Monday, September 19, 2011

Why Don't They Get It?

1. Obama's Jobs Speech. Yes, it was all political theater, with Obama knowing full well that a new $500 billion "stimulus" (he avoided the term) would never pass. Yes, he sounded child-like repeatedly telling Congress to "pass this bill, pass it now." And yes, even Democrats are not likely to go along with some of the tax increases included in the bill with elections around the corner.

But what I found to be most interesting was this line: "What kind of country would this be if this chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do." The only possible "rigid" ideas he could be referring to would be those found in our Constitution. A Constitution that set up a system of limited and enumerated powers in a federal government; which recognized the state's powers; and which prevented government infringement of individual liberties. Yet Obama, like many on the left, has little regard for a document that he views as ancient and outdated, with little relevance to the modern world.

Yet the geniuses behind the Constitution were all too aware of the possible abuses that might be imposed by a too powerful central government. So they gave us, among other provisions, the First Amendment, protecting our freedom of speech and religion. Think it's not important? In Europe, where most countries have no equivalent protection on speech, people are regularly prosecuted and sent to jail for violating certain speech norms. It does not take much of an imagination to think about what type of speech those on the left would not deem worthy of legal protection, absent our First Amendment. Want to give up the right to a jury trial, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to not testify against yourself, the right to keep and bear arms?

Obama's comment reflects a lack of respect/understanding of the fundamentals of this country (or maybe not as he said he wanted to bring "fundamental" change to this country). Recall that Pelosi's attitude was no different when, in reply to a reporter asking where in the Constitution the Congress was authorized to order people to buy health insurance, she said: "Are you kidding?" Remember, the party that you like will not always be in power. So ask yourself: when the opposing party is in power, what restraints, if any, do you want there to be on what laws they may choose to pass.

2. Obama's Tax the Rich Scheme. Next on his agenda is a measure to up the taxes on the rich; another proposal that is all political theater as Obama knows it will never pass. Worse, it perpetuates the idea of class warfare, and fails in its stated goal. As Thomas Sowell notes in the 9/19/11 Investor's Business Daily, Congress raised the top rate on income taxes in 1921 to 73%. In 1916, there were more than 1000 people with earnings of $300,000. or more. Quite a sum for that time. Yet, after the new tax rate passed, that number decreased to under 300. As Sowell points out, the wealthy simply redirected their money into tax-exempt securities (such as municipal bonds). It was a lose/lose proposition: less investment in the economy without the desired result of increased government revenue. But Congress subsequently gave in and lowered the rates to 24%, with the result being that: "Vast sums of money that had seemingly vanished into thin air suddenly reappeared in the economy, creating far more jobs and far more tax revenue for the government." (Quote from Sowell's article.) It is a sad commentary that Democrats today just do not understand that people react rationally to the laws that they pass.

Tell businesses with 50 full time employees or more that they will have to pay a $2000. fine for each employee if they do not provide health insurance, and guess what happens? Those businesses approaching 50 will make sure to only hire part-time workers. Those with over 50 will cut back their existing employees' hours. Why? Because business owners and individuals act rationally in order to lessen the negative impact of legislation. The end result is simply another measure that will retard economic growth and delay our economic recovery. Now this is not rocket science, so maybe someone can explain why the Democrats do not get it.

3. The UN Vote on a Palestinian State. So the time has arrived. The UN General Assembly opens a new session. A year has passed since Obama told the two sides that he wanted to see a Palestinian state at the UN by this session. But he has pressure from his own party to veto any measure brought to the Security Council that is not based upon an agreed resolution; and the Palestinians are seeking no such accord. But so what - the Palestinians just want to have their own state and live side by side with Israel in peace. Right?

"We support establishing a Palestinian state on any part of Palestinian land without giving up an inch of Palestine or recognizing Israel." Ismail Haniya, Prime Minister of Hamas, as reported in the 9/19/11 NY Times.

"We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years." Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Israel was established in 1948 - 63 years ago. But it did not control the West Bank or Gaza until after the 1967 war. So what is Abbas talking about? He is telling a deaf, dumb and blind world that the Palestinians consider all of Israel to be occupied Palestinian land. Doubt that?

"Even Palestinian refugees living in (refugee camps) inside the (new) state, they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens." Abdullah Abdullah, PLO Ambassador to Lebanon, as reported by Caroline Glick in the 9/15/11 Jerusalem Post online. They will not be considered citizens because the Palestinians want them to "return" to Israel with millions of the descendants of the original refugees; resulting in the end of Israel as the Jewish state. Remember, it is no coincidence that Abbas continues to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. To do so would conflict with his virtually stated desire to control all the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean.

But my "favorite" comment comes from the PLO representative here in Washington, who told the press that the new Palestinian state will ban Jews and homosexuals. As reported by Glick in the above-refenced article.

And according to the latest Pew Research Poll, 77% of Palestinians agree that "Palestinians' rights can't be taken care of if Israel exists." 79% of Jordanians agree, as do 80% of Egyptians. As reported in the 9/13/11 Investor's Business Daily.

As Glick concludes: "The Obama Administration, the EU bureacracy and most EU member states are obsessed with the Palestinians...their faith in the justice of the Palestinian cause is impermeable to contrary facts or rational interests."