politics

In the United States, Social Security benefits...
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http://www.theteapartyisover.org/

“Our Strategy is simple. This movement is a fad.”

So they’ll probably ignore it since fads just go away.

“We need to prevent their dangerous ideas from gaining a legislative foothold. So our strategy is to spread the truth about their dangerous ideas and prevent their policies from taking root in America.”

Because people typically launch large attack organizations to bring down a…fad.

Apparently the group is incensed over such radical Tea Party beliefs as:

  • Programs like Social Security and Medicare are socialistic and should never have been created in the first place
  • President Obama is a Socialist
  • We should undermin[e] the legitimacy of the federal government in favor of a radical rightwing form of state’s rights

Wow, the Tea Party sounds AWESOME!  Where can I join?

By the way, who’s behind this group?  The SEIU.  Love them unions!!

ht TJIC

In the 2008 election, I was stymied by how many people voted for Obama, despite the destructive nature of his stated goals. He wanted to increase union membership, widely known to cause unemployment and business failure. He wanted to reform the health care system with proposals that would increase access to a broken system, without fixing the system. He proposed an economic stimulus plan that wouldn’t even begin paying out in earnest for a couple of years, thereby having no (or harmful) effects in the short-term.

So, why did people vote for him?

I could get all cynical and talk about socialism and power-grabs, etc. I’ve done that and, while it may be applicable to some people, I know many sincere, intelligent people who voted for him. So, cynicism aside, I asked myself, “why did (do) people support Obama or any big government politician?” That includes just about every Republican, by the way.

I believe the answer is two-fold:

  • We sincerely want to help other people.
  • We’re not as good at knowing what’s best for others as we are what’s best for ourselves.

The question is, how good can we be at knowing what’s best for others and ourselves. I believe an individual, over time, will know what’s best for him more than any other person will know what’s best for him.

For example, let’s say I know what’s best for myself 90% of the time (meaning I’m wrong about what’s best for myself 10% of the time). Further, let’s assume I’m right about what’s best for others 50% of the time and I’m wrong 50% of the time. Here’s a graph that shows what I’m talking about.

Given that, let’s say my decision to act is based 75% on what’s best for me and 25% on what’s best for others.

Combining the two scenarios, we can see how this vote will turn out.

In words, our decision is right for us 68% of the time and wrong about 10% of the time. It’s right for others 13% of the time and wrong 13% of the time. The magnitude of these numbers changes based on the assumptions but the outcomes do not. Unless you make the assumption that you know what’s best for somebody else more than you know what’s best for you. And I think that’s a stretch.

What does this have to do with Obama and government? The fundamental mission of government is to make decisions based on what they think is best for others. As we’ve shown, that’s not likely to turn out in the best interests of the people they’re trying to serve. Which means the government should do less to make decisions for others and more to make sure people have the information they need to make their own choices.

Obama’s policies are clearly about making choices for people, not giving them information to make their own choices. For example, forcing all taxpayers to buy health insurance, requiring community service by high school and college students and removing card check restrictions that make it easier for union organizers to harass people who don’t vote for the unionization of the work force all pave the way for forcing decisions on others.

Let’s get back to government that supports our individual freedoms and decisions. Instead of supporting choice by force, why not support the free exchange of ideas and information? And when a good idea comes across your desk, instead of writing to your senator in hopes they’ll force the rest of us to implement or fund it, why not just make it work for yourself and pass on the information to others.

We’re all adults. Let us choose.

A million march to US Capitol to protest again...
Image by wstera2 via Flickr

I’m very disappointed in the disingenuous way our president continues to wage war on the nation’s banks. Yesterday, he unveiled a new tax on these institutions meant to recapture the money spent on TARP. As reported by NPR, the President lays out a compelling story:

“[These banks]…owe their continued existence to the American people, folks who have not been made whole and who continue to face real hardship in this recession. We want our money back and we’re going to get it.”

In other words, if the US government hadn’t made TARP money available to these banks, they would have gone bankrupt.

As you know by now, this is a complete and utter lie. Almost all of the TARP recipients were forced to take the money so the few banks that actually did need the funds wouldn’t be stigmatized and experience a run.

And, as I mentioned before, these same banks that were forced to take the money were also forced to pay interest on it.

But, you know what; it wouldn’t be so bad if he were merely lying. Frankly, that’s par for the Obama administration.

What gets me is the hypocrisy. Check out this quote:

“My determination to achieve this goal is only heightened when I see reports of massive profits and obscene bonuses at some of [these] firms”

Which firms are those, Mr. Obama? Do they include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126161634214403629.html?mg=com-wsj (subscription required)

Fannie, Freddie Disclose Big Jump in CEOs’ Pay

“The companies on Thursday disclosed new pay packages under which Fannie CEO Michael Williams and Freddie CEO Charles (Ed) Haldeman Jr. will earn as much as $6 million a year, including bonuses, well above their current terms. The packages came with the blessing of the Treasury, which has pumped a combined total of about $112 billion of capital into the companies over the past year to keep them in operation, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, which regulates the companies.”

That’s right. We pumped $112 billion of capital into these companies and their CEOs are getting big jumps in pay. By the way, when were those approved? Oh, that’s right, Christmas Eve. Nice transparency.

Well, hey, do Freddie and Fannie have to repay the $112 billion they got?

Answer: no. Despite being the overwhelming majority underwriter of the horrible loans that started this mess. Classy move, Obama.

Oh, but Obama has some suggestions for the banks who do have to repay taxpayer money:

“What I’d say to these executives is this: Instead of sending a phalanx of lobbyists to fight this proposal or employing an army of lawyers and accountants to help evade the fee, I suggest you might want to consider simply meeting your responsibilities. And I’d urge you to cover the costs of the rescue not by sticking it to your shareholders or your customers or fellow citizens with the bill but by rolling back bonuses for top earners and executives.”

I literally swore (sorry, Love!) last night as I listened to a supposedly educated man, and leader of the free world, make this statement.

Meeting their responsibilities? What responsibilities are those? The responsibility, under your party’s Community Reinvestment Act to make loans to people who can’t afford them? The responsibility to amp up those loans when a Democrat-led Senate threatened to sue the banks for not loaning enough in the 1990’s?

And where are they going to get the money to pay these fines? From their customers and shareholders and fellow citizens. THEY HAVE NO OTHER SOURCE OF MONEY!!

Oh, except the Treasury, when it’s forced on them.

Mr. Obama, please stop your populist temper tantrum, quit speaking out of both sides of your mouth and get down to the fundamental job government should be doing: ensuring a free market and free information for all participants.