Friday, December 10, 2010

Flashback August 1962: “There is some powerful Democratic opposition in Congress to a cut now.” It may be time for Obama to Channel Abraham Lincoln.

Analysis and Opinion


Pelosi and Company in Opposition to Obama and Tax cuts, image Washington Post

Funny thing about history, repeating itself, no matter what the era, or whether a Chief Executive of the United States (i.e. The President), has a Congress controlled by his party or the opposition party, one can pretty much wager on Democrat opposition to Tax Cuts.

In 1962 when John F. Kennedy proposed a round of tax cuts in order to stabilize the economy, he was challenged, not by Republican’s, rather by the rank and file Democrats in Congress. Again in 1982, President Ronald Reagan experienced ”opposstion from the House Democratic Leadership” (Gadson Times, August 17, 1982).

George W. Bush, experienced much the same, ”The Democratic leadership in Congress that opposes President George W. Bush's tax-cut plan…..”Columbus Leger Enquirer, February 12, 2001


Opposition to Tax Cuts, historic Democrat pastime


The anti-tax cut mantra, which includes “tax the rich”, is normally in place prior to a President (CEO), cutting taxes across the board, which then, amazingly accomplishes an increase in revenue (taxes) from increased employment due to business confidence and additional available funds. It is a simple concept, that regardless of the political affiliation of a sitting President, Democrat members of Congress, specifically those who hold leadership positions, prefer to oppose based on ideology rather than concrete economic grounds.

President Obama is faced with that trial now. Perhaps the tax cuts to the “rich” mantra is instilled in the President, however, he compromised with Republicans in order to move our nation forward, clearly signaling he understands that there’s a good probability that cutting taxes on those so-called “rich”, i.e. Businesses, would cause unemployment to remain high. The problem Obama faces is from the far left, including the “old guard media”, who are amazed that Obama would dare to work with Republicans in order to advance a theory that had worked for the aforementioned past Presidents, all were opposed by those Congressional Democrats, in different decades, with only two possible reasons which come to mind.

Perhaps one reason why Obama is faced with such transparently rabid revolt, including crass language in the Congress by a member who used an extremely base and childish expletive in referring the Chief Executive, and a refusal by Democrat Leadership to bend on tax cuts, is pure ideology. The “progressive base" of the party (i.e. the Socialists who have co-opted the Democrat Party as not one of them (with the exception of Bernie Sanders in Vermont but – it’s Vermont), would be elected if they ran on the Socialist Party ticket (and yes, there is one). That tactic has been taking place since….well, the “Red Menace” of the early 1900’s (Communist run Labor Unions and riots in the United States).

The other possibility is that they (Pelosi & Company) believe that the tax money collected from working American’s truly belongs to them; for funding projects that are just shy of ridiculous and also costly. Either way, this Democrat opposition can squawk all they like, as the Congress changes hands on the 5th of January, and it is a good bet that a tax cut would pass in a heartbeat without their votes.

Although the President has indicated he is in a rock and a hard place, trading off tax cuts in order to keep unemployed Americans in weekly checks for another 13 months, it is with an understanding that do to nothing at this point is detrimental to both the economy and millions of American’s. He may have compromised under pressure; however, he understood the necessity to do so. Those “Democrats and Democratic Leadership” in Congers who are blathering and name calling at this moment in time, are doing nothing more than grandstanding, just like their predecessors, and, as history as proven, the tax cuts worked, under Kennedy, under Reagan, under Bush, and they will work under Obama.
Should the President bow to his “base” he would risk a humanitarian, economic and political humiliation, which is, apparently, no concern to Ms. Pelosi, or her Progressive Socialist in the Congers who have their knickers in a bunch?

Lastly, CBS News has been touting an in-house poll which implies that a majority of American’s favor a tax on the “rich” and have been broadcasting that information as well as support for the House Democrats who oppose tax cuts 24/7. (CBS – often referred to as the Communist Broadcasting Corporation – beginning circa 1980).

However, NPR (also not know for leaning right), ran an article contrary to CBS regarding the polls on Tax cuts as being somewhat confusing. The reason being Gallop also polled the same questions, and results were far different than those of CBS. Gallop is considered the “gold standard” of pollsters and not one that leans particularly far right or left. This type of pandering by media outlets to a political ideology has the historical reference of letters between those Founding Fathers (see Federalist Papers) who engaged in heated debate regarding allowing for freedom of the press, due to the ability of a press, at some point in time, disrupting the Republic.

As Barack Obama is a fan of Abraham Lincoln, surely he is aware that historically Lincoln was the one President who suspended the Constitution and jailed the editors of newspapers who were not specifically behind his efforts. (Treatment of Lincoln and Constitution here) (Conservatives might point to that as the only reason Barack Obama is a fan of the 16th Republican President.) Journalist might be jailed and the constitution suspended. One might suggest that would apply to the current situation whereby certain journalist that have a large share of voice and are in disagreement with the President, might face the same fate as their 1860’s counterparts.

Al Sharpton might have Rush Limbaugh (Conservative Radio Talk Show Host) in mind, (see interview where Sharpton also believes that American’s embraced socialism when they elected Barack Obama) however, muffling CBS, the NYTimes and the core media would, at this point, be in the Presidents’ best political interest. Mr. Sharpton, and those who sit sway over the FTC , specifically Commissioner Copps, who is seeking to monitor all media, including the internet, might want to review the recent calls against talk radio, the internet and cable news outlets lest they too find themselves without a voice. If Obama has the will of his predecessors in standing up to those Socialist Congressional Representatives who would “tax the rich” and thereby, sacrifice millions of unemployed in the deal, he just might take it one step further.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Richard Neal (D-MA2) and Sander Levin (D-MI12) Fight for Top Dem Slot on Ways and Means Committee – Neal “"Globalization is not about to retreat"


Richard Neal (D-MA2) Battles for Rank Position on Ways and Means image urbancompass blog

On the one hand Congressman Richard Neal was recommended for the top Democrat Slot as “Ranking Member” of the House Ways and Means Committee by a group of Democrat House Leaders, according to Business Week. The Democrat Steering Committee for the House recommended Neal by a vote of 1 over Sander Levin, who is the current Chair, and was appointed by Nancy Pelosi to fill the slot previously held by disgraced member Charles Rangel (D-NY). Sander immediately protested, noting that one member, Maxine Waters, who supports Levin, was missing and has requested a rematch according to Politico. With Waters in the mix, the Committee would be tied before either Neal or Levin would be chosen by the full Democrat Caucus.

The Chair of the Committee going into the New Congress is Dave Camp (R-MI4) . Camp, played a pivotal role drafting the legislation for welfare reform under President Bill Clinton, and not unlike Richard Neal, keeps a fairly low national profile. Camp has been serving his MI district since 1991. Camp will take up the gavel on the 5th of January 2011 when the new House is in session.

Neal or Levin would still hold influential posts on the Committee, which overseas tax codes, Social Security and Welfare; of the two men, both hold progressive views, although Neal tends to break with his fellow Democrats on rare occasions. Neal, a Catholic, voted against federal funding for abortion in the new Health Care Reform Legislation, and is a staunch support of Ireland. He has been credited with helping to broker a peace between the outlaw party Sein Fein (Irish Republican Army) and the British Government. For decades Irish Catholics fought for parity with British and Irish Protestants in Ireland, with Sein Fein using terrorist tactics in order to make their point.

Levin, according Business Week, has cast his support behind labor unions; while Neal spends his time working with Washington based tax lawyers. Both men are “Progressive Democrats”. From Politico comes this exchange that highlights the very real similarities and differences between the two would-be “ranking members”

"I have been an effective chair this year, and I believe I am the best person to meet the challenges our caucus faces in the 112th Congress. I have demonstrated principled, active leadership and the ability to press the administration to hold firm to our basic principles and take on Republicans who want to turn back the clock on our accomplishments," Levin wrote.
Neal said it's time for Democrats to look to the future and stop "recycling" arguments.
"Globalization is not about to retreat," Neal said.


It appears that Dave Camp is more than capable of working with either Levin or Neal, and has the temerity to stick to his guns. In the capacity of “Ranking Member”, Neal Ranks 58 in the Democrat Party, while Levin ranks 34th. Levin’s higher party rank includes a member’s success in moving legislation forward and ability to influence members. Based on these statistics from 2008 on Congress.org, one would think Levin would have the juice to best Neal, if he forces the tie with Maxine Waters vote, then the full caucus may reject Neal’s campaign for the role.

Neal, who had to face a tough reelection campaign from a newcomer Tom Wesley (R), won reelection with the help of community organizers getting out the Democrat vote in the last 13 hours of the election. The final tally was not as excepted, with Wesley taking 42.7 percent of the vote, a clear indication that Neal’s run in 2012 may not turn out as expected by both the beltway pundits and Neal. Levin, fared much better than Neal in his district, with the opposition garnering only 24% of the total vote. Levin, may have more “staying power” in the eyes of his colleagues than Neal, although Neal may appear to be more of a moderate in sheep’s clothing; deemed more capable of brokering deals with the current Republican majority.

All this backroom dealing, caucusing, and posturing on both sides of the aisle, will result in the election to positions within the Congress of those who will be watched more closely by both the media, but especially the voters. Going into the 2012 general election, with all house seats once again up for reelection, a majority of the Democrat Senate seats up for reelection and of course, the President up for reelection; should the current political climate continue, both Levin and Neal will either be out of jobs, and/or holding on to “high ranking” minor roles in the Congress until at least 2014.

Of note: Both Levin and Neal voted “yea” on the 11th hour tax bill that would have extended tax cuts to families making less than $250,000 and increase taxes on business (Full roll call vote at house.gov here), which failed in the Senate. The President, meanwhile, had been in negotiations with Republicans on a bi-partisan measure, which, the actions of both Neal and Levin indicate that they were willing to vote with the Speaker, (Pelosi current) than the President. The MA2 District, although having lost the majority of its manufacturing jobs over the past decades due to high corporate state tax rate, and although the vote was most likely made in an attempt ot pacify the Progressives in Neal and Levin’s districts, it tends to make those independent voters leery of both men who would not join in the clear effort by both President Obama and Republicans to move the nation forward. Finally, in addition, the MA2 and MA1 districts may be melded with another district due to the Commonwealth's loss of population. This would pit Neal and Olver against Democrat and former state Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., a Pittsfield lawyer in a 2012 contest.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Congratulations, Dr. Jay Flietman (R-MA) – Hampshire Gazette Runs First Column by Fleitman – Topic Instate Tuition


Dr. Jay Fleitman photo: Hampshire Gazette

Dr. Jay Fleitman, who ran in the Republican Primary in 2010 for the MA2 district against Richard Neal, took the time out of his busy schedule to write a column for the Hampshire Gazette, one of Western Massachusetts largest daily newspapers. The first column touches on the subject of instate tuition for illegal immigrants as proposed by Govenor Duval Patrick and is available hereat gazettenet. It is well worth the read.

One can hope that Dr. Fleitman will consider reentering the political arena, as an opponent of the current (redistricting possibilities) MA2 Congressional Representative, Democrat Richard Neal. To learn more about where Dr. Fleitman stands on the issues, visit jayfleitman.com.

Spencer Bachus (R-AL6) Named House Financial Services Committee Chair – Barney Frank (D-MA4) Replaced by Most Conservative House Member.


Spencer Bachus, Newly elected Chair of Financial Services Committee Image Alabama Public Television

Yesterday, Congressional Republicans chose Spencer Bachus, Representative of the Alabama 6th District, as Chair of the powerful Financial Services Committee. (FT) Bachus will replace Barney Frank (D-MA4) in January – the two men are polar opposites; Frank being a Progressive “Democrat” most often associated wit the collapse of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and Bachus known as the most conservative House member ((Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Terry Everette (Retired-AL2) had the top two slots according to Open Congress.org)


Barney Frank, still holds seat on Financial Services Committee as Ranking Democrat - image wikipedia

In January of 2010 he sponsored a bill that would have suspended the current compensation packages for executives of Freddie and Fannie , HR 4476, the Equity in Government Compensation Acthas sat on the sidelines, once sent to “Committee” for review. The Committee: House Financial Services, chaired by none other than Barney Frank. A bill cutting compensation for Freddie and Fannie execs would not pass muster under Frank’s tenure – however, the new “Sheriff” may be able to, with a majority behind begin to make sense of the house finances (taxpayers dollars) after 6 years of Barney Frank’s oversight.

From Representative Bachus’ House website: http://bachus.house.gov/; in reading the “official biography” one gets the sense of a solid fiscal conservative and conservationist, who is going into his seventh term in the House. He has voted 93% of the time with Republicans, and has the ability to cross the aisle, albeit infrequently (OpenCongress).

Bachus caused a bit of a brouhaha, when speaking at a local Alabama function following the mid-term elections placing some blame on Sarah Palin, and her support of candidates, which , Bachus believed caused the GOP to lose the Senate(Shelby County Reporter), although one might argue, that the Senate was never in play, regardless of Palin's backing of Christine O’Donnell candidacy in Maryland. However, in the same address, he tempered his speech with a tone of reality, noting that the Republican’s are not in total charge in Washington, and importantly, that independents were responsible for changing the course of party fortunes, first for the Democrats in 2008 and then for the GOP in 2010. With Palin as one of the top GOP fundraisers in 2010, the remarks made by Bachus (although one might disagree with his point of view vis a vis Sarah Palin), show a man who is a pragmatist, looking at the “big picture” when it comes down to a numbers game.

It will be interesting to see how Bachus deals with Frank, who now is the ranking Democrat on the Committee – neither man appears to be a wallflower, and with Frank’s tight race for reelection, and knowing he will be challenged again in 2012, with perhaps a tougher race on his hands, he will be virtually hamstrung trying to fight on two fronts: one for the Progressive school of finance in his Committee Assignment, and one for his job, in the MA 4th Congressional District.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Obama and GOP Tax Cuts Deal – Progressives in Democrat Party Clearly Upset with President!


Obama moves to middle on Tax Cut Deal - photo European Press Agency via WSJ

From the AP: President Obama and the GOP have brokered a deal that included keeping all the Bush Tax cuts, plus additional tax cuts offered by the President for two years, with an extension of the unemployment benefits for over 2 million people in 26 states that expired this month. One has to give credit where credit is due, Obama and the GOP worked together, regardless of where one stands on the ideological scale of Democrat vis a vis Republican, the move by both camps to ensure the continued aid to the unemployed while taking the burden off businesses in order to begin hiring shows compromise is alive in D.C. In fact, the President offering to put more on the table for American’s working class in the form of a cut in the Social Security payroll deduction. Therefore, kudos to Obama for taking the steps necessary to at least, temporarily , move into the middle of the road, and to the GOP for meeting the President on common ground.

Not every member of the political class is excited about this “new deal”, with left wing Progressives clearly upset with the Presidents willingness to work for the people rather than the Progressive Party. NPR reports that Progressives within the Democrat Party are against any type of deal that takes away from their mantra “Tax the Rich”. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (who is a Socialist, not a Democrat) is threatening to filibuster while “Progressive Democrats in the House wrote a letter of opposition”. One Adam Green, who is with an organization called the “Progressive Change Committee, went blathering on about the President appearing “weak” in the wake of his coming to an agreement with the GOP. The latest round of “no’s” from Progressives who have held sway over the American public with the election of Pelosi and other hard-left Progressives in 2006. With this mini-tantrum, one can better understand the gap that exists between the Democrats and the Progressives, who should, in all fairness, should move to form their own political party, and leave the Democrat party to fend for themselves in the political arena. The problem with that scenario, Progressives do not do well unless they hide behind a brand as they are socialists who merely mask themselves as Democrats. Perhaps in the best case, those Unions would do best to join with the Progressives and do everyone in the U.S.A. a favor by taking up their actual “brand” instead of co-opting some other.

Progressives and Tea Party members differ in that the Tea Party, although most closely aligned with the Republican Party ideologically, does not pull any punches in warnings to both parties regarding the purity of the Constitution and fiscal responsibility. The Progressives on the other hand, speak for the Democrats, which, even if there were one Democrat left standing in the Senate or the House, that elected official should call them out, and tell them to shut up and speak for themselves. The formation of additional parties would serve the Republic in that these parties would offer more choices to the American people, and push the two older, dominant political parties to be a tad more honest.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the “tax deal” package is the fact that it is not permanent, and is set to expire in 2012. This sets up an “us versus them” clear line in sand over economics between President Obama, who will campaign for reelection and growing field of Republican contenders. Progressives, for some unimaginable reason, believe the “tax the rich” mantra is a “winner” with the public, and while it may have appeared to work in the last election, it is a risk to believe it would work a second time. First, the last election was not necessarily about “taxing the rich” and some pie-eyed idea that the American public was welcoming Progressive (socialism) with open arms. What the more likely rise of the Party can be attributed to are those on the hard left and in the middle, afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome, voting in order to rid the nation of any Republican (including McCain). However, now as a consequence, they are experiencing buyers remorse. (The Progressives appear to have missed that development with the 2010 election.)

Should the tax cuts work, the economy begin to see a positive reversal, the job market improve, which is, historically, highly probable, then it would be a folly to campaign on “taxing the rich” who, any one of those GOP candidates would be able to say – “are providing the jobs American’s need”. They would have the proverbial proof in the pudding. Obama literally fell on the political sword for the American public in working with the GOP, and brought to light the reality of the Progressives as the “Party of No”. As Obama has clear Progressive leanings, the decision to meet in the middle to save the nation from ruin, puts him on the road to being less Carteresque. The tax cuts aside, there are myriad issues one can pick that still places the President in the ideological Progressive camp, and although one may agree to disagree on any of those points (legion), it is important for Conservatives to acknowledge that President Obama indeed broke rank and, as of this moment, should be applauded for the action. It will not diminish the fortunes of the GOP field of contenders for the Top Job in 2012 given the big picture.

One may call his move political expediency (saving one’s own hide), or what have you, however, regardless of motive, (which unless one is a mind-reader, there is no way to determine what the man is thinking), give him his due. One can also add courage to that list if one is a follower of the Beck school of thought, who has claimed that the President is in danger from “Progressives” within his own sphere that may attempt to physically harm Obama. Either or, today, the President deserves a pat on the back for stepping up.


Side note: Historically, one has to concede that Beck has a point as far as Progressives throughout history using any means possible to further Socialism, however, those murders, assassinations, concentration camps, etc., were part of the early to mid 20th century, pre-information age. One would hope, the consistent bungling of Progressives in the House and Senate, coupled with their current ability to hide nothing, (even state secrets from junior hackers who should retire to their mothers basements in Australia), would render any “plots” against the president (other than protests and strongly worded letters of condemnations and perhaps another wiki leak or two directly aimed at Obama instead of potential Progressive opposition in the form of current target, Hillary Clinton) useless.

Monday, December 06, 2010

As Clock Runs Out on Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits, Obama and Democrats in Senate Move to Middle.

Growing Public Disgust of Big Government pushing Politicians to Choose Will of the People

With unemployment benefits for those who have been collecting for 99 weeks expiring this month, and the unemployment rate jumping to 9.8%, the need to reassure businesses and economic stability in an extension of the Bush tax cuts, took shape in the Senate this weekend when Senate Democrats joined with Republicans in blocking a “middle class tax-cut” only bill, that the Congress and Obama administration had hoped for. Several key Democrats joined with Republicans to advance a “simple majority vote” to overcome a filibuster. Durbin (D-IL), Harkin (D-IA) and Rockefeller (D-WV) also voted against the so-called “millionaires tax”. (New York Times)

On Sunday’s talk show circuit, it appeared that a deal would be reached between Senate Republicans and the Obama administration that involved a trade-off for a 2-year extension of the tax cuts for another extension of unemployment assistance for those whose benefits expired. . This signaled, for the first time, a move to the middle by the Obama administration, who has been taking hits from the hard left over several issues including the extension of tax cuts at any level.

Although it may be argued that with a new GOP controlled House and increased clout in the Senate set to take the reins in January will push Obama to concede points on the tax cuts, it is also possible that the President could stand firm in Progressive ideology and refuse to budge. It is most possible that a chess game is being played out with America’s fortunes and basis needs of millions of jobless American’s in a compromise between the political think of both parties in order to avoid what would be a more than a mere public relations disaster.

That said, with the increased clout of the fiscal conservative Tea Party and a growing interest and acceptance of the Constitutionally based, fiscal conservative group by American’s, both major political parties would be best served to pay attention and work towards putting the U.S. Financial House in order above all else. With the 2012 elections on the horizon, and the White House at stake, Obama, who appears, at this point, unelectable for a second term, and a majority of Democrat Senators up for reelection, a move to compromise would, at the very least, possibly save proverbial political hides that otherwise would be ousted. The Republican’s, however, are not out of the woods, as those such as Susan Collins (D-ME), voted against a ban on earmarks, with 6 other Republican’s breaking ranks with the Party. (Alternately 7 Democrats, including Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who sponsored the bill to ban earmarks broke ranks with the Democrats.) It appears to be a case of “those who get it” and “those who don’t – the “it” being the millions of American’s who have had it with government spending, the sheer size of the federal government and the political futures of each Senator and Congressional Representative.

A ban on earmarks, many of which are frivolous at best, would go a long way towards paying for the unemployment extension which is badly needed for those who are about to lose their benefits in states that signed on for Federal aid in extending Unemployment benefits to 99 weeks, including Massachusetts. Interestingly, those States that did not accept the Federal Aid in extensions, have lower unemployment rates (see U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of October 2010). A map from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, shown below outlines the benefits offered by all states. However, those States that did accept the aid, such as California and Massachusetts, have higher percentages of individuals on the “public dole” than those that did not, some might argue by sheer volume of population coupled with the state’s high dollar “give-away” programs, as well as impending bankruptcy, makes it imperative to continue to fund those programs. That said, it is also true, that those states also have higher corporate tax rates (8% plus) (Tax foundation tables here), literally sending job creators running for the border appear to be on the list, for the most part, of those states seeking Federal assistance. One would think, at some point, those that are elected to run both the State and Federal governments, would get the bigger picture - Lower corporate tax rates, equal less unemployment. The Progressives who would have tax increases across the board (mainly academics, students, certain elected officials and the professional press), apparently do not grasp the premise that tax cuts offer incentives for corporations (which these same people feel are the root of all evil), to hire people (who in turn pay taxes, in order to prop-up the entitlement programs favored by the same ivory tower idealists.).


Map of States Taking Fedederal Aid for Unemployment Benefits - image Center for Budget and Policy Priorities


Although the aforementioned may hold sway with the President and even share his ideology, surely at some point, the light bulb must turn on, and understanding of how a simple economic principle which has been successful since the nation was founded (few to no taxes and a limited Federal Government), would continue to work as long as the Federal Government and those same progressives, keep their nose out of economics and stick to their chosen fields; union bosses, professional anarchists and teachers.

For a rousing take on State Government versus the Unions see Video Below where NJ Govenor, Chris Christie (R), takes on the Teachers unions (Unions = Progressive Doctrine) who cost taxpayers millions.

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