, why won’t the Democrats vote on it?

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Working Together Is Really Difficult If It’s Something You Don’t Want To Do

The Washington Examiner posted an article about two defining moments of the Obama Administration. Both moments explain why the Obama Administration does not seem to be able to find common ground with the Republicans.

The first defining moment came early in the first term:

As recounted in Bob Woodward‘s book “The Price of Politics,” just three days after he was inaugurated, Obama invited House Republicans to the White House to talk about how he could incorporate their ideas into the then-unwritten stimulus bill.

At the meeting, Minority Whip Eric Cantor distributed a five-point Republican stimulus plan that included tax cuts for the poorest Americans, tax cuts for small businesses, no taxes on unemployment benefits and a new homebuyer tax credit.

At the time, it was entirely possible that Obama could have taken some, or even one, of these ideas and included them in his almost $1 trillion stimulus plan. If he had, he surely would have gotten at least some Republican votes for his stimulus bill.

Instead, Obama told Cantor, “I can go it alone. … Look at the polls. The polls are pretty good for me right now. Elections have consequences. And Eric, I won.” Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was even more frank: “We have the votes. F–k ’em.”

As a result, Obama’s final stimulus bill had zero Republican ideas in it. Not surprisingly, it also got zero Republican votes. The tone for Obama’s presidency had been set: all partisan scorched earth all the time. And it’s been that way ever since.

Unfortunately, things have not gotten better since then:

Obama’s secretary of the treasury was an odd choice for a negotiating point man to begin with. Boehner and other Republican leaders had previously called on Geithner to resign. His relationship with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., can best be described as confrontational. Geithner, and his perma-smirk, were not exactly signs that Obama was interested in a deal.

Sure enough, last Thursday the details of Geithner’s offer leaked. Not only did Geithner ask for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes (double what Obama campaigned on); not only did Geithner ask for new stimulus spending; not only did Geithner ask for an extension of “emergency” unemployment benefits; but he also asked for an infinite increase in the debt limit. That was the last real piece of leverage Republicans had.

The Geithner proposal completely killed any chance House Republican leaders had of convincing their members that Obama was an honest partner for anything — let alone major tax and entitlement reform.

I don’t know if we will be going over the fiscal cliff. I do know that a bad deal might be worse than no deal. It is unfortunate that America elected a President who does not seem to understand the concept of compromise.

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Haven’t These People Read The Constitution ?

CNS News reported yesterday that Representative Nancy Pelosi has suggested that Congress simply give President Obama the power to personally raise the debt ceiling whenever he thinks it is necessary. Hasn’t this woman read the U. S. Constitution?

The article reports:

The Constitution expressly gives the power to borrow money to Congress–not the president. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 2 says: “Congress shall have power … To borrow money on the credit of the United States.”

When he met with members of Congress on Thursday to discuss a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that is set to occur at the end of this year, Secretary Geithner suggested that Congress give Obama the personal power as president to lift the legal limit on the federal government‘s debt.

I really can’t think of a worse idea. The article points out that under the arrangement Representative Pelosi proposed, the only limit on the national debt would be President Obama’s willingness to borrow money in the name of American taxpayers. Somehow I doubt that would be any limit at all.

The Constitution was set up to let Congress control the purse strings. Congress is expected to pass an annual budget, and the government is expected to abide by that budget. Unfortunately, The last time the Senate passed a traditional year-long budget was April 29, 2009. Frankly, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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The Mess In The Middle East Explained

Yesterday Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at PJMedia that beautifully sums up what is happening in the Middle East and the thought processes responsible for these events. The article lists five points that explain the situation. Please follow the link above to read the entire article, but I will attempt to summarize it here.

In debunking the myth that a video caused the current uprisings, Mr. Hanson states:

The opportunities for Muslims in the Middle East to be outraged at the West in general and the U.S. in particular are legion. You, Mr. Obama, the most powerful of all Americans, must remember that these totems are mere tools of an al-Qaeda, a Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic Jihad — or whatever the particular aggrieved party calls itself this week. They are no more than crude pretexts to direct fury among their ignorant and impoverished masses at opportune times against the United States, and thereby gain power.

In that regard, each time we castigate a Rushdie, a Danish cartoonist, a U.S. soldier, or a nut like Terry Jones, we simply play into the hands of the Islamists. The latter are thrilled when American grandees look weak, desperate, and only too eager to fall over themselves in undermining their own singular Constitution and distancing themselves from their own values. Far better it would be to say, one time — and only one time: “We cherish and protect freedom of expression and abhor censorship and violence; if that bothers you, it bothers you.” End of story.

In describing the sources of Islamic anger, Mr. Hanson points to the concept of scapegoating. Leaders of Islamic countries continually blame the west and the Israelis for their poverty. The fact that the leaders of these countries are getting rich while their people starve is an inconvenient fact that the leaders are hoping the people won’t notice.

Mr. Hanson points out that agreeing with Islamists that we are the cause (or source) for their problems or anger simply encourages them to double down on scapegoating us. He sums up President Obama’s policies:

The entire subtext of Obama’s outreach narratives (made explicitly in his al Arabiya interview) is that his own unique pedigree and worldview have exempted him from American pathologies and thus culpability for them. In the alternate brain chemistry of the Obamites, there is no contradiction between worldwide Islamist vows to kill our diplomats or burn embassies and Obama’s much-vaunted boasts of restoring American popularity abroad. The derangement goes like this: those who hate America are mistakenly still mad at the old Bush America and have not yet evolved to duly appreciate the new Obama America. In other words, the vestiges of right-wing extremism still confuses those abroad, who have not yet caught on that America is on their side.

We have seen how successful that idea is.

Mr. Hanson concludes:

With the implosion of the Middle East comes the end of the mythic foreign policy of Barack Obama. Just as Russia was not reset and our enemies did not become friends, so, too, the fantasy that Barack Obama’s name, race, and lineage, when coupled with leftist politics, would win over our Middle East never arrived. All that failed — failed not just for America, but for the Nobel laureate himself. In that regard, Obama’s entire four-year project has failed: $5 trillion of borrowed stimulus did not jump-start the economy; only more federal debt and bankruptcy followed “solar and wind and millions of green jobs,” as vast new finds of oil and gas on public lands were ignored, while gas hit $4 a gallon. The problem for supporters of Obamacare is not to implement, but how to junk, this boondoggle without loss of face. Government Motors and the Volt went nowhere, and appointees like Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius, Timothy Geithner, and Janet Napolitano proved embarrassments. Now we are left with the Federal Reserve desperately printing money before the election.

There was human frenzy in 2008 that entranced millions, and now we will be paying for the wages of that madness for quite some time.

Some things to remember when you vote in November.

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Those Pesky E-Mails posted an article today about the latest scandal in the Obama Administration. You may not see this in the major media–they are too busy trying to distract the public with shiny objects–but it is an indication of how things work in the Obama Administration.

The article deals with GM’s Delphi auto parts unit and how its non-union employees were dealt with during the GM bailout.

The article reports:

The news site The Daily Caller has obtained internal government emails that show the U.S. Treasury Department, led by Timothy Geithner, pushed in 2009 to end the pensions of 20,000 non-union employees of GM’s Delphi auto parts unit as part of the auto bailout.

What’s truly outrageous is that, while those workers were cheated of their full pensions, union employees of the same Delphi company got their pensions paid.

This financially ruinous favoritism of union workers over nonunion workers is blatantly unfair, illegal and a violation of Constitutional guarantees of equal treatment under the law. And the reason is political.

This is one of many examples where government agencies were used for political purposes (paying back union supporters or wealthy donors) in the Obama Administration.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is responsible for overseeing private pensions. This organization is an independent, quasi-governmental insurer of private pension plans. Under law, that organization would have had the authority to determine how the pensions were handled.

The article further reports:

The email trail shows clearly that in April 2009 the Treasury Department held meetings on GM and Delphi, including “pension issues.” However, the PBGC was, in the words of one official, “disinvited.”

This was well before the decision, made in July, to stiff nonunion workers on their pensions. It suggests that the White House and Treasury were calling the shots — not the compromised, and politically bullied, PBGC.

This violates PBGC’s independence under the law as the sole agency that can terminate a private pension — not Treasury. Worse, the PBGC, based on the emails, seems to have thought it needed to clear whatever it did with the White House and Treasury. It didn’t.

There is also the question of whether or not several White House officials may have lied under oath when questioned about the decision on the pensions.

The Obama Administration has taken political cronyism to a new level. It is time to vote them out of office.

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A Good Idea On How To Shrink The Deficit

This is rather obvious–it wouldn’t solve the deficit problem entirely, but it would help. President Obama has been promoting the Buffett Rule to increase the amount of taxes that the wealthy pay. It won’t really put a dent in the deficit, but politically it sounds good. John Hinderaker at Power Line has a better idea–he calls it the Geithner Rule which is: everyone pays what he owes under existing laws. Wow, what a concept!

During the time that President Obama’a Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the IMF did not pay withholding taxes on his income.

The article at Power LIne reports:

When he worked for the International Monetary Fund, the fund did not pay withholding taxes on his income, but rather paid Geithner a specifically-designated additional amount which Geithner was supposed to use to pay self-employment taxes. Geithner kept that money, but didn’t pay the taxes.

When Secretary Geithner was later audited,  he paid what he owed for 2003 and 2004. But he didn’t pay what he owed for 2001 and 2002 because the statute of limitations had run on those years. Later, when he was nominated for Secretary of the Treasury, he paid 2001 and 2002 taxes.

The article reports:

Geithner is not the only tax cheat working in the Obama administration. As Glenn Reynolds has pointed out repeatedly, no fewer than 41 of Obama’s White House aides owe back taxes to the IRS, adding up to $831,000. But they aren’t alone: 638 Congressional staffers owe another $9.3 million, and federal employees, altogether, owe $1 billion in back taxes.

 How about we pass a law that prevents anyone who owes back taxes from working for the government until they pay their taxes?

Requiring high government officials to actually pay their taxes would not end the deficit, but it would help. Preventing tax delinquents from serving in government might also encourage them to be more conscientious in paying the government what they owe.

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Exactly Where Are Our Priorities ?

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power LIne posted an article entitled, “If A Tree Falls In the Senate Budget Committee Hearing Room…” It was the most accurate news article I have seen in a long time.

Mr. Hinderaker points out:

…Obama’s acting OMB Director, Jeffrey Zients, appeared before the Senate and House Budget Committees to defend the budget and encountered rough sledding. Among other things, Senator Jeff Sessions asked Zients whether the president’s budget increases spending compared with current law, and Zients was unable or unwilling to answer the question. You know that Tim Geithner followed Zients to the Senate Budget Committee hearing room, and he, too, was unable to say whether Obama’s budget increases federal spending. (It does, both in comparison with current law, as represented by the Budget Control Act, and in absolute terms, by 46% from FY FY 2012 to FY 2021.) You know that the administration’s claim that its budget contains $2.50 in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases is ridiculous. You know that, despite his confusion on other points, Geithner testified for the second year in a row that President Obama’s budget is “unsustainable.”

This needs to be shouted from the rooftops! We are headed in the direction of bankruptcy and riots in the streets. So what are we talking about–Rich Santorum and his views on birth control.

The article further reports:

I searched three leading liberal newspapers, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times: neither the New York Times nor the L.A. Times had run a single story about the Congressional hearings on the FY 2013 budget. The Post had done only slightly better; it failed to report on Zeintz’s testimony and, while it did run a short item on Geithner’s Budget Committee appearance, it failed to note either his admission that Obama’s budget is unsustainable or his inability to say whether the budget increases spending.

Americans who rely on traditional news sources have no idea what is going on. No wonder the President’s approval ratings are still good!

The lack of information getting to the voting public is a danger to the future of our country. It’s a shame that the major media does not realize that when it all collapses, they will be included in the collapse.

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This Really Doesn’t Sound Like A Plan

Hot Air posted a video today of some of the Congressional hearings on the President’s proposed budget. The clip they posted is of Paul Ryan asking United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner what the President’s budget does to help end future deficit spending. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and watch the video.

There is a great quote in the video:

Geithner states, “We’re not coming before you today to say that we have a definitive solution to the long term problem, what we do know is we don’t like yours.”

In other words, why, no, our new budget does nothing to address America’s long-term fiscal crisis.

If our current administration is not willing to address America’s long-term fiscal crisis, let’s elect an administration that will be.

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