EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for February 9, 2012
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Since February of 2009 when President Barack Obama began his aggressive push for stimulus into the American economy, he focused on one core area — infrastructure.
In fact, in his stimulus speech before Congress in 2009, his States of the Union in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and his Jobs Act speech of late 2011, the President repeated referred to spending government money to create jobs to fix America’s infrastructure.
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), leader of the Republican Study Committee, is confirmed to be leaning toward supporting the plan. His public pronouncements that he is leaning toward supporting the plan is leading House conservatives as a whole to support this new stimulus plan — a stimulus plan to create jobs fixing and expanding America’s infrastructure.
The plan will most likely necessitate a federal bailout of the Highway Trust Fund, which is typically funded through the gas tax and is used to pay for highway projects. But Obama’s new stimulus busts the cap on the trust fund and, like social security, gets into general fund money to pay for the spending binge.
With the House bill, as is typical of Barack Obama’s legislation, spending will outpace income over the next five years by $69.6 billion. Moreso, as is also typical of President Obama’s stimulus schemes, Washington would retain the bulk of control, even though the money would be going to state transportation projects. Federal strings and federal money will come with the legislation.
Oh, and if the House goes along with the Senate’s version of this stimulus plan, Americans could see new taxes on their IRA’s.
Government dependency is on the rise according to a new Heritage Foundation study. Americans can thank President Barack Obama for a huge spike in the numbers of Americans dependent on government resources, but both parties can share in the blame. If the federal government does not make government smaller and less intrusive, then there may not be much private sector wealth creation for government bureaucrats to take to redistribute to dependent Americans.
American are relying on government handouts rather than hard work for many of the necessities of life. One in five Americans rely on the federal government for housing, health care, food, college tuition and retirement resources. The 10th year of The Heritage Foundation government dependency study, the 2012 Index of Dependence on Government, proves that members of both parties need to take a hard look in the mirror and figure out a way to slow, then end, the creeping expansion of the federal government into every aspect of our lives.
A Tuesday New York Times article called “U.S. Planning to Slash Iraq Embassy Staff by as Much as Half” purported to describe the plight of U.S. State Department employees in Iraq, whose diplomatic efforts are being rebuffed by a host nation and government that has little use for them. According to the Times, the 16,000 employees (including 2,000 diplomats) at “the $750 million embassy building, the largest of its kind in the world, were billed as necessary to nurture a postwar Iraq on its shaky path to democracy and establish normal relations between two countries linked by blood and mutual suspicion. But the Americans have been frustrated by what they see as Iraqi obstructionism and are now largely confined to the embassy because of security concerns, unable to interact enough with ordinary Iraqis to justify the $6 billion annual price tag.”
While the recent increase of attention to the ongoing carnage in Syria is a welcome change from the Obama administration’s collective state of denial over the past ten months, signals remain mixed, and our policy is unclear if not non-existent. This week alone, for example, we got the welcome news that the Pentagon is preparing military options on Syria for the President, but at the same time White House press secretary announced those options will not be exercised.
The waters have been further muddied by the President’s insistence that there is no parity between the situation in Libya last year and what we face now in Syria. In Libya, the threat to civilians and opportunity to topple a vicious dictator were sufficient cause for Mr. Obama to engage the U.S. military, even without a pressing national security interest at stake. While it can be argued that once the U.S. engaged in Libya it might have been preferable to lead from the front to secure weapons stockpiles and guard against al Qaida encroachment, the fact remains that the world is a better place with Colonel Qaddafi gone, as Mr. Obama routinely reminds us.
If you walk by the National Archives on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. you will most likely see a line of people waiting to get just a glimpse of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. These two aged documents are browned with time and sealed under layers of a secure glass enclosure in the domed lobby of the Archives. But they still manage to impress their visitors. The inked words of the Constitution, many of them carefully penned by Gouverneur Morris over 200 years ago, are now barely visible. While some foreign visitors may struggle to make them out, we Americans know them by heart. “We the people in order to form a more perfect union…” the Constitution starts, and what follows is one of the most awe inspiring and heartfelt treatises to freedom in the history of man. After all, this one document founded the most successful country the world has ever known.
Sometimes – well, frankly, pretty often – Mitt Romney scares the crap out of me.
I’m already on record saying that I think he’d be a much better President than Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum, and nothing that has happened in the last month has changed that. Both Gingrich and Santorum are completely devoid of either the temperament or experience to handle the job of chief executive of the massive Federal government, a point which Newt Gingrich in particular seems determined to reinforce every single day between now and Super Tuesday (at least). Additionally, both Gingrich and Santorum have been C- candidates (at best) in terms of building a national campaign organization and raising money, both of which are necessary to have any chance to get the job of President, if they want to prove that I’m wrong about their experience and temperament. I am as close to 100% certain as I can be that both would lose in a landslide to Obama.
The problem is that I’m coming close to reaching that same conclusion about Mitt Romney.
What is it with Salem Radio’s major hosts? Geez. You want to find out what the Romney campaign thinks, flip on Michael Medved or Hugh Hewitt or a number of the other Salem Radio hosts and you’ll find a host fully in line with Mitt Romney and fully out of step with the bulk of the conservative movement.
In fact, it is striking to find Salem’s radio hosts so in the tank for Romney when the top radio shows in the country from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to Glenn Beck to Mark Levin to Neal Boortz to Laura Ingraham have all either stayed on the sidelines or gone largely against Romney.
And if being out of step with the larger conservative movement on this issue weren’t enough, Michael Medved has decided to trot out the newest pro-Romney talking point with some serious condescension. You see, it is not Mitt Romney. It is you hicks, rubes, and idiots that are to blame. “Dammit, why won’t you like him??!!??” Medved comes close to asking.
Mitt Romney has not changed. You people have! This follows an earlier Michael Medved lament where he threw out every straw man he could at both Rush Limbaugh and me in the name of defending his Massachusetts Moderate.
Most interesting, in that earlier opinion piece Medved claimed the Republican Party had to abandon conservatism to win in 2012. This time around, Medved claims Romney actually is a conservative. It’s just conservatives have become radically conservative. He seems to be shifting positions as often as Mitt Romney.