We Are Now Entering Fantasy Land

President Obama held a press conference yesterday, doing what he does best: placing the blame on Republicans for out-of-control spending. He even had the gall to talk about being “responsible” fiscally. This from a man who has overseen more additional debt to the nation’s fiscal picture than all previous presidents combined. It takes a lot of hubris to say the Republicans are the primary culprits when it’s so blatantly obvious he has never met spending he hasn’t liked—of the non-defense variety at least. What has he really saddled us with?

That looks like a pretty accurate representation. Then we are treated to “solutions” such as the following:

If that looks like a fantasy land, you’re not far off the mark:

But we all really know what’s going to happen. There’s only one viable solution to our quandary, from the president’s point of view:

You are now free to be very concerned.

Constitutional Limitations & Obama

Who cares about constitutional limitations? Certainly not Barack Obama. He likes to let people know he was a professor of constitutional law, but the truth is that 1) he was a lecturer, not a professor per se, and 2) he has no regard for the document at all. He’s referred to it as an encumbrance that gets in the way of his goal of transforming America.

As I noted yesterday, and as at least some of the media have picked up on, he doesn’t really believe the country has a spending problem. He made this clear in his supposed negotiations with John Boehner:

Some may wonder how he can be so blind. Well, ideology creates blindness, and this president is the most radical ideologist who has ever occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He’s so wedded to his Marxist, anti-imperialist, bring-down-America views that he can’t deal with reality:

Back to his disregard for the Constitution: he now wants unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling, as if Congress doesn’t exist. He seeks unlimited power to spend and go into debt, and thinks there should be no repercussions. Even most kings at the time of the writing of the Constitution couldn’t do that. The Founders set up a balanced form of government that clearly delineated the powers of the presidency. Obama desires to toss aside all their hard work that created a federal republic to protect liberty.

Then there was the suggestion yesterday, floated by none other than Joe Biden, that Obama could use executive orders to curtail firearms. Going back again to the Founders and the Constitution, the Second Amendment specifically says, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The militia mentioned in the amendment, taken in the context of the era, referred to the body of the whole people of a state, not some appendage of the government. The whole point was to be able to halt any tyranny imposed by the government.

The only legitimate, legal way to get around that amendment, which is part of the cornerstone of constitutional government that protects liberty, is to ratify another amendment rescinding the first one. That happened with prohibition. Three-fourths of the states would have to agree that the right to keep and bear arms no longer is in effect. Not even Congress has the authority to pass a law wiping this out.

Yet what is Obama hinting at? He seems to believe he can just sign an executive order and make anything happens that he wishes. Executive orders are not even mentioned in the Constitution. They are supposed to be merely a way for presidents to set up rules for how the executive branch of the government will operate. They are to apply to the bureaucracy only; they should have no direct effect on citizens, and certainly no effect on a ratified constitutional amendment.

Obama’s apologists will say that other presidents have used executive orders in this fashion. True, but hardly a rationale for doing so again. Just because other presidents have done something unconstitutional is no basis for allowing this president to continue the practice. The most egregious use of executive orders came in the 1930s during FDR’s New Deal. Roosevelt simply declared that all Americans had to turn in their gold to the federal government. He had no authority to declare any such thing, yet he did it. He then exchanged their gold for Federal Reserve Notes, which became the only currency allowed in the country. It was a display of raw power, and it worked. But that didn’t make it right.

If Obama follows through on this threat, he will further solidify the opinion of many that he seeks to set up a presidential dictatorship. How, one may ask, can this be possible in a nation that values liberty? Well, look at the last election. How much do we really value liberty anymore? Anyone with any sense at all knew what Obama wanted to do. Yes, he is a problem, but we are the greater problem:

Obama’s ideology and goals have been transparent from the start. Some of us are willfully blind about them, others are deceived, and still others have converted to his way of thinking. We are on the precipice. Will we pull back and regain our liberty? Will we take back Obama’s “hope and change” slogan and put it to good use this time? Let’s hope it’s not too late for change.

Spiritual Poverty’s Children

If you read this blog regularly, you might wonder why I’ve not commented directly on the fiscal cliff deal reached recently. For starters, I’ve wanted instead to concentrate on some bigger issues—bigger in the sense of greater in scope and fundamental to the innumerable crises we seem to be facing. That’s why I’ve written about the problems in modern Christianity; more correctly, I’m referring to the problems in what is perceived as Christianity in our day. Some of it, however, is a false perception because the supposed Christianity isn’t the real thing at all.

When the real is on the wane, a door opens for all sorts of problems. Spiritual poverty begets moral, economic, and political poverty, to name a few. Our governmental crises focusing on the economy are directly related to our spiritual blindness as a people. That’s why we don’t deliver genuine solutions; instead, we become captive to a false ideology promoted by a highly ideological president. How ideological? An interview with Speaker of the House John Boehner reveals that in his one-to-one talks with Obama, the president stated flatly that we do not have a spending problem.

This is the conclusion of the man who has added approximately $6 trillion to the national debt on his watch. And how does he propose to remedy the situation? Tax more those in the upper echelons of income. What will we receive from this new tax rate on the evil rich people? About enough to run the government for 8 days. Yes, that’s a real solution.

Everyone was so worried. Now they’re trying to believe that something has been resolved. It takes a lot of blind faith to hold that view. No precipice has been avoided, no crisis averted.

Instead, we find ourselves staring into a rather gargantuan black hole—or is it red?

Next we have to tackle the debt ceiling. Obama says he should have unlimited authority to raise that ceiling at will. He also says we need more revenues, which is Obamacode for higher taxes. Republicans have countered with statements that sound good—no more revenues, only spending cuts—but will they follow through?

The task may appear insurmountable. Yet I believe if we can get on track spiritually, hope remains. I am realistic about the odds, but I am never without some hope.

The Case Against Barack Obama: Domestic Policies

In my two previous posts, I’ve covered Barack Obama’s worldview and key character traits. His worldview consists of a blend of Marxism, anti-colonialism, and liberation theology. The three blend quite well, a type of unholy trinity. His character, dominated by a self-righteous arrogance and narcissism, leads to fantastic claims of future accomplishments—the lowering of the seas and the healing of the planet being the most ludicrous—and a tendency to put personal interests, whether golf or hobnobbing with celebrities, ahead of the responsibilities of his office. It was important to lay these two foundation stones before proceeding to his external policies because all of his policies are the result of his worldview and character.

There is a tendency in political analysis to separate economic issues from what are usually called social issues. I see that as a false dichotomy. All issues have a moral basis; nothing exists in a valueless vacuum. One’s views of morality are the basis for economic decisions just as much as they are for decisions on family and other social relationships. Obama’s worldview lends itself to a certain type of morality. He sees government as essentially beneficial, not only in matters of national defense but for practically every perceived problem. The more government control, the better for everyone. Private companies that depend on the profit motive are highly suspect; those who have succeeded have probably achieved their success on the backs of others. Therefore, government exists as the great equalizer.

The economic mess he inherited—and which he helped create as a member of Congress—could only be rectified, in his view, by inserting government as the savior. That’s why he pressed for and got the huge stimulus package. This was a package passed over the objections of most Republicans, but his party controlled both houses of Congress so he got exactly what he sought. And just how did that stimulus work?

Well, we have discovered over time that huge amounts of it went directly to those who supported his campaign. As a typical Chicago politician, he learned how to work the system. Obama brought crony capitalism to a new level. Who benefited most? First, there were the unions that were the beneficiaries of his largesse [actually that would be the taxpayers’ largesse, but he controlled where our tax money went]. There also were some Wall Street companies with whom he had close ties, even while his rhetoric was anti-Wall Street/pro-Occupy. His duplicity in this respect has become legend. One can’t forget as well all the money that disappeared into the black hole of green technology companies like Solyndra. That company was only the first to fold; others followed, regardless of the taxpayer funding they received.

The waste has taken on mythic proportions.

All that proposed green technology never materialized, so our energy issues continue unabated. Well, that’s too generous. We’ve gone backwards. He reversed the openness to offshore oil drilling and refused to approve the Keystone pipeline. Gas prices remain high as a result of those decisions. Then, to the astonishment of many, he sent taxpayer money to Brazil and other nations to help them develop their oil production. Further, he promises them that the United States will be their best customer. Any comments he may make about leading America into energy independence have to be seen as phony. All his actions make a lie of any such stated commitment. Why would he support the development of oil in other nations and not in his own? I think it all comes back again to his anti-colonialism, and his desire to lessen the economic power of the United States. You see, it’s not fair that we be so far ahead of other nations.

He cares not one bit for the massive deficit he has created. During the Democrat convention, the national debt passed the $16 trillion mark. Obama, in four years, has added more debt than Bush did in eight years. Actually, he passed the Bush debt well before the fourth year. It’s a remarkable achievement in one sense. He’s proven it can be done. No one would have believed it possible. Yet he seems rather unconcerned about it. He’s never made one step in the direction of reducing it. Why? Again, he doesn’t really see it as a problem. Government spending is what brings prosperity. The real question, though, is if he sincerely seeks prosperity. Perhaps he relishes the sad state of this economy because it helps bring America down to the level of other countries. That can be a reasonable debate. Meanwhile, he and his party act as if the deficit isn’t really there.

Unemployment has been miserable for his entire term. We have never dropped below 8%, which means this is the longest sustained high unemployment since the Great Depression. The promises he made were wonderful; the stimulus would bring it down to less than 7% very soon, we were told. The only reason the rate isn’t higher is that the workforce continues to plummet; more people than ever have given up looking for jobs. Maybe he’s found the key to a lower unemployment rate.

All he ever offers to remedy the situation is more government. The number of citizens on food stamps is at an all-time high, as is the overall number receiving some type of government assistance. He has no understanding of how a market system works; he doesn’t care to learn because he doesn’t believe in it. His Marxist indoctrination at an early age is ingrained. He rarely convenes his jobs council, and his disdain for small businesses and entrepreneurship is evident. Every time he talks about taxing the rich he aims directly at the small businesses that do most of the hiring. These small businesses now fit the definition of “the rich.” One of the direct results of this animus toward business was revealed this past week when the new number on global competitiveness came out. The United States has dropped from the top of the list to seventh. This is another one of Obama’s “accomplishments.

And then there’s Obamacare. How can we forget that, no matter how much we might like to do so? Frankly, it’s hard to know where to begin the critique on this one. It will not accomplish any of its stated goals: not everyone will be covered; costs will continue to rise; government bureaucrats will ultimately decide whether you get the treatments you need; it puts the government in control of one-sixth of the national economy; it tramples on religious liberty.

That last concern only surfaced recently as HHS put into effect regulations requiring that religious institutions offer all services through their health insurance plans, even those that go against their core beliefs. The furor began with the Catholic church and its teaching on contraception, but it has spiraled beyond that. Other Christian organizations have begun to realize it is forcing them to provide abortifacients. Lawsuits are springing up all over the land, and justly so.

On that abortion issue: Obama is the most vociferous proponent of abortion ever to sit in the Oval Office. He has publicly taken the side of Planned Parenthood and demands it continue to receive taxpayer funding for its “services.” That’s my money and yours being used to carry out the murder of innocent children. If Obama ever had a conscience on this issue, it has since been seared. He expects us to fall in line with his pro-abortion policy. I’ll repeat something I’ve said before: as an Illinois state senator, he was the fiercest opponent of a law that would have required doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive during an abortion. The Obama policy? Let them die.

He’s also the first president ever to advocate for same-sex marriage, thereby destroying the basic Biblical definition of a family. The quest to normalize homosexual activity is in full swing, and he is using the highest office in the land to promote it. As a Christian, I am appalled that the presidency is in the hands of a man who can be so callous toward helpless children and so determined to applaud sexual deviance.

The abortion and same-sex marriage debates are the ones normally termed “moral” issues—and they are. Yet all the others I’ve listed here are moral issues as well. It’s immoral to amass a huge debt and not care to pay it off; it’s immoral to take money from taxpayers and use it on his personal friends and pet projects; it’s immoral to make the United States more dependent on foreign energy sources when we have the capacity to develop our own; it’s immoral to penalize small businesses and hinder entrepreneuship; It’s immoral for the government to make life-and-death decisions in medical treatment; it’s immoral to try to force religious believers to violate their consciences.

Nearly every domestic policy in the Obama administration is fundamentally immoral, and that immorality stems from his worldview and his character.

The Stark Choice

The Democrat convention meets this week in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that just passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The Democrat platform, meanwhile, for the first time, is endorsing same-sex marriage. Welcome to North Carolina, Democrats. Personally, I don’t think President Obama is going to carry the state this time. Last time was an anomaly, just as it was in Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida. I’m expecting all those states to go Republican.

If one were to just look at the results of this first term, one would wonder how anyone trying to run on a record like Obama’s would ever have a chance at reelection. Here are the latest statistics:

As the proverbial icing on the cake, it is probable that the national debt number will exceed $16 trillion while the convention is busy explaining how things are so much better under this president. That’s going to take some doing, considering what has really occurred on the Obama watch:

Liberty has suffered now for nearly four long years. Yet Obama and his minions apparently believe they have made progress. Their definition of progress, though, is decidedly different than mine—and I hope it’s different from that of the majority of the electorate:

A lot is going to depend on voter turnout, not only for those who wish to see a change, but also on the part of those who may like the trend toward more government dependence. I’m not one of those who wishes everyone would vote; I prefer knowledgeable voters—knowledgeable about the rule of law, constitutionalism, limited government, religious liberty, and free enterprise. Frankly, we’d be much better off if some people didn’t vote:

The electorate is filled with uninformed and misinformed voters. The media helps considerably with creating the latter:

The choice is rather stark this November. Will the electorate see it clearly?

The Ryan Pick

Mitt Romney won some admiration from me on Saturday when he chose Paul Ryan as his running mate. Romney’s history had prepared me to be disappointed with a “safe” pick—safe from the GOP establishment’s point of view. Word is that a number of Romney’s advisers were cautioning against choosing Ryan because he would be considered too controversial. To Romney’s credit, he dismissed those fears and gave Ryan the nod.

Paul Ryan is the real thing. He hasn’t been perfect in his voting record. He voted for TARP; the majority did because they were told the sky was falling. He also voted for the GM bailout. I would like to know if he regrets that vote now. But those are slight blemishes on his record of consistent concern for fiscal restraint and traditional morality. His pro-life voting tally is 100%. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, he actually had the nerve to come up with a plan that would lead to a reduction in the national debt and the salvaging of programs like Medicare. Personally, I don’t think Medicare ever should have existed, but since it’s here, it needs to be handled with fiscal responsibility.

Of course, that budget plan—which passed the House but was never given a hearing in the Harry Reid-controlled Senate—has been demonized by Democrats as throwing grandma off the cliff. Never mind that it kept promises made to those who are 55 and older. No, he wants to kill old people. At least that’s the message they trumpeted at the time, and it’s a message they are now digging up again. But it’s balderdash. How many Americans realize that Obamacare guts Medicare by over $700 billion? How many know the system is due to go bankrupt in a few years?

The only reason Ryan is viewed as controversial is that he takes the debt seriously and seeks to do something about it. He also is a great believer in the free enterprise system and wants to unshackle individuals and businesses so they can once again compete and grow. Wow, what a radical!

We now must prepare for the onslaught. Ryan must be destroyed. One commentator spelled out the basic plan for doing so. He said,

In the national media narrative . . . every Republican figure is reduced to one of three things: old, stupid, or evil.

George H.W. Bush: old. Dan Quayle: stupid. Newt Gingrich: evil. Pat Buchanan: evil. Bob Dole: old. George W. Bush: stupid. Dick Cheney: old and evil. John McCain: old. Sarah Palin: stupid. . . .

Because Paul Ryan isn’t old, we will see an effort to paint him as either stupid or evil. You and I know that painting Paul Ryan as stupid is like trying to paint Bill Clinton as chaste. . . .

Sometime in the fall, Saturday Night Live will offer some young comedian in a black wig and a creepy smile, boasting, “My favorite Christmas carol is, ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer'” and we will be told by every political and cultural columnist that it is the most incisive and revealing bit of comedy coming out of the show in years, ever since “I can see Russia from my house.”

(In time, seven in ten Americans will believe that the comedian’s line was actually uttered by the candidate.)

So, be prepared for the denigration campaign. It’s begun already, but will pick up steam the closer we get to the election. As always, the key will be if the Republicans can effectively counter the lies and get their message out. Ryan is articulate; he will do his best, which has always been very good. If Romney can explain the principles as well as I expect Ryan will, there is hope.

Let’s Be Honest

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testified before a House committee yesterday. When asked by a Republican congressman just how much the debt ceiling would have to be raised to meet all the expected expenses of the next decade, Geithner was reluctant to give a straight answer. In the end, he said something to the effect that the congressman would not be happy with the number. The best estimate from economic analyst Stuart Varney is that we would have to raise the ceiling another $9 trillion. That would make the overall debt close to $26 trillion.

Let’s be honest here. The Obama administration has no desire to lower the national debt. That approach doesn’t mesh with its Keynesian ideology, i.e., that government spending is the path to prosperity. While most of the country is appalled by the black hole of debt we’ve accumulated, neither Obama nor any of his top people are the least bit concerned—except, of course, if it should happen to negatively affect his reelection plans. That is the only possible curb on his recklessness as he seems intent on driving us off the cliff.

And whenever a plan to deal with the debt problem is offered, it is immediately demagogued to death, as was the case for the new bill offered by Congressman Paul Ryan a few days ago. As always, anyone who takes a sobering look at the issue and tries to start a genuine debate on how to work our way out of looming financial disaster is demonized as someone who enjoys seeing people starve in the streets.

One way to ensure Americans have less income to spend on essential goods and services is to continue to ignore the rising gas prices while lavishing billions on experimental “green” energy. Those billions, by the way, come as a “gift” from the taxpayers. President Obama defends this approach by saying that America can’t drill its way into relief from these high prices. He always says we have only 2% of the world’s oil reserves. Wrong. Estimates show that there is more untapped oil and natural gas within America’s boundaries than that which exists in Saudi Arabia. Again, let’s be honest here: Obama just doesn’t like the oil industry and pushes for his pet projects, blinded by his ideology.

Pathetic. Unfortunately, we’re on the receiving end of his fantasies.