I'm a Pundit Too

Friday, June 26, 2009

The House Passes H.R. 2454, The Economic Destruction Act Of 2009

Today the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The mammoth bill consisted of more than 1500 pages and would be more aptly named the Hamstring the American Economy Act. The bill will now head to the Senate for their take on the issue, where I cannot help but wonder if the Senators will actually read the bill before reading it unlike their counterparts in the House.

President Obama and the Democratic House leadership claimed that this bill was a “jobs” bill. Their claim is based on the premise that the legislation will create green jobs and will help the economy. The dirty little secret is that the cost of the bill to the American taxpayers will be astronomical. Everyone will pay more for their energy consumption. This may not appear to be that big of an issue for the millionaire bureaucrats in Washington or the hypocrite Al Gore, but for those citizens who already struggle to pay their energy bills on a monthly basis, it will be a major problem. Over the next 25 years electricity rates will increase an estimated 90%, gasoline prices will increase an estimated 58%, natural gas rates will increase an estimated 55%, add an additional $28,728 per person in the U.S. to the national debt, and reduce the gross domestic product by $9.4 trillion

As for the jobs that they are claiming that will be created, we only have to look to Spain to foresee the outcomes of the very same policies. In Spain the unemployment rate is at 18% and for every green job created 2.2 jobs are lost. The cost of creating the green jobs is a bargain as well, a mere $774,000 per green job “created”. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at King Juan Carlos University who authored a report on Spain’s green jobs initiatives said, “The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices”. Several U.S companies have already stated that it will be cheaper for them to move their entire operations out of the U.S. than to stay and pay the stifling taxes and penalties for doing business in the Obama led United States.

What I find most amazing about this legislation is the unmitigated gall of the President concerning its inevitable outcome. During his campaign, before the he became the media-anointed messiah of all people, the President said that his clean energy proposal would bankrupt the coal industry. This may not seem to be that big of a deal for most of my “green” readers, but the U.S. depends on coal to supply roughly 50% of our energy. Now how will we supply energy without coal? We could use nuclear power; you remember the cheap, reliable energy source that the President favors for Iran. The only problem is that the very same people who are trying to hamper our economy with this legislation are also the same hypocritical bureaucrats that have prevented any new nuclear power plants from being built in the past 30 years.

While the concept of wind and solar energy providing all of our energy needs is a laudable one, the simple fact remains that the technology does not exist today to make these economically viable. Provide funding for research if you want, but do not punish the American people and our economy for the sake of flawed science. As the Senate takes up this legislation, we can only hope that the Senators will put aside their party loyalty and actually vote to protect the American economy and our pocketbooks. I realize that this may be too much to ask for many of the lifelong politicians, but can’t we at least expect them to read the bill before they vote on it? After all, the author of the bill in the House, Henry Waxman, admitted that he had not read the bill and did not know all of the details of the bill. He was content to rely on the scientists that wrote the bill. I suppose the only ones that will be laughing and cheering about this legislation in the years to come will be China, India, and the rest of the world who will reap the economic rewards for the folly of our elected officials.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

New Hate Crimes Legislation Poised To Muzzle Your Pastor

According to the United States Department of Justice, a “Hate Crime” is “the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful.” I have always been one who questions the need for “Hate Crimes” legislation. Before I am called everything from an insensitive bigot to my personal favorite, a reich-wing hate-monger, I am not saying that there is no racism or hate in our country. There are clearly ignorant, hateful people in our world that will commit some very heinous acts in the name of hate. My difficulty with “Hate Crimes” legislation is that it seems redundant. How do you punish the killers of James Bird, who was dragged to his death behind a truck, when two of his killers were executed and the third received life in prison? There are already laws on the books regarding murder, assault, and every other crime that could be considered a “Hate Crime”.

Over the past two and a half years since Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid assumed control of Congress, they have tried in vain to pass a new “Hate Crime” bill that would include sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity to the list of protected people. The Democratic leaders attempted to conceal the “Hate Crimes” legislation in a critical Defense spending bill in 2007. They later removed the measure from the Defense bill. Bush had vetoed the bill during his Presidency citing the constitutionality of the proposal. He believed that the existing laws on the books in the individual states were more than adequate and that any measure by the Federal Government would be overstepping their constitutional boundaries. Of course, the current administration believes that our constitution is “fundamentally flawed”.

Conservative groups have longed questioned the reach of such legislation. The main concern is how the law would be prosecuted. Would a pastor be charged with a “hate crime” for preaching in his church that homosexuality is a sin and that the Bible clearly says as much? What other types of speech would be limited next? Would it then be a crime to criticize the President or his policies? Of course the news media is already terrified of criticizing anything that the media anointed messiah says or does. After all, ABC News is turning over all of their prime time airtime on Wednesday to President Obama to pitch his socialist dream of health care to the American people without any opposing viewpoint. Another concern is that the new law will rescind the “Federal activity” clause of the current law. The existing law requires that the offense take place during a “Federal activity” such as at a school, but the new proposal will strip that requirement from the law, thus opening the door for a broad range of interpretations of what constitutes a “hate crime”.

It remains to be seen what the Senate will do when the measure comes up for a vote, but past history has shown that this Congress is at ease with trampling states rights and the constitution. Senator Harry Reid and President Obama need to realize that redundant laws with the aim of making headlines do not solve racial tensions. This law will only serve to try to muzzle free speech rights of Christian organizations with the end goal of either shutting down churches who preach the Bible. I do find it amazing that those who want to limit the free speech and the freedom of religion of Bible believing churches, applauded the racist comments of Obama’s own pastor Jeremiah Wright.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

More Political Posturing By Obama On Spending

President Barack Obama has decided that all of this reckless spending has to stop. He has told Congress that they must now cut $1 from somewhere else in the budget for every $1 that they spend. The concept is not an original idea; in 2006 the Democrats gained control of Congress with promises to turn the tide of Republican spending. They promised to never introduce a spending measure without a means to pay for it. Of course, in the 2 years following their takeover of Congress they simply ignored their own rules. They added $398 billion in deficit spending without any concern for being seen as hypocritical.

For a bit of perspective, $398 billion is a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the $1 trillion forecasted by the Congressional Budget Office to be added to the deficit spending for every year for the next decade. Of course, the President added a few caveats to his “pay-go” requirement. He conveniently provided an exception for his health care reform spending which has been forecasted to cost the taxpayers at least another $1 trillion in deficit spending. To make matters worse, Obama warns that now is the only time to pass health care reform. He is trying to gin up fear to provide pressure on Congress to pass yet another disastrous spending measure. At this point with nearly $12 trillion in projected deficit spending over the next 10 years, why should we care about spending an additional $1 trillion of money we don’t have?
I believe that the rush to pass the President’s socialist dream is because the administration knows what 2010 will hold for the party in power. They realize that sooner or later the American people will wake up to how disastrous the policies of throwing taxpayer money around to seize control of more of the private sector really are. They are petrified of trying to pass this health care boondoggle during an election year. Recent polls have shown that while approvals of Obama personally remain in the 60% range, approval of his individual policies is dismally low. I fully expect the White House and their loyal sycophants in Congress will try to ramrod health care reform through with very little chance for the voting public to actually read and understand what is in the bill. Early in President Clinton’s first term, health care reform was one of the primary goals on their agenda. Their reform did have broad support until the voters knew the details of the reform. The voters expressed their opposition to the government power grab and the Democrat controlled Congress quickly folded under the pressure. I believe that the Obama administration will try to force their reform quickly through with very little debate to try to avoid the inevitable voter backlash. Of course, as much as Clinton was loved by the left, he never enjoyed the near religious following that Obama does.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Will Obama Say Anything To Distract From His Disastrous Domestic Policies?

President Barack Hussein Obama, formerly known as candidate Barack Obama, has proven once again that his own Vice President, Joe “which government secret should I reveal this week” Biden was correct when he said that the President of the United States is not a position in which you can learn foreign policy with on the job training. Biden chided Obama during the Presidential primaries for his extreme lack of foreign policy experience or even the vaguest idea of what foreign policy entailed. You may recall that Obama tried to separate himself from the pack of Presidential aspirants by promising to negotiate with Iran without any preconditions. He then quickly revised his foolish statements by saying that a nuclear Iran was unacceptable to him. Either the President has a very short memory or this is just another example of his desire to be all things to all people.

The Obama administration was hailed during the campaign and after the election as an administration that would regain the respect of the world. Over the past few weeks, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made a trip to China to reassure the Chinese that the investment in our skyrocketing debt was a safe investment. His speech before Econ students at a Chinese University was met with disbelieving laughter. How could anyone believe the Treasury Secretary when he tells them that the dollar is strong and will continue to be a safe investment, when the administration he works for and the Congress have shown no signs of reigning in spending? Or shown any signs that they have the slightest inclination to allow the free market to work through the problems that governmental interference have caused? Even Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez sees that the current policies of the Obama administration have clearly positioned Obama to the left of Chavez.

Maybe it is the 9.2% unemployment rate that has caused the President to make some outrageous statements over the past week while traveling abroad. How else can anyone explain why President Obama would claim that the Muslim population in the United States would make our country one of the largest Muslim nations in the world? A Pew Research poll puts the Muslim population in the United States at about 1.8million, which would make the U.S. barely in the top 50 of Muslim nations if we counted just the people who identify themselves as Muslim.

Maybe it is the soaring national debt, or his government takeover of the banking industry, the mortgage industry, and the auto industry, or his plans to nationalize our healthcare system that caused him to say that Iran has a legitimate claim to their nuclear aspirations. I realize many of his cult-like followers will claim that he was talking about their plans for nuclear power, but how can you disregard Ahmedinejad’s claims of having more than 7000 centrifuges for nuclear missiles? Do we ignore the Iranian leader’s claims that they will wipe Israel off the map in a matter of days, if they are provoked? Does anyone believe that Iran will not try to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons if they have them?

Iran knows that the U.S. is nothing more than flowery, but empty rhetoric condemning their actions against Israel. After all, North Korea has totally ignored all of warnings coming from Washington. Iran has also turned a deaf ear to the laughable condemnations from the U.N. and the U.S.. Why should they be concerned about any action from the impotent U.N. or the U.S.? Obama said as much in his speech in Cairo when he delivered yet another apology for the war in Iraq. He claimed that we had learned that taking action without broad international support was a mistake. Don’t we teach our children that they need to do the right thing no matter what their friends are doing or might say? I suppose that may be a lesson that is not taught in the school of appeasement and apology. I am still waiting for the President to apologize to Great Britain for our unlawful war in 1776.

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