Views on the News – 4/24/2010
Few things are less tasteful than arrogance amongst the empowered; few things are sillier than believing one’s own praise; few people are more misguided than those who teach false doctrine; and few pose more danger than those who willfully deceive in order to gain power. On all four points President Obama stands head and shoulders above us all. It seems that he saves his ugliest bit of guile, disdain, and self-exultation for when he is forced to deal with “We the People.” For as much as he would like to believe it to be the case, he is not higher than us, but rather our servant. Although he bristles at the notion that anyone should be allowed to instruct his behavior or review his job performance, in November of this year the voters of America will do both. Last year, when the TEA Parties began forming and the first of what would be over 5,000 of them took place across the nation, he claimed to have barely been made aware that they were there. But this year, instead of playing dumb, the President took a different tactic: arrogance and marginalization. Speaking to people who paid big money to hear him, he said, “I’ve been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you.” President Obama, it has become clear to anyone with an ounce of objectivity, that you are engaged in a “Grand Self-Delusion.” It is a delusion that sees your own policies as euphoric, when in reality they are significantly dangerous; that thinks our allies are bad, and our enemies are good; and that gives you the “right” to arrogantly mock and marginalize those of us who know the law: that you work for us. In reality we’d prefer you to focus on attempting to heal the sick economy, restore our standing to one of respect amongst our allies and fear amongst our enemies, and in nearly every other area keep the long reach of government out of our lives, and then we’d have reason to thank you. Unfortunately for us all, it is doubtful your self-delusion will allow you to see the need to return the focus to “We the People” instead of the All-Mighty Government.
(“Obama Delusion Syndrome” by Kevin McCullough dated April 18, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/KevinMcCullough/2010/04/18/obama_delusi on_syndrome )
Liberal media spinners delight in explaining what conservatives think, but in reality they are revealing more how they actually view Americans. The first thing to understand is that liberals do not see America as a single country, but rather a Balkanized confederation of victim classes that must be taken nurtured for the rest of their lives. While they are most effusive in pointing out the foibles of their opposition, they are not so forthcoming in addressing the rest of America. Here is a clear and concise encapsulation of just what the left really thinks of you:
· Blacks: No matter what liberals say, no matter how they try and spin it, they consider you to be lazy, stupid, slovenly, and most importantly, prone to violence and crime. They love it when many of you revel in your victimhood and they do all they can to encourage it.
· Hispanics: Most everything liberals think about blacks applies to Hispanics, you have too many babies and you may have foreign attachments to Rome. Also, they feel that you came to this country, not to raise your children as Americans, but to enjoy living in your own little barrios, complete with all the poverty and devastation you fled, and be grateful to them for the opportunity to do so.
· Senior Citizens: Except for your slavish and misplaced devotion to them at the ballot box, liberals have viewed you as essentially useless since the 1960’s. To them, you represent everything wrong with this country: you sacrificed all to ensure that your children would inherit the kind of America that would protect them from the same depredations of war and economic depression you lived through.
· Younger Americans: In the minds of those on the left, you have two options; you can either enlist with many of your college classmates to worship at the shrine of socialism, or you can join the rest of us who can’t be trusted with anything; whether it’s raising your own children, providing for the medical and financial welfare of your family as you see fit, buying the products you desire, or most of all, feeling secure in any wealth or private property you may accumulate.
· Middle-Class White Men: Those of you who still vote for Democrats must truly be as doltish as Hollywood movies and TV commercials make you out to be. Liberals demonize you every day and yet you keep coming back for more; from feminist women who seek to emasculate you to any and all victim-groups who seek reparations at your hands for the dastardly crimes of your forefathers.
Although they will vehemently deny it, this is what liberals truly think of you. Barack Obama carried voters with incomes under $50,000 and those with incomes over $200,000, and lost those with incomes in between. He won large margins from those who never graduated from high school and from those with graduate-school degrees, and barely exceeded 50% among those in between. Democrats are invested in growing the culture of dependence, ensuring that each of their victim groups is happy to be dependent and not unhappy enough to change. Now that you’ve given them the power they’ve so ardently desired, their agenda is making all of the above crystal clear as the months roll on. You can either embrace the “hope” and indenture yourself to the government plantation, or make a “change” come November to reclaim your independence.
(“What liberals Really Think of Us” by Lisa Fabrizio dated April 16, 2010 published by ChronWatch at http://www.chronwatch-america.com/articles/6710/1/What-Liberals-Really -Think-of-Us/Page1.html
“Thanks, I’ll Do It Myself” by Michael Barone dated April 19, 2010 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/431785/thanks-ill-do-it-myself/micha el-barone )
President Obama is aggressively growing the “government plantation” by building a permanent underclass dependent on government for their health and welfare. The news that the United States has become a two-class society, i.e., half of Americans pay federal income taxes and half don’t, has bounced around the media and shocked Americans. Even worse is the reality that 40% of Americans receive federal government handouts of cash and valuable benefits. Those handouts are financed by the people who do pay federal income taxes. Those handouts create a tremendous bloc of people who depend on the government for their living expenses. The Tax Foundation reports that 20% of Americans now get 75% of their income from the federal government and another 20% get 45% of their income from the government. Obama’s stimulus law will add nearly $800 billion in new means-tested welfare spending over the next decade. In 2008, 40.6% of children born in the United States were born outside of marriage; that’s 1,720,000 children, but this is not, as the media try to tell us, a teenage problem. Only 7% of those illegitimate babies were born to girls under age 18, and over three-fourths were born to women over age 20. The problem is the collapse of marriage as the social institution responsible for the costs of the care of children. The wrong-headed welfare system started in the 1960s with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and his proclaimed war against poverty. The system should have been called the war against marriage. LBJ’s Great Society set up a grossly immoral system whereby millions of people were taught that they had an “entitlement” to pick the pockets of law-abiding, taxpaying families if they met two conditions: They didn’t work, and they were not married to someone who did work. This destroyed the work ethic and subsidized illegitimacy by giving single moms money and scores of benefits, such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, housing, utilities, WIC and commodities. LBJ’s welfare system undermined marriage and greatly increased all the social problems that flow from fatherless homes, such as drugs, sex, suicide, runaways and school dropouts. The feminists rejoiced because all the cash went to women, thereby deconstructing what they called the oppressive patriarchy, and the liberals rejoiced because these handouts required more bureaucrats and higher taxes. The Democratic Party’s welfare boondoggle was a major reason for the Republican victory in 1994. True to their “Contract with America,” the Republican Congress passed welfare reform in 1996. It was even signed by President Clinton, who admitted that it was time to “end welfare as we know it.” The goal of Republican welfare reform was to help families move to employment and self-sufficiency and end long-term dependence on government assistance. This policy was repealed by Obama’s stimulus, which will add more families to welfare dependency by paying bonuses to states that increase their welfare caseloads. Obama’s real goal is a permanent expansion of the welfare system. Nothing promotes that goal as much as discouraging marriage and providing financial incentives to increase the number of single moms. Even Obama’s health control law contains a subsidy of thousands of dollars a year to unmarried couples and a penalty if they get married. Increased welfare is the goal of the Obama liberals: a society addicted to their government checks, who will vote to continue this dependence year after year.
(“Some Pay, and Some Receive” by Phyllis Schlafly dated April 20, 2010 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/PhyllisSchlafly/2010/04/20/some_pay,_an d_some_receive )
One year ago, small groups of concerned citizens gathered in State Capitols and County Seats across the country to protest runaway government and to express frustration that we were Taxed Enough Already (TEA). These TEA Party groups were mostly made up from people who had not been fooled by the soaring rhetoric provided by Barry Sorento and a smattering of independents that were already experiencing buyer’s remorse over the November 2008 elections. After the left criticized George Bush’s deficits all during 2008, we saw what progressives had in store for the country now that they owned institutional power in Washington:
· First there was the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Bailout I). This provided $700 billion supposedly to purchase troubled assets from major financial institutions. We observed how the new government forced these institutions to take that money, whether they needed it or not, then used those government loans to bludgeon those same banks into dancing to the administration’s tune.
· Next came the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus I). This $787 billion nightmare was passed by a strictly partisan vote in the House; exposing for all to see how the new Congress intended to wield its newly acquired power. There followed several months of administration half-truths and outright lies as they tried to prove how this boondoggle was actually ‘stimulating’ the economy.
· Then came the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare I) that offered neither protection nor affordability. It was an indecipherable 2,400 page work of fiction offered up by the progressive left.
It was shortly thereafter that the vilification from the progressive left began in earnest. Although the Mainstream Media (MSM) and the Congressional leadership tried their level best to write us off as just a few bought and paid for professional rabble rousers, it became clear during the Congressional summer recess that we were not just a group of malcontents regurgitating rehearsed slogans. Congressmen were sprinting in horror from town hall meetings across the country, having been confronted by citizens who knew more of the details of the pending health care legislation than the politicians that were supposedly being paid to actually analyze it. The TEA Party has become such a phenomenon that the progressive left has shifted all of its destructive mechanisms into high gear. TEA Party activists are called gun rights activists, fundamentalists, lock-step conservatives, red necks, unruly mobs, racists, homophobes and, horror of horrors, Christians. The overwhelming majority of TEA Party people were white (89%), male (59%) Republicans over age 45 (75%), and significantly more affluent and better educated than the majority of Americans. One in five has an annual income greater than $100,000, and 37% have advanced degrees. More than 9 out of 10 think President Obama is pushing the country into “socialism.” 96% of TEA Party supporters say they disapprove of the current Congress, and 73% disapprove of the performance of Congress as a whole. The TEA Party movement has become such a threat to the progressive left that they tried to copy it by instituting a “Coffee Party,” but exactly like the progressives attempt to imitate talk radio with Air America, the “Coffee Party” fell flat. The TEA Party is the organization that gives the average citizen his or her best opportunity to regain a voice in government.
(“Happy Birthday to the T.E.A. Party” by Bill Wavering dated April 17, 2010 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2010/04/17/happy-birthday-to-t he-t-e-a-party/
“Crashing the ‘tea party’” by Tim Rutten dated April 17, 2010 published by The Los Angeles Times at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rutten17-2010apr1 7,0,7797810.column )
Plan A should be to “Repeal ObamaCare,” but Plan B should be to “Privatize ObamaCare” since ultimately privatization is a better long term solution. Now that the Left is set to take over our medical economy, they think that they have America hooked forever. Poll after poll demonstrates that most Americans oppose the Democrats’ radical change to the U.S. health care systems. Not only do they find it too expensive, but they dislike the specific adjustments that shift power and control away from the individual and place them in the hands of the federal government. One enormous benefit of privatizing the medical piracy is that it’s the only way to balance the budget in the foreseeable future. As Milton Friedman never tired of pointing out, privatization through vouchers also empowers individuals, and it helps to return the beneficiaries to the values of ownership, long-term savings, and personal responsibility. When you have vouchers that add to your life savings, suddenly you think like a human being again. That undermines the group narrative the Left has used for decades to split America into the poor vs. the rich, blacks vs. whites, women vs. men, the sexually adventurous vs. the breeders. The Democrats would love it if the GOP just went for straightforward ObamaCare repeal because Obama can demagogue that to death. Privatizing ObamaCare will visibly empowering individuals, not Obama. The harsh truth is that straight-out repeal of Obama’s MediGrab is not going to work, because realistically repeal is going to take years, and even then, it will be the bloodiest fight we’ve ever seen. The Democrats see pure gold at the end of this rainbow: power forever, political careers, money, media adoration, and political payoffs as far as the eye can see. They will do anything to hang on to that power since it’s everything they live for. Privatization of federalized medical care is therefore the only practical solution. Voucher plans have been worked out by economists like Milton Friedman since the 1950s. Congressman Paul Ryan has proposed the Roadmap for America’s Future, including the transition of Medicare to a voucher system, meaning that individuals would receive a voucher which could be used to purchase health insurance in the private market. In countries like Chile, retirement plans are privatized, and they are doing well. Privatization can whittle down this whole act of piracy, step by step, and return power to the patient and doctor. Convert federal control to private control and cut out the middleman. Once millions of people see the advantages of privatization and vouchers, over the long term we must battle to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, major causes of the banking crisis and the current Big Recession. Smart conservatives will advocate privatization of all the federal takeovers of the private sector as the only way to roll back the damage done by this administration.
(“Plan B: Privatize ObamaCare” by James Lewis dated April 19, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/plan_b_privatize_obamacare.html
“No More Entitlements” by Scott W. Atlas dated April 20, 2010 published by Forbes Magazine at http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/20/health-care-entitlements-politics-opi nions-contributors-scott-w-atlas.html?boxes=opinionschannellatest )
The Obama administration, the Congressional majority, and an agreeable Mainstream Media are systematically dismantling free-market mechanisms and installing a centrally regulated command economy, all for the sake of fairness. President Obama’s core economic tenet is fairness; the unfairness of our economic system needs remedy in his view. Equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity is the root principle. A forced redistribution of wealth will act as an equalizer for the past sins of capitalism. Evidence over the last fifteen months is overwhelming: government takeovers of major industries and individual companies; massive ramp-up of government regulations on industry; tax changes to force re-distribution of wealth; and lectures on behavior by our Grand Arbiter of Fairness, the President. Facts are rarely useful in debates with ideologues and religious zealots, yet we cannot allow partisans to make unchallenged, generalized claims about the free-market system with such consequential implications. Using comparative data over the long term, we can find objective conclusions on the comparison of free-market capitalism to more regulated economies. The last twenty-five years, virtually a generational view on economies, gives us a broad perspective of market performance during a relatively stable period. Let’s compare alternatives side-by-side, answer claims of economic unfairness with facts, and decide which economy we would like for our children:
· Claim: Our economy has been weak for the last decade, and our problems have been covered up by deficit spending and cheap credit. Facts: The U.S. has out-performed all other economies over a twenty-year period, out-producing goods and services. In terms of annual growth rates, our free-market system has climbed out of recessions faster and provided more sustained growth periods.
· Claim: The U.S. uses more than its fair share of resources. Our rampant consumerism is unsustainable. Facts: This is not a zero-sum game. Our economic growth benefits workers across the world. Our economic engine creates opportunities for progress for individuals in poor countries and developed countries alike.
· Claim: The economy is not producing new jobs. We continue to ship jobs overseas to China. Facts: For a generation, we have had the lowest unemployment rates of any developed country other than Japan. Free-market capitalism is more dynamic than any other system. Industries and job opportunities change more frequently, forcing people to change, but the jobs are there.
· Claim: Our unemployment may be lower than other countries’, but the quality of jobs created is decreasing, wages are lower, and factory jobs are being replaced with fast food jobs. Facts: The U.S. has maintained the highest hourly wage rates; maintained the highest median incomes in the developed world; our workers are also very productive compared to other developed countries; and although job types are constantly changing, wages are increasing.
· Claim: The tax structure does not allow the government to raise taxes to create programs for job creation and support those that are out of work and in need of benefits. Facts: Taxes simply take money out of the market, consuming economic value. Governments taking money away from the wage-earner hurts everyone in the economic food chain and reduces the worker’s lifestyle.
Winston Churchill wrote, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” We have been spoiled by a generation of economic success, since prosperity allows us the intellectual leisure to imagine a perfect world where no one is stressed and everyone succeeds. Our government is currently run by self-proclaimed intellectuals who foolishly believe that they can actively manage the incredible complexities of our economic system. While they experiment, all citizens pay the price of lost opportunity and individual pain. Free-market capitalism helps the most people achieve personal fulfillment, creates the most opportunities, hires the most people, and provides the economic engine for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
(“Reality Check on the Record of Big, Bad Capitalism” by David R. Nathaniel” dated April 22, 2010 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/reality_check_on_the_record_of. html )
The Dodd financial reform bill institutionalizes the biggest financial institutions as “too big to fail” and therefore must be bailed out every time they find themselves in financial distress. The 1,600 page incomprehensible Dodd bill is fundamentally flawed because it fails to address the basic fact that the “too big to fail” is a political problem, not an economic problem. The only way to eliminate too big to fail as the regulatory solution of choice is to break up any financial institution that is or becomes too big to fail. In the last year and a half, the largest financial institutions have only grown bigger, mainly as a result of government-brokered mergers. This special treatment makes these large firms more attractive to investors than the smaller local banks, widening the gap between Wall Street and Main Street. Unfortunately, the Dodd bill does not break up existing banks, but instead turns big Wall Street banks into quasi-government backed entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Specifically, the proposed law bars existing banks from acquiring or merging with competitors if the resulting entity’s liabilities would exceed 10% of the total U.S. banking system (unless, of course, the regulators decide to make an exception). The bill ignores the painful but embarrassing fact that there are around a dozen financial institutions that are already way over the too-big-to-fail threshold. It is good public policy that the largest U.S. financial institutions be broken up into pieces that are sufficiently small that they can be allowed to fail. This proposed “Macey Rule,” simply operationalizes the adage, once popular among regulators, but never implemented, that “any financial institution that is too big to fail is too big to survive.” What this means, as a practical matter, seems obvious: we must determine what size constitutes “too big to fail” and we must dismantle those institutions into smaller sizes that can be wound up in a dissolution process if they become insolvent in a way that does not require government intervention. The Macey plan would, in practice, lead to the dismantling of only about 3% of the nation’s banks. These banks do all of the risky trading and they hold 100% of the derivatives that remain on banks’ balance sheets, 100% of the trading liabilities, and over 80% of all bank liabilities. This data is not surprising because banks that are too big to fail have a huge competitive advantage over their smaller rivals because the customers of the biggest banks know that the government will bail them out if they get into trouble. Breaking up the nation’s biggest financial institutions is the only way that we can commit to refraining from bailing out our biggest financial institutions time and time again.
(“Break Up the Wall Street Banks, Now” by Jonathan Masey dated April 20, 2010 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/04/20/break_up_the_wall _street_banks_now_105228.html )
Senate Republicans have criticized Senator Chris Dodd’s financial-reform bill as preserving and enlarging the government’s power to bail out financial institutions, so now Democrats will remove the critical provision, but just removing it would not address GOP concerns. Republicans have focused their opposition to the bill on a $50 billion fund that would be raised by taxing large financial institutions. Federal policymakers would use the money to fund a new “resolution authority,” which would have the power to oversee the orderly failure of large non-bank financial institutions, just as the FDIC has the power to liquidate failing banks while protecting depositors. If this new authority were strictly limited to financial companies then it could work as a useful alternative to bailouts, but the Dodd bill is full of loopholes that allow the government to practice bailouts-as-usual. The authority is not strictly limited to financial firms; just about any company with a banking arm can qualify. It also does not force the government to distribute assets among creditors in a fair, pre-determined, and transparent way; instead, it would allow for the kind of special deals that the Obama administration doled out to the unions when it divvied up the automakers’ assets. Nor is the pool of money at the government’s disposal limited to the $50 billion fund. The bill would preserve the government’s power to guarantee a failing company’s liabilities, shield creditors from losses, and shunt the firm’s risk onto the taxpayer. The problem with the Dodd bill is not the $50 billion fund; it’s the loopholes that enable the government to exceed the fund’s limits. The Obama administration proposes to remove the $50 billion fund but keep the loopholes in place. The administration’s proposal, far from being a capitulation, actually gives it everything it wants. It removes a political liability (the “bailout fund”) while preserving a loophole-ridden resolution authority. Democrats are pushing a bill that, as written, would allow the administration to keep engineering the kind of politically skewed bailouts the public loathes. Senate Republicans must refute the Democrat “rope-a-dope” strategy and oppose the bill until the bailout loopholes are finally closed.
(“A Phony ‘Concession’” dated April 19, 2010 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/431799/a-phony-concession/the-editor s )
When liberals advocate a value-added tax, conservatives should respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it but only after the 16th Amendment is repealed. A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium, but without ending the income tax, a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government. Believing that a crisis is a useful thing to create, the Obama administration has deliberately aggravated the fiscal shambles that the Great Recession accelerated. During the downturn, federal revenues plunged and spending soared. Overall, Americans oppose a VAT by 73% to 22%, as a huge new tax on all levels of income, including the poor and the middle class. Over the next two decades, every day 10,000 more baby boomers are joining the ranks of recipients of Medicare and Social Security, two programs with unfunded liabilities of nearly $107 trillion. A VAT is collected on value added at stages during the process of production, but most of its burden is borne by consumers. Corporations do not pay taxes, they collect them, passing the burden to consumers as a cost of production. Since a VAT would shred Barack Obama’s promise not to increase any tax on households with incomes less than $250,000, he must hope the deficit reduction commission he created will provide cover for his apostasy. A Chamber of Commerce study suggests that spending in countries with a VAT grows 45% faster than in non-VAT countries. Since the 16th Amendment will not be repealed, adoption of a VAT would proclaim the impossibility of serious spending reductions, expand spending, and hence would be the obituary for the Founders’ vision of limited government.
(“If VAT, Ditch the Income Tax” by George Will dated April 18, 2010 published by Town Hall by http://townhall.com/columnists/GeorgeWill/2010/04/18/if_vat,_ditch_the _income_tax
“Will They Take ‘No’ As Answer to VAT?” dated April 21, 2010 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=530991 )
Undermining access to abundant conventional energy sources has proved to be a key component of Barack Obama’s promised “fundamental transformation” of America. He was uniquely candid when vowing that “under my plan of a cap-and-trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” This interview received limited coverage despite also revealing plans to “bankrupt” politically disfavored industry while also raising “billions of dollars.” Modern environmentalism of the sort reflected in Obama’s rhetoric and policies is staunchly anti-energy, since it seeks to use the state to create scarcity as a means of imposing the environmentalists’ will on your lives. Last June, Democrats managed to drag the House version of the scheme over the finish line on a close vote that will cost lawmaker their jobs. The House bill’s requirement of energy use “allowances”—uncomfortably close to World War II-style ration coupons—was economy-wide. Although styled as “market-based,” the market for the politically allocated allowances only began with a secondary market of those operations whose growth, or less formidable lobbying budgets, left them wanting. No matter how the scheme is designed, energy and other costs will rise, harming competitiveness, chasing jobs and growth offshore and hurting lower income house-holds worst. The lure of “green jobs” is undeniable, but this jobs program uniquely included two years of relief for workers displaced by the mandates. The European “clean energy” and “green jobs” models Obama cites, i.e. Spain, Germany and Denmark, have proven to be expensive drains, harmful to competitiveness while creating artificial “bubbles” that can only be sustained by growing the public subsidies. This agenda is not about jobs and not about “the climate,” since it is really about power and “organizing society.” Obama’s immediate moves to discourage domestic energy production (and consumption) include withdrawing massive tracts of public lands from energy exploration, leasing the fewest acres in any year on record, and seeking to lock up tens of thousands more despite a 2003 agreement to stop designating lands as wilderness as a means to shut them off from resource production. One confusing action was Obama’s “opening up” certain areas of the Outer Continental Shelf while actually closing the vast majority to energy production. Obama’s power grab is not about the climate, or jobs, but about your freedoms which a certain class can no longer tolerate, and controlling access to energy is one sure way to organize things, and that is what President Obama seeks to do, sooner rather than later.
(“Obama’s Affordable Energy Policy: Safe, Legal and Rare” by Christopher C. Horner dated April 19, 2010 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36571 )
President Obama is determined to promote the alleged climate crisis as a lever for pushing through his big-government agenda, and he doesn’t believe in wasting a crisis, even if it’s a mirage. The White House Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force did its bit for climate terror. Climate-change impacts are pervasive, wide-ranging and affect the core systems of our society: transportation, ecosystems, agriculture, business, infrastructure, water and energy, among others. The government claims that climate change is leading to drought, heavy downpours, disease, poor air quality and extreme weather events. Reality stubbornly refuses to cooperate with the alarmists. There has been no noteworthy increase in tornadoes, sea levels, drought, climate-related disease or air pollution over the past two decades. The polar ice cap has grown back to around its 1999 dimensions. Cyclonic activity has declined 60% in the past five years despite frantic claims by post-Katrina alarmists that, by now, increasingly deadly storms would be stalking our coastal cities. The State Department study also contains a few inconvenient truths for the climate-change alarmists. U.S. energy consumption per person peaked sometime in the 1970s and since has declined and flattened. Greenhouse gases emitted by industry peaked in the mid-1990s and have since declined. Since 1990, total greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product have declined almost 30%. Emissions per capita have basically flat-lined since 1990. Strip away the alarmism, and where is the crisis? The truth is, the government needs scary stories to push its agenda, so science must be subverted to politics. The discussion of carbon-dioxide emissions supports the logic behind the Environmental Protection Agency’s December 2009 endangerment finding that carbon dioxide is a threat to “the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” 48% of Americans agreed that global warming, while real, is exaggerated. Sophisticated Internet sites such as climateaudit.org, wattsupwiththat.com, and rankexploits.com are creating a parallel universe to that of the refereed science literature, largely in response to the obviously manipulated peer-review process evinced in the Climategate e-mails. This is a naked government power grab that will have extensive negative economic and lifestyle consequences because the state has declared the very act of breathing a threat.
(“Obama’s climate of fear” dated April 22, 2010 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/22/obamas-climate-of-fear /
“The Global Warming Tax” by Patrick J. Michaels dated April 22, 2010 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/432201/the-global-warming-tax/patric k-j-michaels )
Americans support legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration, and the public remains divided over aspects of the issue but they do understand the issue. Overall, 48% of immigrants work in white-collar jobs-managerial, professional, sales, and administrative support, and 52% work in service, blue-collar, or farming, fishing and forestry jobs. The Pew Hispanic Center found that 35% of legal immigrants have at least a bachelor’s degree, three points above the level for the U.S.-born workforce. By comparison, less than half as many illegal immigrants, 15%, have a bachelor’s degree. An ABC News poll found that a majority of Americans, 54%, said illegal immigrants “do more to hurt the country,” while 59% said legal immigrants “do more to help the country.” A recent M.I.T. and Harvard study found that six in 10 Americans oppose an increase in low-skilled immigration, and illegal immigration strongly correlates to low-skilled immigration. More than two-thirds of voters view illegal immigrants as a significant strain on the U.S. budget, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. According to a 2006 Rasmussen poll, about six in 10 Americans favor an immigration policy that “welcomes all immigrants except national security threats, criminals, and those who would come here to live off the U.S. welfare system.” The poverty rate for adult illegal immigrants is 21%, compared to 13% for legal immigrant adults and 10% for U.S.-born adults, according to Pew. Pew also finds that 47% of illegal immigrants are not high school graduates, compared to only 22% of legal immigrants and 8% of Americans. Polls show that a majority of Americans believe illegal immigrants in the nation will, and should, be offered a path to citizenship or be allowed to stay as guest workers. Notably, polls show they favor such a policy in conjunction with increased border security. Most Americans view the availability, or the potential availability, of safety nets as magnet for illegal immigration. The recent Rasmussen poll found that about two-thirds of voters believe that the “availability of government money and services draw illegal immigrants” to the nation. It’s clear Americans favor more skilled legal immigrants, but far more difficult is creating a policy that meets that public desire. Hispanics are disproportionately represented among illegal and blue collar immigrants. About six in ten illegal immigrants are from Mexico. In total, more than three quarters of illegal immigrants come from Central and South America, Pew finds. Americans’ preference for skilled legal immigrants concerns both “skill” and “legal,” but too many critics focus on the latter and ignore the former.
(“The Real Story of America’s Immigration Views” by David Paul Kuhn dated April 18, 2010 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/04/18/the_real_story_of _americans_immigration_views__105217.html )