Saturday, January 26, 2008

McCain's Mask Comes Off

Fire of Liberty

While catching up on my daily reading I came across an interesting article by Glen Johnson of the AP in today's issue of the D.C. Examiner that points out why conservatives are and should by skeptical of McCain's new found religion on supply-side economics. After reading the following exchange between Romney and McCain one can clearly see that Senator McCain is a creature of the D.C. Beltway and believes his vaunted position makes him some all-seeing oracle of the economy. Here's a look behind the current facade McCain found in South Carolina:

McCain disagreed. Speaking to reporters on his bus elsewhere in Florida, McCain insisted his service on the Senate Commerce Committee is better preparation for overseeing the U.S. economy than Romney's private-sector experience. He said the Commerce Committee has broad jurisdiction over every aspect of the economy.

"Running an investment company is probably a good thing to do. Making national policy concerning our economy is probably more beneficial to the nation," said McCain, who went on to criticize Romney's economic record as governor. He criticized Romney for tax and fee hikes whole in office, as well as job losses and enacting a health care plan proving to be more costly than originally estimated.

Recalling his start as a venture capitalist, Romney told the builders: "It takes a degree of chutzpah to go to someone and say, `Give me your money and I will invest it for you, and I'll give you back 80 percent of the profit I earn, and I'm going to keep 20 percent of the profit I earn. I'm going to charge you a 2 percent fee for taking your money, and by the way, if I lose your money, too bad.'"

As the audience of several hundred builders laughed, he added: "I don't share in the downside, I only share in the upside."

Later, before a crowd of several hundred in Pensacola, Romney read aloud newspaper quotes - one as recently as December - in which McCain professed less experience in economic affairs than foreign or military affairs. Romney then scoffed at the senator comparing committee service with private sector experience.

"Now he's engaging in "Washington talk,'" Romney said, mocking McCain's professed "straight talk" mantra. "Washington talk says that somehow, because you've been in Washington, and you've been on a committee, that you somehow somehow know about how the jobs of this country are been created."

He added: "There's an arrogance that sets into Washington, that somehow they know everything, that people in Washington know better than the people of America."

After seeing what McCain and his "anointed" colleagues launched in the Senate this past summer with regards to immigration and his horrific effort to limit political speech with his Campaign Finance Reform(more or less incumbency protection), one shouldn't be surprised with such actions or statements. Once can sense that the "Straight Talk Express" bus has run out of gas and is coasting to a near stop while the more conservative Romney speeds by. I might be wrong come the 6th of February(And raise the ire of McCain) but I'm saddling up with Team Romney.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Putting our Economy in a Greater Perspective

Fire of Liberty

In the past few weeks I've sensed a great bit of hysteria within the media when I turn on the TV, open a paper, surf the net or tune into the radio and hear some talking heads or pundit who keep on saying that we're in a recession even when the evidence doesn't support such claims. You'd think that the folks in the media would at least pick up an economics book or consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics or Bureau of Economic Analysis and get the facts about our economy and economic trends before they make such statements.(I think I might be holding the MSM to a far greater standard than they deserve.) Now while a great bit of the MSM seem to fall into this herd mentality and repeat the "recession" mantra, the good folks over at the New York Sun editorial board for putting the current state of our economy in a greater perspective rather than the abysmal way that the rest of the MSM does. I believe the NY Sun did a better job than their brethren when they noted the following:

That March 1991 date is significant for several reasons. The first is that by the November 1992 election, the economy under President George H.W. Bush had already been expanding for a year and a half. Contrary to the myth that President Clinton rescued the American economy by raising taxes and reducing the deficit — "It takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush," is how Senator Clinton phrased it on the campaign trail the other day — the economy was already recovering well on its own before Mr. Clinton even took office, and it was that growth, not the Clinton tax increases, that diminished the deficit.

It is a point for the policymakers in Washington to remember as they scramble to craft a stimulus package to protect America from a "recession" that it isn't even clear we are in, no matter how determined the Democrats and even some in the press are to lay claim to it. "Recession Still Looms," blared a headline atop the Wall Street Journal Web site yesterday afternoon, right next to the chart showing broad indexes of American stocks gaining 2% on the day. The most important word in that headline is "Still" — the recession will keep looming until one actually hits, at which point, a recovery will be on the horizon.

The record shows America has survived previous economic slowdowns and emerged stronger, as big companies get more efficient and smaller companies grow to survive. Sometimes lawmakers are even inspired to make policy changes that shorten the recession rather than prolong it. But such changes are unlikely, because there's such a long lag between what is happening in the economy and when it is measured. It took the National Bureau of Economic Research until December 22, 1992 — after the election — to announce that the recession had ended in March of 1991. The same NBER announced the beginning of the 1990 recession on April 25, 1991— after the economy had already begun its turnaround.

The chances that Washington's actions will be timed to alter the business cycle are small. The real question is whether, by low taxes, sound money, and minimal regulation, Congress, the Federal Reserve, and the administration can create the conditions for American innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish in the long run, no matter where in the business cycle we happen to be. If we are entering a recession, it would be the first one in 17 years, which is a long time.

Thank goodness for the folks at the NY Sun for their efforts to track through the hysterics that one sees or hears when they turn on their TVs and radios.

A Keynesian Fantasy

Fire of Liberty

As Congress and President Bush cart out a "stimulus package" in an effort to calm down the choppy waters of our economy, I'd suggest that some calmer heads in Washington read up on their economic history or at least open up some books by Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell before they latch onto a Keynesian economic scheme that pushes the deficit further into the red and fails to solve the problem. No matter how we look at the current rough patch(Which is far from be a recession like the hysterical media is touting.) , we shouldn't be stuck on a short time fix but rather the lawmakers of this nation should hone their focus on long term solutions like making the Bush tax cuts permanent, cutting the corporate tax rate from the extremely high 39% to 25% or less(Brings new jobs and corporations back to America), a further reduction and simplification of the Income Tax code, as well as reducing the capital gains and dividend taxes even further. All of these would by far better for the overall economy rather that handing out money that will be used on paying current bills or paying credit cards bills for goods that have already been purchased. We'll only kick start this economy back into full blast by making it possible for companies to expand their business, hire new workers, which in turn allows the American people the opportunity to make more money to go out and buy products like computers,TVs, stereos, iPods, appliances, vehicles, and other goods that are used in calculating the state of our economy. Now such advice will go in one ear and out of the other with a Democratic controlled Congress(Who are on a mighty spending spree to buy off their constituency) and President Bush facing the reality that the economy is slowing down(much like his father) and a Clinton is running for a cushy spot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. While this "economic stimulus" will most likely be passed, I believe our best hope is to vote for a candidate that will put forward pro-growth economic policies that continue to make us the envy of the world.(Which is highly unlikely with Huckabee, Hillary, or Obama.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Congrats to Gov. Romney

Fire of Liberty

My congrats for Mitt Romney for winning a hard-fought campaign in Michigan. Now while the MSM and some conservative commentators might be pining for McCain, I believe they've got a serious opponent in Romney in the weeks to come. After seeing his most recent victory speech, I'm thinking that maybe more conservatives will give him a look. Here's a look:

So congrats to Governor Romney for this win and many more to come.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Keynes in Not the Solution for America's Economy

Fire of Liberty

After watching the various Sunday morning news shows and hearing the various "economic stimulus" plans being pushed forward by Hillary and Obama, I felt like I was transported back to the 1930's with all of this hawking of Keynesian economics. If you remember anything from history then you remember that FDR's "economic brain trust" believed that the best way to keep the economy churning was for the federal government to begin a massive spending programs as well as massive tax increases in an effort to "prime the pump".

Now while a lot of liberals of today have dusted off the New Dealers economic playbook in an effort to jolt the economy, they failed to remember history or they'd remember that Ronald Reagan(with the help of the economic theories of Milton Friedman) destroyed such faulty economics by noting that the supply-side of the economic ledger was far more important in spurning the economy. So instead of coming out with a big government spending program, the nation needs a further liberalization of the economy in which the private sources of economic growth is freed from the burdens of taxes and regulation and allowed to spurn growth. Even more, the problems that are posed to our economy are best solved by letting the free market do its own work much like we saw with Bank of America buy Country Wide this past Monday. No matter how we look at it, the best solution is for the government and politicians offering Keynesian solutions to stay out of areas that are not pertinent to the job duties. If you want to learn more on the the wacky but harmful economic "stimulus" package being put forward by the Democrats then I suggest you check out the following column by Rich Lowry, editor of National Review.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ron Paul: What's the Point?

Fire of Liberty

After writing this I believe that the Ron Paul revolutionaries might send me some nasty comments. To begin with, I wholeheartedly believe that Fox News should have stayed firm and refused to allow Ron Paul in tonight's debate. My main objection is that a man who received 9% of the vote in the highly libertarian in New Hampshire but in the basement doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the election and shouldn't be allowed to take up the time of the candidates vying for the nomination. Now I'll admit that the man has my heart with his no-nonsense I like stances on taxes, limited government, and illegal immigration but he destroys all his credibility with me and cheapens the debate when he ventures into the world of conspiracy theory/black helicopter talk. Ron Paul might have escaped from his Capitol Hill attic for this debate but maybe he should be left out of the next debate.(I know such will never happen on MSNBC, CNN, and others in the MSM because he's entertaining and bashes President Bush.). After tonight's debate and the primaries in Michigan and South Carolina, I believe future debates will be slimmed down and absolved of the distractions of Ron Paul and other lower rung candidates.

Illegal Immigration a Key in South Carolina

Fire of Liberty

I realize that the polls show McCain leading Huckabee and Romney by 7 and 8 points respectively in South Carolina but I think their is a great opportunity for the other candidates to show their conservative bona fides by taking the septuagenarian senator down a few pegs over his collusion with Ted Kennedy with the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" bill. As an observer of the news and listener of South Carolina talk radio during the whole immigration dust-up this past summer and the virulent reaction to the cheer-leading of the bill by Sen Lindsey Graham, I clearly convinced that the folks in the Palmetto State won't be too friendly to the Senator and will be far more receptive to a candidate that takes a tough stand on securing the border. It is true that evangelicals and the military represent a large voting block but with the massive influx of illegals to the southern states, I believe that a lot of folks in these voting blocks are more concerned about the changing of their way of life and prefer that the situation to slow down with the security of this nation. I might end up being wrong when the election results come in next week but I believe that the illegal immigration crisis and the actions of Senator McCain with regards to this issue might have a greater impact on the upcoming election. Though I'm no soothsayer to this wacky election, I do have a observant eye and a good ear and know that illegal immigration is a chief concern of folks in the south and the south-west. Hopefully, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney will shine through on this subject in tonight's debate.(As of 20 minutes into this debate they are ignoring the subject.)

*I believe that there should be a thorough debate over on economics, taxes, national security, our fight against militant Islam, social issues, energy and other aspects that's important in selecting the Republicans next nominee but I believe their stance on illegal immigration is a way to gain some traction and move ahead of McCain.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dubious Democratic Deficit Hawks

Fire of Liberty

If you paid attention to the victorious Democrats on the night of the 2006 elections, then you'll recall that these various Democrats entered their new term vowing to introduce fiscal sanity to the halls of Congress. Well after looking at this most recent editorial "Democrats and the Deficit" by the good folks over at the New York Sun, it looks like the Democrats haven't found a spending project they didn't like(Well that's if its non-Defense or Iraq related) to fatten. Here's a look at the recent work of the spendthrift Democrat led Congress:
Now that the Democrats have been in control of Congress, the taxing and spending branch of the government, for a year, the deficit is starting to balloon. That is the message we get from the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, which reports that "the federal budget deficit was about $107 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008, CBO estimates — about $27 billion more than in the same period last year." Reports the CBO, "Outlays have risen by 9 percent compared with their level in the first three months of 2007."

Lest the Democrats blame the soaring spending on the war in Iraq, the CBO reports that "Defense and non-defense spending each rose by about 8 percent, while net interest on the public debt increased by 17 percent." One big driver of spending was Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor. The CBO reports, "Medicaid spending in the first quarter was almost 11 percent more than the program's outlays in the first three months of 2007."

If the Democrats can spend such money in such a short time, could you imagine if they had a greater majority and a Democratic president who have some expensive wish list. Now I know I have been highly critical of President Bush on spending in the past but he has least worked hard in chopping down the federal deficit these many years and is becoming a champion of limited government with his current vetoes. So maybe folks need to think about the candidates on the Democrats side calling for "change"(And to a lesser extent on the Republican side) before they rally to their side.

Monday, January 07, 2008

John "Amnesty" McCain

Fire of Liberty

As I was watching the Republican forum on ABC this past Saturday(I caught the repeat on CNN because I was watching the Wild Card playoffs) or the excellent one on FOX News last night(More serious with Ross Perot sounding Ron Paul left out), I couldn't help but yell at the TV when McCain used yet more of his Senate double-speak to say his bill didn't provide amnesty to illegals even when he and his fellow Senators buried within the two previous "Comprehensive Immigration" bills that were most recently shut down by the American people this past summer. Now Senator McCain might think that the American public is really forgetful about the summer's dust-up over the McCain/Kennedy "Immigration Reform Bill" but as an observer and active participant of the groundswell against this bill the actions of John McCain have not faded with time. Even more, the Senator has the problem of leaving a large paper trail behind him and can't hide from such facts. One place that has put in the man hours in revealing the facts about this monstrosity of an bill is the Heritage Foundation. Whether is was Ed Meese offering the legal view(And his experiences from the Reagan years), Robert Rector presenting an economic analysis or many others, the good folks at Heritage offered a great deal of info on McCain's bill. The best source that I've found that boils this horrible bill down to the "brass tacks" is a piece by Heritage Foundation senior fellow Matthew Spalding titled "Undeniably Amnesty: The Cornerstone of the Senate's Immigration Proposal". Now while McCain thinks he can run from the truth by offering platitudes about him "learning his lesson" and offering to secure the borders but the good folks at Heritage are providing us with the truth. I just hope Republicans lining for McCain will think twice and read the pieces at Heritage before the cast their ballot for the ex Naval pilot.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Fire of Liberty

Happy New Year!!!. I hope 2008 is yet another good year for this nation and all ya'll out there. It'll be even better for me if the Dawgs of UGA beat Hawaii and bring home yet another Sugar Bowl trophy. So Happy New Year and Go Dawgs!!!!