1. ‘Obama’s Approach Is Not How to ‘Live Within Our Means’ – Jeffrey Anderson, The Weekly Standard
This piece is a friendly reminder that President Obama’s recent talk of cutting spending and decreasing our nation’s debt is large departure from his policies and very recent past priorities. President Obamas’s budget for 2011 (rejected in the Senate 97-0 and the last time he actually put his plan down on paper for judgement) showed his true colors; Ever increasing government spending and deficits that grow and grow:
But even if our levels of taxation had stayed at that postwar high of 20.6 percent, that wouldn’t have come anywhere near covering Obama’s unprecedented appetite for spending. Obama’s budget calls for spending an average of 24 percent of GDP across ten years. Pre-Obama, the last time the federal government spent 24 percent of GDP was during World War II (see table 1.3).
Obama disingenuously suggests that if he had been faced with a surplus in 2000, he would have used it to help pay off the debt. Yet three straight $1 trillion-plus deficits haven’t lessoned his appetite for “investments” (particularly in Obamacare, fast trains, and “green energy”), nor his desire to borrow another $2.4 trillion for the next year and a half.
In addition, Obama once again falsely implied that he somehow has a plan to reduce deficit spending by $4 trillion. That’s a phantom $4 trillion from a phantom plan. The only real plan Obama has put forward is his budget, and deficit spending under his budget would be $1 billion a day higher than under the Paul Ryan-authored House budget. In all, Obama’s 10-year budget calls for raising our national debt to a staggering $27.6 trillion — from $14.5 trillion today and $9.986 trillion shortly after he was elected.
2. ‘China’s Military Flexes Its Muscle‘ – Tom Vanden Brook and Calum MacLeod, USA Today
A medium-length article detailing some of the latest developments of the Chinese military and how the US military is reacting to them:
The United States has far more ships and warplanes worldwide, but in just two decades China has created the largest force of submarines and amphibious warfare ships in Asia. Its air force has added hundreds of fighter jets comparable to U.S. F-15s and F-16s. This year China’s military announced it had successfully tested a military fighter jet — the J-20 — that based on video appears to have radar-evading stealth characteristics.
China also announced it is about to launch its first aircraft carrier and is developing an anti-ship missile that can strike from 900 miles away, according to the Pentagon report.
3. ‘If a Law Doesn’t Work, Waive It Away?‘ – John E. Sununu, The Boston Globe
Former Senator John Sununu lucidly explains how the Obamacare waiver campaign showcases the Health Care Reform law’s haphazard and reckless nature. It may not seem like much to ask, but I would like our democratically elected leaders to know what is in a law before they pass it and force us citizens to live under its yoke:
HHS began shutting down the waiver program – an action it announced on a Friday afternoon, the customary way to bury bad news in Washington. Companies now face a September deadline to apply for protection. After that, they’re out of luck. According to the administration, without the special treatment, health care premiums for 3 million workers would have gone up by 10 percent or more. A note to social engineers of all parties: If you have to protect 3 million people from a brand-new law, it probably wasn’t very well written in the first place.
That this was an unintended consequence is clear from the fact that the law never contemplated a need for waivers in the first place. In a stroke of bureaucratic magic, HHS simply granted itself the power, and started dispensing the passes. Only when independent groups started pressing for transparency did things begin to shut down.
The broader lesson here is that the constant need for special waivers is symptomatic of poorly written public policy. It’s a signal that the cost of compliance is unreasonably high; the benefits are hard to measure; and either legislators or regulators have failed to do their homework.
4. ‘The Independent Payment Advisory Board Could Be Obama’s Achilles’ Heel‘ – Doug Scheon, Huffington Post
Speaking of Obamacare failures and unintended consequences, even the Huffington Post has come out against the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which empowers unelected bureaucrats to determine medicare coverage:
For conservatives, Independents and a growing number of Democrats, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that was created with the passage of last year’s health care law represents the worst of health care reform. IPAB would allow an unelected board to singularly enact spending cuts in the Medicare program through binding recommendations to reduce Medicare spending.
Last weekend, Reps. Tim Bishop of New York and Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas were the latest Democrats to join the increasing bipartisan effort that opposes IPAB as they signed on as co-sponsors of Rep. Phil Roe’s bill to repeal it. Quite simply, IPAB has so many opponents because it embodies centralized planning from Washington, D.C., and enables unelected bureaucrats to make decisions about people’s health care. The contrast couldn’t be more clear: a new government body (IPAB) charged with taking resources away from the beloved Medicare program.
5. ‘Why Is the Left So Frustrated with Obama?‘ – Jay Cost, The Weekly Standard
For many conservatives, it is difficult to understand that many liberals are unhappy with President Obama. Leave it to the always enlightening Jay Cost to explain why many liberals have good reasons to be upset with the man they held such hope for:
Between 1968 and 2004 liberals did not win a single presidential election. Republicans won seven of the ten elections held during this period, and Southern, moderate Democrats won the other three. Worse for liberals, both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton regularly governed without much regard for the liberal flank of their own party – as can be seen in Carter’s opposition to a universal health care bill sponsored by Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton agreeing to NAFTA, a balanced budget, and welfare reform…
Then along comes Barack Obama, an extremely appealing candidate for liberals. For starters, his background as a state senator in Hyde Park indicated pretty clearly that he was on the left-hand side of his party. Yet at the same time Obama proved himself extremely adept at avoiding the kind of entanglements that undermined candidates like Dukakis and Kerry. There was no Willie Horton furlough flap. No Kerry moment – “I voted for it before I voted against it.” And, unlike Al Gore, Obama could articulate traditional Democratic themes without sounding like an over-rehearsed imitation of William Jennings Bryan.
Thoughts? Questions? Recommendations?