Tag Archives: president

Barack Obama versus King Solomon. Who do you believe?

In today’s speech to the United Nations, President Barack Obama stated:

Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way they will be.

More than 3,000 years ago, King Solomon wrote the exact opposite (Ecclesiastes 1:9):

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Hmm… Which one of these great men should I believe?

Obama to spend, I mean invest, $53B on high-speed rail

President Barack Obama apparently has not heard that the United States has a huge budget deficit, an even bigger public debt, and a monstrous unfunded liability. He’s still spending like a drunken… I mean he’s still ‘investing’ like a reckless politician:

President Barack Obama is calling for a six-year, $53 billion spending plan for high-speed rail, as he seeks to use infrastructure spending to jump-start job creation.

Not only has our President not heard about our financial problems, he obviously has not heard that trains are not worth the cost.

Direct Election of President Considered by Founding Fathers

Many today want to get rid of the electoral college method of choosing our president.  For example, there is a book called Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America.  It  has quite a lot of good information in it, though the author draws the wrong conclusion.  Or search Google for “electoral college failure” and browse through some of the 333,000 results.   Attacks on the electoral college system accelerated after the 2000 election in which Al Gore won more popular votes but George Bush won the electoral college.  The Founding Fathers considered, debated, and voted on different methods of choosing a president during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 before choosing the one they thought best.

Deciding how to select or elect the president was one of the most difficult decisions the Founding Fathers had to make during the Convention.  They held at least sixteen votes on this one issue…

Read more of my piece written for What Would The Founders Think?

Obama’s State of the Union: $400 billion of what?

In the State of the Union, President Obama pledged to cut the “deficit by more than $400 billion.” Well, just how much money is that?

First of all, that’s a $400 billion cut over the next decade. In other words, he wants to cut $40 billion per year.

Let’s put that in perspective:

  • $40 billion is about 3% of the current deficit.
  • $40 billion is about 1% of current federal government spending.
  • $40 billion is about 0.3% of our GDP.

Basically, $40 billion is a rounding error. Obviously, I’m very skeptical by calls for small spending cuts when, at the same time, the President also said he plans to increase spending… I mean investments… in other areas.

President Obama to announce freeze in nonsecurity, discretionary spending, but he won’t actually do so.

According to the latest news reports:

President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address to call for a five-year freeze on nonsecurity, discretionary spending, a White House official said Tuesday, hours before Obama goes before the joint session of Congress.

Hey, that sounds like great news. Obama really is embracing his move to the center and the deficit is sure to shrink with this spending freeze.

But wait… Let me finish reading the article:

Obama is also expected to call for spending — or “investments” — in education, research and infrastructure as a means of making the country more competitive.

What? I thought Obama was going to freeze nonsecurity, discretionary spending but here he is proposing new nonsecurity, discretionary spending.

Even so, I consider this great news. I hope and expect the Republicans to hold Obama to his pledge to freeze nonsecurity, discretionary spending and ignore his simultaneous calls for more spending. Actually, it would be even better if the Republicans cut spending, but I don’t expect any miracles.

Additionally, if Republicans can quickly pass a budget freezing nonsecurity, discretionary spending, I hope they’ll immediately move on to addressing entitlement spending.

The Republicans now have their chance to fix many, but not all, of the problems in our budget. I hope they seize the opportunity at a time that our President is trying to be, or at least pretending to be, moderate.

Dear comrade to propose even more deficit spending (via Da Mook)

The President will propose more spending, or “targeted investments” as he calls it, in his State of the Union.

This is President Obama’s idea of being a moderate? Oy!

Dear comrade to propose even more deficit spending Imagine this scenario: You get a brilliant idea that you can beat the odds in Las Vegas. You mortgage your home to the hilt, empty your savings accounts and your kid’s piggybank and drop it all on a single roll of the roulette wheel. Naturally, you lose everything. So, what now? Well, being broke you don’t have a lot of options. But if you’re a bureaucrat and you’re playing with someone else’s money, the answer is simple – double down. That’s ess … Read More

via Da Mook

Should we return to the Clinton years? Hell yes!

I often hear from those on the left about how much better the Clinton years were than the Bush years and today. Well, let’s compare the size of government during the Clinton years (1993-2000) to the Bush years and today.

First, my favorite chart again to get a general idea of where we are now versus the Clinton years. Clearly, government spending is much higher now:

Total government spending (federal, state, and local) during the Clinton years averaged 34.3% of GDP. During the Bush years, it averaged 35.0%. During the fiscal year just completed (2010) it was 43.9%. Are those on the left really arguing for a 9.6 percentage point reduction in government spending? And what 21.9% (9.6 divided by 43.9) of government will the cut?

Let’s look at the tax side of the equation. Total government revenue (federal, state, and local) averaged 35.2% of GDP during the Clinton years. It was 34.4% during the Bush years. Today (FY 2010), due to the recession, it stands at 30.4%.

What is remarkable is the similarity between the Clinton years and the Bush years, on average. The Bush years saw total government spending 0.7 percentage points higher than during the Clinton years, but total government revenue 0.8 percentage points lower. However, not all this credit and/or blame can be assigned to these Presidents or even to the Congresses because these figures include state and local government, as well. On the balance though, these periods were remarkably similar.

Another interesting factor is that government spending fell 4.5 percentage points during the Clinton years, yet rose 4.4 percentage during the Bush years. Government revenue saw the reverse, up 3.9 percentage points under Clinton but down 4.2 percentage points under Bush. Much of this is simply the result of economic cycles. Clinton started after a recession and ended with a bubble. Bush started with that bubble and ended with a recession.

But the most notable thing is what is occurring today. Under President Obama, government spending as a percentage of GDP has risen 6.9 points while revenue has fallen 2.6 point. Again, President Obama and Congress cannot take all the credit/blame because most of this change has been due to the recession. However, government spending has risen more under Barack Obama in just two years than it did under Bush in eight. In fact, government spending as a percentage of GDP in 2009 alone rose more than it had in the previous 36 years. During the previous recession (2000-2003), total government spending rose 2.7 percentage points and we recovered from that recession just fine. In this recession (2007-2010 so far), government spending as a percentage of GDP has risen 8.9 points and the recession continues.

All this raises a few questions:

  • What have we to show for this 8.9 percentage point increase in the size of government?
  • Do the liberals really want to return to the Clinton day? Are the liberals willing to reduce government spending by 21.9% (9.6% of GDP)?
  • Will conservatives trade a tax increase equal to 4.8% of GDP in exchange for cuts to government equal to 9.6%?

As for me, I’d gladly trade the tax increase for smaller government because we are already paying for the tax increase. To fund our budget deficit, government is issuing debt and printing money. Instead of charging us taxes, they are devaluing the Dollar. Instead of paying for our large government through taxation, we are paying for it with reduced value of our wealth and increasing foreign ownership of our country. Therefore, taxes are much less important than government spending. So yes, I’d certainly support an increase in taxes equivalent to 4.8% of GDP IF AND ONLY IF we reduce government spending by 9.6%, returning us to those much hallowed days of the Clinton Presidency and Contract With America Congress.

* This does not reflect my opinion of Clinton as a person or his policies. Likewise, much of the above talk of “Clinton years” was the result of general economic trends and the Republican Congress. As always, I am a firm believer that history moves in trends and our leaders reflect those trends. (See my book, The Path to Tyranny. Additionally, I plan to write an entire book on this subject in the future.)