Contrasting Conservatism To Obama’s Policy Failures

Conservatives have, from the beginning of his candidacy for the presidency seven years ago, been critical of our sitting president. It has nothing to do, contrary to some sophist’s convictions, with the color of his skin. And our criticisms are not ad hominem; for they aren’t against him personally, but against his policies and what he’s doing to “fundamentally transform America.” So for political clarity, lets enumerate a few areas where conservative political policies would make such a difference to the country.

First, we would not have more than doubled the national debt from $7.6 trillion, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over, to over $18 trillion now. As Hillary Clinton said a couple years ago, that’s a national security issue, since it places our entire nation at risk, economically, fiscally, monetarily, and even in terms of our national security.

The deficit would not have quintupled from $263 billion when Pelosi/Reid took over, to $1.6 trillion during Obama’s first year, and remained at $1.3 trillion for the past two years. In other words, we would not be borrowing $.41 for every $1.00 that we spend!

Contrary to what Pelosi did after she became Speaker, and including the first term of the Obama administration, we would have actually had a budget passed by the Congress. Until the concurrent resolution was passed just last year, we had not had a budget passed by Congress since 2006. They’ve been simply running up the national credit cards at unprecedented levels with absolutely no budgetary restraint.

After creating an all star panel to assess the budgetary and fiscal crises exacerbated by unabated spending, the president’s Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations to put the nation on a sound fiscal footing would not have been ignored, but implemented as judiciously and expeditiously as possible.

There is still no sign of leadership in resolving the unfunded liabilities, and exacerbated budgetary problems, of Social Security and Medicare. It’s as if the critical mass of those concerns will not be reached during his term in office, so it doesn’t matter; so all that’s occurred is a perpetual “kicking the can” down the road for some future leader who has some backbone and leadership abilities to address them.

A 2,700 page legislative monstrosity that took over 1/5th of the national economy to put government in charge of health care would never have occurred. And we certainly wouldn’t have stolen $716 billion (now $741 billion according to the CBO) from Medicare to pay for it. Instead of piling on requirements for “qualified” health insurance policies, the over 2,200 covered requirements would have been removed so people could buy exactly the coverage they want, rather than what the government compels them to buy. And policies could be bought across state lines for increased price competition.

Realizing that one of the greatest deterrents to small businesses creating new jobs is the high cost of regulation, the current $11,500 regulatory cost to small businesses per employee (per the SBA) should be reduced by getting government out of the business of micromanaging every aspect of the business environment. And certainly, the regulatory burden of small business would not be exacerbated by another 30% with the additional regulatory expenses of Obamacare, FinReg, and expanded EPA regulations.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Pentagon Wants to Destroy $1 Billion Dollars Worth Of Ammunition

The official US national debt stands at $17 trillion, but economist and national debt expert Laurence Kotlikoff says a better number is $222 trillion. He says the U.S. runs a Ponzi scheme that ignores the “fiscal gap” and excludes things like Social Security payments, healthcare and Medicare payments, and Medicaid payments.  A whopping 40 percent of Americans could not come up with $2000 in the event of an emergency.

What should the government do in light of these facts? Well, according to Pentagon and congressional sources, the Pentagon plans to destroy more than a billion dollars worth of ammunition. Unfortunately, some of this ammo could be still viable; but exactly how much is unknown due to the fact that Defense Department inventory systems can’t share data effectively, according to a Governmental Accountability Office report.

The chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, Senator Tom Carper, said the following:

There is a huge opportunity to save millions, if not billions of dollars if the (Pentagon) can make some common-sense improvements to how it manages ammunition.Despite years of effort, the Army, Navy and Air Force still don’t have an efficient process for doing something as basic as sharing excess bullets. This Government Accountability Office (GAO) report clearly shows that our military’s antiquated systems lead to millions of dollars in wasteful ammunition purchases.

According to the GAO report, only the Army uses the standard Pentagon format for date storage on ammo, while the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps operate with obsolete formats. The Defense Department has failed to build a unified ammunition database despite working for decades on the project. Meanwhile, the Defense Department continues with its great boondoggle, the F-35 jet, which has become the most expensive weapons system in history . The tab to taxpayers for the years it is expected to be flying is no longer $1 trillion, but instead $1.5 trillion. The plane is seven years behind schedule, with frequent malfunctions still occurring.

It should be noted that the U.S. military budget is the largest in the world,  greater than the next eight countries on the list combined. Defense Department Spending SCWhat do you think? Should Americans keep shoveling pork the way the generals and DoD bureaucrats want? Or should Americans hold the Pentagon accountable for its inefficient and wasteful spending? The choice is yours. Feel free to comment below.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Video: Your Bank Accounts Are Not Safe–At All





Do you think your bank account deposits are safe? Don’t bank on it.





Winter Is Coming To America





Photo credit: diverevan (Creative Commons)

Winter is coming. The phrase was made popular with the success of the Game of Thrones series, but its resonance is elemental. Even in the height of summer, when a couple inches of snow sound like a refreshing break from the heat, contemplating the approach of winter triggers the impulse to prepare, to stock up. As any Midwesterner can attest, the thought of being caught, unprepared and lacking, in the dead of winter is enough to turn just about anyone into a prepper.

Just like the ants in the popular fable, it’s understood that work done in the spring, summer, and fall is to provide for the time when winter impedes the acquisition of resources necessary for life. As is often the case, this lesson, beautifully portrayed in a tale told to children, contains a truth vital to their development and functional participation in society. The ants work while the weather is nice; the grasshopper enjoys the nice weather while mocking the ants. The ants warn the grasshopper that he needs to prepare for bleaker times ahead; the grasshopper laughs and continues the party. Winter comes; grasshopper dies. Sorry Walt Disney–in the original version, the ants didn’t extend a grasshopper entitlement program to the shiftless-ne’er-do-well. They kept the door locked and turned up the Jimmy Buffet, content to bask in the fruits of their hard work and self-discipline.

The connection between the characters in the fable and the general character of our nation is unmistakable. As the Left’s punitive war on achievement continues apace, the number of ants in America continues to shrink. Much like the producers in Atlas Shrugged, the achievers in America have grown weary serving in their dual-role of culprit and scapegoat. We are told that the successful among us are to blame for the problems we have, and at the same time, they be coerced to involuntarily serve as the salvation from these problems through their sacrifice. So like John Galt, they are disappearing; but instead of retreating to form an objectivist paradise, as Rand’s characters did, many of our ants are joining the ranks of the grasshoppers.

Business after business is realizing that the most important number in the CEO’s rolodex is their corporate lobbyist in Washington. Our bureaucratic regulators have engendered such a culture of corporate cronyism that businesses are forced to fall into line if they want a good spot at the taxpayer trough. So it follows that many of our newest grasshoppers are not lazy bums, but productive bums who are willing to play ball with Uncle Sam in order to avoid onerous regulation and financial deprivation. If Aesop were writing his tales today, no doubt he would include the unionization of the grasshoppers, leading to a very productive “protection racket” offered to the ants by the Grasshopper Fiddlers Local #1.

The ants’ warning about the arrival of winter does not carry the same weight that it once did, when our civilization was more dependent on the agrarian economy. Thanks to globalization, we can still get fresh produce and grain throughout the dead of winter. But the deeper meaning behind the ants’ warning is timeless. Winter is coming for Western Civilization, and the work we do (or don’t do) today will be our provision in the days and years ahead. Our Grasshopper Government has done their best to make sure that we will be economically damned if we do and damned if we don’t. The fiscal realities facing most states and counties, to say nothing of the federal debt tsunami that hangs over us all, virtually guarantee that mere belt-tightening is not going to be enough. At some point over the next decade or so, our debt bubble will collapse, and winter will truly arrive.

But taking one step further, we have a more significant reckoning ahead, if we refuse to make the most of these days we have left in the autumn of Western civilization. Yes, the fiscal realities are frightening and far-reaching; but the spiritual and moral reckoning is more dire still. The character of our country is quickly changing from a nation of individuals who would wordlessly shoulder the task long-thought impossible, to a nation of demographic tribes that vie to see who can lodge the most grievous complaint with their bureaucratic administrator in the hopes of financial mollification.

Winter is coming. The time to prepare for physical, economic, and spiritual deprivation is now. Our government seems to be too-big-to-fail, but we know it is not. There is no nation under God immune from failure. Now is the time to help each other become as self-sufficient and well-provisioned as possible. The answer is not joining the grasshoppers (as so many ants have done over the past few years), but to raise up stronger and smarter ants, and to remain prepared to slam shut the door to the ant-hill when our feckless leaders come knocking at the onset of winter’s chill embrace.

 

Photo credit: diverevan (Creative Commons)





Obama’s Outrageous Debt Ceiling Plan





Money down the drain

Mired in controversy and scandal from every direction, Barack Obama will soon face another battle as the debt ceiling debate resurfaces next year. While he has relied on a congressional blank check thus far in his presidency, the most recent budget negotiation resulted in a government shutdown with much of the blame accurately aimed at the White House.

In response, Obama has called for an end to the entire concept of a debt ceiling. As usual, when this imperial leader encounters an obstacle, he demands it be removed rather than find a way to absorb the setback.

Calling the ceiling a “loaded gun,” Obama said the nation is “probably better off with a system in which that threat is not there on a perpetual basis.”

During an address to the Wall Street Journal CEO Council this week, Obama touted his economic record, though a cursory review of his policies over the past five years calls his self-congratulation into question. Despite claiming to have cut deficits, it is obvious this administration has a serious spending problem. Removing the debt ceiling, as arbitrary as it is, would only give a leftist regime more latitude in driving the nation further into crippling debt.

Short of fully removing the limit, a move favored recently by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Washington, D.C. has floated several other possible fixes to the recurring issue.

Whether by minting an unprecedented $1 trillion coin to offset the debt or any number of other outlandish ideas, leftists are dedicated to finding a way to unilaterally spend more nonexistent money.

Establishment Republicans have not been much better. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed giving Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling instead of allowing that decision to originate in Congress.

As it stands, the debt ceiling is one of a decreasing number of tools at conservatives’ disposal. Naturally, Obama sees this – as well as any threats to his agenda – as an impediment that must be destroyed.

–B. Christopher Agee

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