May Integrity Be Our Guide

Does anyone remember when Republicans thought deficits were a bad thing? Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I can recall that the Obama spending was going to ruin the country.

Now, not so much, apparently.

Republicans, under the leadership [?] of Sen. Mitch McConnell, have joined hands with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Democrats to pass a budget that continues to blow the roof off the deficit.

We’re over $20 trillion and still counting. But don’t worry, both parties are coming to our rescue.

I used to believe that Republicans were sincere about reducing spending. Ah, for those good old days when I could rest assured that there were adults in the Congress.

I don’t wish to overstate, as there are conscience conservatives who stand for principle, but it’s becoming painfully obvious that they are a distinct minority.

And all that talk about defunding Planned Parenthood? Well, talk is, as they say, really, really cheap. Sometimes satire sites get it absolutely right, as the Babylon Bee did the other day. Check it out.

Please know that I take no pleasure in pointing out all the hypocrisy. It’s disheartening, and I do continue to pray for the Christians among our representatives to come forward and stand with integrity. They have a hard job, I know.

Meanwhile, this exhortation seems appropriate:

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity. Proverbs 11:3

Responsible Spender?

In the past week, President Obama, on the campaign trail, has tried to convince his audiences—and us as well—that he has been the most responsible spender in recent presidential history. He used as his proof an article written by someone who drew all his information from a presentation by Nancy Pelosi. Now there’s a solid source. In order to believe this spin, one has to place all 2009 spending on former President Bush. How can anyone do that? Well, since 2009 spending started under a Bush budget that began in 2008, surely it all belongs to him, right? Not when you actually look at the facts, which somehow elude our current leader. Bush never signed that budget: Obama did later. The faulty analysis also throws the stimulus bill onto Bush, even though it was an Obama enterprise from the start.

Don’t believe everything you hear from this president. In fact, don’t believe most of what you hear, especially now that the campaign is in full throttle. Let me be very clear [as Obama often says]: Obama and the Congress have added more than $5 trillion to the budget in less than four years. Bush added $4 trillion in eight years. As unadmirable as Bush’s record may be, it is the epitome of fiscal control when compared to Obama’s.

Every time Obama has sent his version of a budget to the Congress, it has been rejected unanimously—in other words, by both Republicans and Democrats:

Of course, one of the reasons the Democrat leadership has rejected Obama budgets is that it hasn’t been stellar at even considering budgets. The Senate, under Harry Reid’s leadership [?], hasn’t put forward a budget for a vote in over three years, despite a law requiring it.

So much for the concept of the rule of law.

How bad is the current fiscal situation? Here’s one way of understanding it that may bring it closer to home:

Yet what we are told about the deficit doesn’t take into account a deficit that is officially off-budget. We try to pretend it isn’t there, but it’s the biggest fiscal headache of all:

Unless something is done to deal with the root of the problem, we will become a financial basket-case. But every time someone—usually Republican—attempts to offer a plan to deal with it, Republicans are accused of wanting to throw granny off a cliff. That type of political demagoguery is not new, but at the critical juncture at which we now stand, it is particularly irresponsible.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for some time, you know Mitt Romney was not my preferred candidate, but I now have to hope, work, and pray for his election, if for no other reason than to remove the White House’s current temporary occupant. These last four years have been a disaster in more ways than I can take the time to enumerate today. Maybe someone who understands better how economics works can make a difference.

The Week in Review–Minus Presidential Politics

So what else has been happening this week besides presidential politics? Well, there were some other elections. In Ohio, Big Labor outspent the opposition and demagogued so successfully that the voters overturned the legislature’s law that attempted to control the collective bargaining power of government unions. They hail it as a victory. That’s because they think short-term and don’t stop to consider that this vote only worsens the financial situation. The result?

Those same Ohio voters, apparently confused by the concept of having a consistent philosophy of government, then rejected the individual mandate of Obamacare. Well, at least common sense prevailed on that one.

Back in Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder had to testify before a congressional committee about the Fast and Furious debacle. He refused to acknowledge that the plan to allow guns to migrate to the drug cartels led to the murder of a Border Patrol agent. He continues to act as if he’s not really responsible for those who operate under his authority. Does anyone see a pattern here?

Why bother?

Also hard at work was the so-called Super Committee trying to come up with a proposal for deficit reduction that both sides can agree on. Democrats walked out at one point. I can see the media spin on this one now:

 

Let’s not omit the president from this overview. In Europe for a G-20 summit, he and the French president found something to agree on—they both can’t stand Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The only problem is that the microphones picked up their comments; they didn’t know they could be overheard trashing the Israeli leader. Well, you know, he’s just such a pest!

Of course, he might have some legitimate concerns.

Friday’s Overlooked News

The Obama administration has become adept at something other administrations have done, but this administration has taken it from amateur status to expert: waiting until Friday evening, when few are paying attention, to dump all the bad news of the week—bad, that is, for the administration. Under Obama, this has evolved almost into an art form. What am I talking about? Well, here’s what transpired late last Friday:

  1. The long-term care insurance portion of Obamacare was quietly dropped. Forced to face reality about the financial unsustainability of the plan, HHS will now pretend it never existed. All along, we were told this plan would save money; it was an illusion from the start. The illusion finally was shattered.
  2. The Treasury Department reported the second-highest annual deficit in U.S. history. The budget year ended in September. The sad truth? We ran a $1.3 trillion-dollar deficit for the last year. That’s second only to 2009. Let’s see, who was president way back then? Oh, yeah. For the record, that makes three years in a row with a deficit more than $1 trillion.
  3. George Kaiser, a billionaire who was one of Obama’s staunchest contributors and a major Solyndra investor, paid practically zero taxes over the last decade. Now, tell me again about those evil Republican who make too much money and don’t pay enough taxes? Obama may talk class warfare for political gain, but he relies heavily on millionaires and billionaires like Kaiser and Warren Buffet to raise money for him personally. And all that anti-Wall Street talk going around through the Occupy “movement”? Are those protesters really aware of how dependent on Wall Street the Democrat party is, and how avidly Wall Streeters have contributed to the Democrat coffers?
  4. More on Solyndra. The House Oversight Committee seeking more information on the foolish loan to the bankrupt solar power company is being stonewalled by the White House. No information that can be gathered from the president’s e-mail will be sent to Congress. While I understand the separation of powers argument, Congress does have oversight responsibility for how money from that ill-advised stimulus bill was spent.

Some of this is politics as usual, but this administration said it would be the most transparent, most ethical administration in American history. When you try your best to hide bad news and refuse to cooperate with a legitimate congressional investigation, that doesn’t pass the laugh test.

And I haven’t even mentioned the continuing saga of Fast and Furious. I think I’ll say more about that one tomorrow.

The New War

I don’t think I’ve ever used eight cartoons in one blog. Let’s set the record today. Why so many at one time? Well, when have we ever had a president who has declared war on wealth and wealth creators as avidly as this one? His continuing adventures in socialism/financial incompetence provide excellent fodder for the cartoonists. Many consider his actions a new warfare:

Obama, naturally, doesn’t see it that way:

His concept for how to make the math add up follows a traditional approach—one that has been tried in countless countries from the old Soviet Union to the “new” Europe:

One may ask a legitimate question with respect to this approach:

Meanwhile, those who are trying to be rich are also being affected by our economic woes:

Obama’s deficit-reduction plan has some unique twists to it. He’s counting the discontinuation of the war in Afghanistan as part of it; you see, that’s money we were going to spend, but won’t in the future, so it’s part of deficit reduction. On that basis, you could throw in all kinds of possibilities for deficit reduction:

The only real barrier to genuine deficit reduction is one’s imagination, apparently. Yet programs that will remain on the books and will continue to mushroom don’t seem to find a spot in his plan:

To be fair, though, there is one segment of the population that likes what it sees:

I say it’s well past time to believe in something else.

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

So many cartoons, so few days in the week. A bevy of excellent commentary surfaced this week on the Obama approach to the deficit and government spending. Let me give you some samples:

There seems to be a certain amount of wishful thinking going on—a desire to pretend that things really aren’t as bad as they are. The spending spree continues as if there’s no problem, but as with people who use their credit cards recklessly, there is a day coming when the government can’t keep doing what it has been doing:

I remember when Bill Clinton said that the age of big government was over. I didn’t really believe he was sincere, but at least he was forced to deal with the economic and political reality. The current administration refuses to recognize that reality:

No, everyone doesn’t love it. Memories are short; there was an election last November in which a significant portion of the electorate said “NO” to the old ways. Of course, President Obama can pay lip service to that call, but what’s actually on his mind, and what truly motivates him?

This president is probably the most unserious [if that is a word] chief executive in the nation’s history—and that’s saying a lot when you have Bill Clinton in that lineup. If all else fails, Obama can revert to his standard line and hope everyone will buy into it:

Will the nation close its eyes and drink the Kool-Aid once again in 2012? For the sake of our future, we need to pray that wisdom will prevail this time.

The Great Disappearing Act

Congress passed another stopgap continuing resolution so the government can continue to function. This needs to end sometime, and our deficit problem must be met head-on. That, of course, will require some tough choices on spending, but it won’t be easy to get Democrats to agree to those cuts.

Just last week, Harry Reid bemoaned how the proposed cuts would end a very valuable program for cowboy poetry. Let me repeat that: a very valuable program for cowboy poetry. I decided I should repeat it because you might have thought you read it wrong. No, he was serious.

I’m trying to recall which provision in the Constitution allows taxpayer money to be used for cowboy poetry. If you find it, please let me know.

So the fiscal issue is a major concern. Will Congress be able to tackle it, or will stubborn resistance to cuts lead to a government shutdown? Someone needs to face reality.

There are also social issues on the docket. For instance, Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood, which is the foremost proponent of abortion-on-demand in the country. Again, where does the Constitution authorize taxpayer money to take the lives of innocent children? Is the Congress going to be able to find common ground here?

The “great disappearing act” is going to make those issues troublesome as well.

At least we have a president who is fully engaged with the most pressing issues of the day:

He was known as “Senator Present” in the Illinois Senate when he voted “present” a multitude of times. It appears we now have “President Present.” Of course, when I consider what he would promote if he truly were engaged, it makes me thankful that he has decided to be a non-entity.