Archive for December, 2012
Boehner is giving away the farm
|House Speaker John Boehner has already conceded the biggest tax increase in history – $800 billion – in negotiations with Barack Obama and Democrats.
But now he is reportedly offering much more than that if the administration will agree to much deeper cuts to entitlement programs. There are several problems with this that illustrate, again, why it is totally unacceptable for Boehner to remain in the position as the most powerful Republican in Washington.
No. 1: The definition of “cuts” in Washington: Most Americans think of budget cuts as actual money not spent. That is the not the definition Washington uses. Each and every year, spending for entitlements and many other budget line items increases automatically and substantially. When government programs don’t grow as much as they would normally grow, that is considered a “cut” in Washington. Under that definition, even when the budget is growing, in Washingtonese, the politicians say they are “cutting” spending.
No. 2: The only cuts that are really meaningful are those proposed and enacted in the current session of Congress. Most of the “cuts” talked about in these negotiations are phantom cuts Congress will try to impose on future Congresses – something they don’t have the authority and enforcement power to do. That means to have any real impact, the cuts have to be made between January 2013 and January 2015. You have to front load them. Believe me, Obama and the Democrats will never do that.
No. 3: Boehner needs to remove from the table all tax increases, including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, because they are all destructive to the recovery of the economy. Why? Because these tax increases will not result in the additional revenues expected. John F. Kennedy knew this. Ronald Reagan knew this. That’s why they both cut taxes and actually raised revenue. Tax cuts grow the economy and raise revenue. They do not create more revenue for the government.
No. 4: By making these destructive concessions, Boehner is raising the expectations of Democrats, not lowering them. This is always a bad thing when you are dealing with people who actually think government spending drive the economy. That’s the essence of Keynesian economics – and the Democrats are all Keynesians.
No. 5: Boehner doesn’t realize that he is in the driver’s seat and holds in his hands four aces: All spending bills must, under the Constitution, begin in the House he controls; the debt limit cannot be raised without the assent of the House he controls; if the debt limit is not raised, the budget must be cut by $1.2 trillion, which would be the best thing those of us who believe in constitutionally limited government could ever hope to see happen; if there is no agreement with the House on spending, cuts far deeper than anything Boehner will be able to extract from Obama will automatically take place.
In other words, Boehner has to be the worst negotiator in the history of Washington. He is giving away the farm, the barn, the livestock, the house, the seeds, the fertilizer and the tractor every time he opens his mouth.
The best thing House Republicans can do to stop this kind of appeasement and accommodation that is laying the groundwork for a continued recession or worse is to dump Boehner as speaker – and fast.
The best thing you can do to stop this insanity is to push House Republicans to take a tougher stand on borrowing and spending – something they have all the power to do.
There is growing dissatisfaction, I would even say “disgust,” with Boehner’s antics within the Republican ranks. They need to hear from you now if there is going to be a palace revolt.
That’s where the “No More Red Ink” campaign comes in. There is growing support among tea-party activists in and out of Congress to get rid of Boehner and to freeze the debt limit – denying Obama the power to spend recklessly, immorally, habitually, destructively and without restraint.
So, while there is still time, it is imperative that you take advantage of the one thing you can do to instill some backbone in House Republicans. It takes only a minute to reach all of them with the message through the No More Red Ink campaign.
Ripples from the recent volence continue to flood my e-mail with 2nd Amendment related information, and other issues as well. Rather than make numerous posts, I have the headings and URL links listed below:
Lawmaker: Tweak Constitution to affirm gun rights
Amendments would deflect leftist plan to register firearms
What stories did establishment media ignore in 2012?
WND’s annual review presents news that wasn’t ‘fit to print’
1. Vote fraud - Irregularities reported include illegal campaign donations, taking advantage of states without voter ID requirements, voter registration fraud, voter fraud, lost and late-delivered military ballots, millions of deceased people on voter rolls and computerized voting machines automatically defaulting to Democratic candidates.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/what-stories-did-establishment-media-ignore-in-2012/#OYmbi2AGIV9HuImv.99
2. The findings of Sheriff Joe’s Cold Case Posse – In March, at a news conference at the headquarters of the Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff’s Office in Phoenix, famed Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse team of former cops and lawyers announced they found probable cause to believe the Obama birth certificate the White House posted on its website is fraudulent.
3. Obama’s real agenda for the next four years - President Obama’s re-election campaign was long on harsh criticism of his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, and short on his own specific plans to revive the economy and promote stability around the world.
4. What was really going on at the Benghazi U.S. mission? - WND published a series of investigations showing the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi was deeply involved in the rebel-led Mideast revolutions, the so-called “Arab Spring.”
WND was first to report the mission served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for rebel-led insurgencies, according to Middle Eastern security officials.
5. Black attacks on whites – Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse.
WND has featured the reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concern that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.
6. The feds’ unwillingness to prosecute HSBC’s massive fraud and support for terrorists and the drug cartel - WND’s “Whistleblower of the Year,” former HSBC vice president and relationship manager in Long Island, N.Y., was ignored by law enforcement authorities until he brought to WND approximately 1,000 pages of customer account records.
7. The real cost of Obamacare – Though Democrats priced Obamacare at “only” $938 billion when it passed, the Congressional Budget Office’s conservative estimation shortly after the surprising 5-4 Supreme Court decision in June upholding its individual mandate placed the cost at more than $2 trillion over the course of its real first decade, 2014 through 2023.
8. National Defense Authorization Act, which allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. – The NDAA, signed by Barack Obama at the end of 2011, effectively, according to critics and at least one judge, created a new power for the federal government that declares the United States to be a battlefield in the war on terror and authorizes indefinite detention, without charge or trial, of all persons on U.S. soil suspected of terrorist activity or accused of “belligerent behavior.”
9. The real unemployment numbers – An unemployment rate of over 8 percent is a sign of an unhealthy economy, but the figures reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics don’t give a complete picture.
The real conditions are much worse.
10. Fast and Furious – Eric Holder, in June, became the first attorney general to be voted in contempt of a congressional subpoena when he refused to turn over tens of thousands of internal Justice Department documents related to the gun-smuggling scandal “Fast and Furious.”
NRA fingerprints in landmark health-care law
The words were tucked deep into the sprawling text of President Obama’s signature health-care overhaul. Under the headline, “Protection of Second Amendment Gun Rights,” was a brief provision restricting the ability of doctors to gather data about their patients’ gun use — a largely overlooked but significant challenge to a movement in American medicine to treat firearms as a matter of public health.
Mexican Authorities Find Smuggling Tunnel Equipped With Electricity Near Border
Mexican authorities have discovered a sophisticated smuggling tunnel equipped with electricity and ventilation not far from the Nogales port of entry into Arizona, U.S. and Mexican officials said Friday.
The Mexican army said the tunnel was found Thursday after authorities received an anonymous call in the border city of Nogales, Sonora, south of Arizona. U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed that the Mexican military had discovered the football field-long tunnel with elaborate electricity and ventilation systems.
Read more: http://cowboybyte.com/16876/mexican-authorities-find-smuggling-tunnel-equipped-with-electricity-near-border/#ixzz2Gdw4ZdRv
Helping you to get through the economic mine field in one piece.
Ban Public Schools, Not Guns
Written by Gary North on December 31, 2012
Columbine. Virginia Tech. Newtown. What do they have in common? They are shorthand for “tax-funded schools where mass murderers plied their trade.” The murderers all were students in, or graduates of, the tax-funded, state-run educational system in the United States.
The murderers were enrolled students at Columbine and Virginia Tech.
We are the Tea Party
I have posted the video referred to; the MSM ought to be forced to broacdast it on the 6 o’ clock news…
THANK YOU, GDS44:
Guns for me, and not for thee…..
Well known anti-gun state senator R.C. Soles (D-NC) pulled a gun on two men breaking into his home, shooting one of them.
Legislators: Taxing Ammo into Oblivion Might Be Easier Than Ridding the Country of Guns
30 December 2012 / 244 Comments
The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once proposed taxing a particularly lethal bullet by 10,000%. It didn’t go anywhere but the idea of taxing ammo keeps coming back. It was recently discussed as part of the UN Arms Trade Treaty but was rejected by the US administration.
Some legislators are now seeing the implausibility of ridding the country of 300 million guns and are coming to the conclusion that it would be easier to tax ammo into oblivion.
Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, and Rep. Bob Godfrey, D-Danbury said that constituents are urging stringent gun and ammo regulations in the wake of the Newtown massacre.
They came up with proposals to limit access to high powered weapons and ammunition. One proposal would place a 50% tax on bullets.
“We tax cigarettes and alcohol even though a lot of people don’t get sick and die from them. It seems like a bullet is at least as dangerous as a cigarette,” Bye said.
Bye said it would be like the cigarette tax and would only apply to ammo not used at target ranges because they only become a threat once they are out of a controlled setting.
Read More: http://www.independentsentinel.com
|Bullet tax proposal is new twist in gun-control debate Stateline – The Newtown, Connecticut school shooting has reactivated many familiar gun-control measures at both the state and federal level, from assault weapons bans to universal background checks for gun purchasers. But it’s also inspiring some new or mostly new ideas, including one in Connecticut: a hefty tax on bullets.|
Officials quibble as Obama’s hometown approaches 500th shooting victim in 2012
Guess what ‘fossil’ fuels don’t come from
Astronomers discover hydrocarbons in Horse Head Nebula
NEW YORK – Astronomers are providing new evidence hydrocarbons are not a biological product but instead are created by inorganic chemical processes that occur on a continuing basis.
Scientists working at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, using the 30-meter telescope of the Institute for Radio Astronomy, have discovered a vast cloud of hydrocarbons within the Horse Head Nebula galaxy in the Orion constellation, according to reports published in The Daily Galaxy and in the oil industry publication Rigzone.
“We observed the operation of a natural refinery of gigantic size,” astronomer Jerome Pety told The Daily Galaxy.
Astronomer Viviana Guzman explained to both publications that the nebula contains 200 times more hydrocarbons than the total amount of water on Earth.
Discover the full, shocking story in Jerome Corsi’s “The Great Oil Conspiracy: How the U.S. Government Hid the Nazi Discovery of Abiotic Oil from the American People”
In 1951, Russian scientist and professor Nikolai Kudryavtsev articulated what today has become known as the Russian-Ukranian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins.
Essentially, the theory rejects the contention that oil was formed from the remains of ancient plant and animal life that died millions of years ago.
Thomas Gold was a professor of astronomy who taught at Cornell University and died in 2004, at 84 years old. In 1998, when he was 78, he published a controversial book , “The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels.”
As an astronomer, Gold was well aware that hydrocarbons are abundant in the universe. Since the early part of the 20th century, spectrographs that analyze wavelengths have permitted astronomers to determine with certainty that carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe, right after hydrogen, helium and oxygen.
Furthermore, Gold wrote, among planetary bodies, “carbon is found mostly in compounds with hydrogen – hydrocarbons – which, at different temperatures and pressures, may be gaseous, liquid, or solid.”
“Astronomical techniques have thus produced clear and indisputable evidence that hydrocarbons are major constituents of bodies great and small within our solar system (and beyond),” he said.
In other words, hydrocarbons are not “organic chemicals” resulting from life processes on earth, as is commonly assumed by proponents of the fossil fuel theory.
Rather, Gold argued, hydrogen is a fundamental element readily available in the universe that combines with carbon to form hydrocarbons, whether life is present or not.
What astronomers have known about the abundance of hydrocarbons in the universe, however, has not passed on to geologists. In contrast, geologists think of hydrocarbons as forming only through the activity of life – either in building life through photosynthesis or when forms of life die.
Abiotic oil found on Titan
NASA scientists, in conjunction with the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, have determined from a Cassini-Huygens probe that landed in 2005 on Titan, the giant moon of Saturn, that Titan contains abundant methane.
“We have determined that Titan’s methane is not of biological origin, so it must be replenished by geological processes on Titan, perhaps venting from a supply in the interior that could have been trapped there as the moon formed,” Hasso Niemann of the Goddard Space Flight Center told reporters Nov. 30, 2005.
The Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, or GCMS, an instrument that identifies different atmospheric constituents by their mass, provided measurements demonstrating the methane on Titan is composed of Carbon-13, the isotope of carbon associated with inorganic or abiotic origins, whereas living organisms are typically associated with Carbon-12.
Each Carbon-13 atom has an extra neutron in its nucleus, making Carbon-13 atoms slightly heavier than Carbon-12 atoms, permitting the GCMS to distinguish between methane isotopes with Carbon-12 and methane with Carbon-13 atoms.
Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to a team of Johns Hopkins scientists reporting in February 2008 on their new findings from data collected from Cassini-Huygens probe radar data.
“Several hundred lakes or seas have been discovered, of which dozens are estimated to contain more hydrocarbon liquid than the entire known oil and gas reserves on Earth,” wrote lead scientist Ralph Lorenz of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., in the Jan. 29, 2008, issue of the Geophysical Research Letters.
Lorenz also reported dark dunes running along the equator cover 20 percent of Titan’s surface, comprising a volume of hydrocarbon material several hundred times larger than Earth’s coal reserves.
“Titan is just covered in carbon-bearing material – it’s a giant factory of organic chemicals,” Lorenz wrote.
Two thumbs up for Gds44 and The Foxhole for this post!
A valued fellow blogger has invited me to a group which is on Google+. Though I would like to accept this offer, despite precautions I have taken [pseudonym, no personal info on my "profile", etc] I must reluctantly decline.
Anyone who has followed my blog, and made use of the convenient tabs under the site name, knows about my approach to Gov’t intrusion on privacy. NOBODY should bank, or fall prey to this fornicating “paperless” bill paying online. Large organizations with supposedly “secure” files -including government- have been hacked.
MILLIONS HAVE THUS BEEN PUT AT RISK OF IDENTITY THEFT.
Think perhaps their security software might be juat a smidgen better then the average joe? Hmmm? Yet altogether too many people have jumped on the bandwagon, in the name of “convenience” and a misplaced notion of it being good to “go green”. I’M SICK OF THIS EFFLUENT!
PLEASE DON’T BE A VICTIM OF THIS SALES PITCH.
Since the 40′s, the phone company has been in bed with the gov’t. So my “ATT/Yahoo” browser is enough to be reason for a pseudonym, and that might not be enough!
Big Brother and YOU
GOVERNMENT, THE NSA, FBI,CORPORATIONS, ALL ARE IN THE INFORMATION HUNT ON YOU:
HOW I CAME TO JOIN WORDPRESS, AND A SNEAKY ASPECT OF GOOGLE:
Excerpts from a Stansberry & Associates Investment Research member -
A Midwestern doctor and former Wall Street Banker (who’s one of America’s Most Patriotic and Conservative Citizens) Says:
I’ve spent most of my life on the straight and narrow.
I went to college, got an MBA from one of America’s top business schools, then landed a job at Goldman Sachs, the most powerful investment bank in the world.
Then I had a second career in medicine.
I finished my studies at the University of North Carolina and became an eye doctor. Along the way I even got a pilot’s license, was published in peer reviewed medical journals and helped start several quite successful businesses.
The point is, I’ve done very well so far, playing within the rules of “the system.”
Today I’m surrounded with a loving family, a grown son, and close friends all around the globe. My hobbies include wine making (I just made my first 120 cases), playing America’s 100 best golf courses (I’ve crossed nearly two dozen courses off the list so far), and big game fishing off the coast of South Florida.
I’m telling you these things because I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about me.
I don’t want you to think I’m some type of hippie-anarchist-radical.
Far from it.
I love America. This country has given me the opportunity for an incredible life, and it’s still far and away the best place on the planet to live and pursue your dreams.
[a selection of his observations] BOLD FONT MY EMPHASIS “X”
From my perspective, it’s been the slow adoption of a series of almost imperceptible new laws, regulations, corrupt ideas… coupled with major changes in technology, which have left us with a country that is barely recognizable from the place we knew only a dozen or so years ago.
My solutions—at least for now—are going to certainly be viewed by those in power as outside the norm at the very least… or perhaps even traitorous.
As a result, the last thing I want to do is to attract the attention of some neo-conservative or wacko-liberal organization, or to make it easy for the government to put my photo on one of their infamous “watch lists.”
Our Gov’t is About to Get VERY Aggressive
#1. The first big change in America that’s going to dramatically affect you is that our governments–on both the state and federal levels–are broke… in every sense of the word.
As a result, they are becoming increasingly desperate, and aggressive.
And as we are all going to learn the hard way over the next few years: Desperate governments will do truly desperate things.
Did you know, for example, that the government has already discussed requiring every citizen to put some of your retirement savings into government-controlled retirement accounts.
And have you seen what’s been happening in some desperate states, where the government is essentially seizing regular people’s safety deposit boxes, and auctioning off the contents?
There are many new tax rates that are set to jump by more than 100% next year. And there are new laws about where you can and can’t move your money without the government knowing.
New laws and new technologies make it easier for the government to have nearly instant access to all of your money.
#2. The second critical shift that’s now taking place is that we are witnessing the near complete loss of Individual Privacy.
Now maybe you’re like some of the folks I talk to, and you say, “Who cares? If you’re not doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t have anything to hide.”
Well let me tell you one thing I know for sure:
We will lose our identity and power as a country, and America will become a much less desirable place to live, work, and start businesses, if everything we do or say is observed, monitored, and recorded.
In Baltimore, the local government has started a project to record all conversations that take place on public buses.
Also, did you know that our top spy bureau, the National Security Agency (NSA) has now basically turned much of its attention from foreign countries… directly onto U.S. citizens?
In fact, NSA is now building the largest data storage facility on the planet in the middle of the Utah desert.
Set to open in 2013, they’ll have the capability of storing a hundred years of electronic communication for every U.S. citizen.
Also, did you know that 20 state and local governments and 24 universities have already been authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly remotely piloted “drones” in U.S. skies, allowing them to spy, take photos, etc. And according to a source quoted in Bloomberg News, “the Federal government has already allocated billions [of dollars] for these, and state and local governments will follow.”
Yes, these are the same type of miniature flying machines we have previously used to spy on enemy movements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
10 years ago, this was unthinkable in the U.S.
Also, did you know that the government has placed RFID chips into all new passports? These chips allow tracking and easy access to all your personal information, anywhere you go.
#3. The third big change I want to address is the near-complete corruption of the mainstream institutions we’ve entrusted to handle our money.
I’m talking specifically about Wall Street’s investment institutions, and big banks located all over the country.
If you have a money market fund, for example, odds are good that some of your money has been placed into very risky debt instruments—yet you are likely being paid less than 1% for taking such big risks!
If you own regular stocks, there’s a good chance your broker is borrowing your shares from YOUR account to execute other trades, without notifying you. This is all completely legal. But most Americans have no idea this is going on.
And I can just about guarantee we’re going to see more firms than ever blow up in the coming years because nearly everyone on Wall Street is involved in “high-frequency trading.”
If you’re not familiar with the term, it basically describes a strategy of using high-powered computers to execute trades at incredibly fast speeds… sometimes making thousands or even millions of trades PER SECOND.
Companies use high-powered computer algorithms to attempt to capture the tiny price differentials in the markets.
Some estimates show that 70% of the trading on the markets today is simply automatic, high-powered computers attempting to capture miniscule gains.
Of course, high-frequency trading has already led to many disasters. The most recent one involved a firm called Knight Capital Partners. Their errant algorithm caused the company to lose $440 million in a span of about 30 minutes.
They (and their customers!), were extremely lucky the firm did not go bankrupt
I have seen horror stories in recent years, in which completely innocent people had their life savings seized or frozen—even though they did absolutely nothing wrong. In fact, this is exactly what happened to one of my best friends not too long ago. Turns out he didn’t owe the government a penny… and they actually owed him money… yet they froze tens of thousands of dollars in his bank account for weeks with the simple click of a button.
Think about what you would do if all of a sudden you could not withdraw any money out of your traditional bank accounts… and you couldn’t use your ATM or credit cards.
POINT IS; WE MUST THINK “OUTSIDE THE BOX”. THE TRANSCRIPT IS FAR LONGER THEN THE EXCERPTS I HAVE LISTED.
He is promoting a subscriptiion to a magazine with his solutions to these egregous intrusions. If you want to take about an hour to view the video,
“What’s good for the goose” … HA! “X”
Petition Calls for Gun Free Zones Around the President, VP, and their Families
27 December 2012 / 114 Comments
To gauge the disenchantment and dissatisfaction of America’s citizens, all one needs to do is to visit the White House’s “We the People” site. One of the most contentious subjects, of late, is the issue of gun control. The President wants it, and the pesky 2nd Amendment keeps getting in his way.
Lawmakers, politicians, commentators, broadcasters, and journalists have debated the fundamentally flawed theory of “gun free zones.” “Gun free” zones are a bad idea; but the powers-that-be can’t seem to grasp the concept. Seems like a such a simple concept too: Bad people are going to do bad things; and gun control makes it harder for the good people to defend themselves against the bad people.
One, recently created, petition offers a solution for testing this theory of the “Gun Free Zone.” To paraphrase…if it’s good enough for our children, it should be good enough for our leaders. What do you think?
Eliminate armed guards for the President, Vice-President, and their families, and establish Gun Free Zones around them.
Gun Free Zones are supposed to protect our children, and some politicians wish to strip us of our right to keep and bear arms. Those same politicians and their families are currently under the protection of armed Secret Service agents. If Gun Free Zones are sufficient protection for our children, then Gun Free Zones should be good enough for politicians. View the Petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/
Thanks to a retired Vet for this e-mail. I needed this comic relief after the last few weeks…
Definitions No English dictionary has been able to explain adequately the difference between the two words “complete” and “finished” in way that is easy to understand.
Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED, but there is.
When you marry the right one, you are COMPLETE…and when you marry the wrong one, you are FINISHED…and when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED.
What Would Churchill Do?
By Arnold KlingFriday, December 21, 2012
November 6 was an electoral setback dealt to those of us who believe in capitalism and limited government. What can we learn from Churchill, who was no stranger to setbacks?
I looked forward to Tuesday, November 6, 2012 with nervous anticipation. That was the publication date for the long-awaited third volume of William Manchester’s biography of Winston Churchill, The Last Lion. This final installment, subtitled Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965, was written mostly by Paul Reid, as Manchester himself was unable to make much headway prior to his death in 2004.
That day also was notable for an electoral setback dealt to those of us who believe in capitalism and limited government. What can we learn from Churchill, who was no stranger to setbacks? I suggest four lessons that we can apply today:
1. Speak up clearly.
2. Pursue glory.
3. Trust that the people are stronger than their leaders.
4. Seek opportunities for small victories while waiting for the tide to turn in your favor.
The issue that we need to address clearly, courageously, and consistently is the issue of government spending. We need to offer the American people an adult discussion about the state of the government budget. Like a family that has been spending beyond its means and is now buried in credit card debt, we need to sit down and come up with a plan to mend our ways.
Republican politicians have avoided this conversation. Instead, they have emphasized tax cuts, leading the public to believe that the Republican Party is the mirror image of the Democrats, trying to focus on what the government can give away rather than on where it must cut back.
This year’s Republican presidential nominee once again focused on tax cuts while largely evading the spending issue. Moreover, Mitt Romney undermined the case for entitlement reform with the tactic of trying to pin the “Medicare cutbacks” label on President Obama. Regardless of the merits of this charge, and regardless of its usefulness in neutralizing the short-run Democratic political advantage on the Medicare issue, this approach undermined any ability to get across the message that Medicare is unsustainable and in dire need of reform.
Churchill aimed for glory, whether in victory or defeat. Romney’s campaign was cautious and uninspired, with no chance of glory in either eventuality. Had he instead said in plain terms that our government is broke and offered specific, bold steps to eliminate activities and reform entitlements, perhaps the result would have been a resounding loss. But it would have been an inspiring defeat, one that would have positioned the Republican Party to gain favor as the United States heads toward fiscal crisis, just as Churchill’s long record of warnings about the Nazis positioned him to gain favor when Hitler launched his blitzkrieg.
Many experts thought that the British people would not have the will to resist Nazi aggression. Many within the British elite were weak and fearful. Fortunately for Churchill, the rest of British society was made of sterner stuff.
Today, faced with a need to cut back government spending, once again experts think that the people cannot handle it. Elites greet the prospect of spending reductions with shrill cries of “austerity” and the fear that this will cause recession and misery for the middle class. I believe that the American people are made of sterner stuff. Unlike the Greeks, they will not riot because the government chooses to live within its means. Nor will the middle class lack the ability to adapt to an economy that relies more on the private sector.
After France fell in June 1940, Churchill’s focus had to be on the defense of England, against both the possibility of an infantry invasion from across the English Channel and the reality of a furious assault from the air. Nonetheless, he pursued offensive actions, including naval attacks on the Vichy French and Italian fleets, attacks on Italian positions in North Africa, and sending bombers to hit Germany. As Paul Reid points out, regardless of how trivial these actions were in the face of German hegemony over Western Europe, these gestures served to send a message to the world that the British nation still felt freedom was worth fighting for.
How can conservatives earn small victories that send a message that we still believe in capitalism? In Washington, notwithstanding the status quo in the House of Representatives, the Left has hegemony for now. Still, there may be opportunities for small victories against the “soft underbelly” of Obama’s spending spree — the “green energy” loan guarantees, for example.
On the issue of the budget, the Left has used the “fiscal cliff” issue to paint an Orwellian portrait in which more deficit spending is prudent and any move toward fiscal responsibility is irresponsible. Those of us in opposition should be attaching a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget to every piece of fiscal legislation going forward. We need to restore the real meaning of fiscal responsibility to American political culture.
While Washington may be a hopeless case in the short run, there are intriguing opportunities for small victories at the state level. Republicans hold the majority of governorships and have majorities in many state legislatures. They can continue to take on the teachers’ unions and broaden access to charter schools. They can take steps to break the Left-dominated cartel in higher education — Texas Governor Rick Perry’s goal of a $10,000 college degree comes to mind. They might set up “health care enterprise zones,” where medical practice restrictions are relaxed and other state regulations are loosened.
By remaining steadfast, Churchill was able to absorb many defeats and still prevail in the long run. Defenders of capitalism should draw inspiration from his example.
Arnold Kling is a member of the Financial Markets Working Group at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. He writes for econlog, part of the Library of Economics and Liberty.
FURTHER READING: Kling also writes “The Risky Mortgage Business: The Problem with the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage,” “Lenders and Spenders: Confronting the Political Reality of Debt,” “Reforming the Housing Transaction,” and “Who Needs Home Ownership?” John Steele Gordon discusses “Churchill and the Power of Words.” Steven F. Hayward asks “Is Newt Like Churchill?”
Image by Dianna Ingram / Bergman Group