28 February 2009

Uncommon Commentary #40

I wonder if there's any significance in the fact that Obama, in his recent address, said that the "checks are on the way." Perhaps he didn't want to use the phraseology of the proverbial biggest lie, namely that the check "is in the mail."

24 February 2009

Uncommon Commentary #39: What it Stimulates Is Disgust

It's impossible to hear the phrase "shovel-ready" without thinking of Obama-Reid-Pelosi, not because this terrible trio uses it so often in reference to the so-called stimulus plan, but because it so aptly describes the way that they address the public in justifying this boondoggle. Obama in particular evoked images of economic apocalypse in order to scare people out of opposing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (to use its official name), or ARRA, but is it really going to prove our fiscal salvation? Let's consider the question.
First of all, the Democrats are ludicrously exaggerating the current severity of the recession, which, anyway, and not coincidentally, began after their own takeover of the Congress. Contrary to Obama's fear-mongering about this economic situation being the worst since the Great Depression, the jobless-rate is presently lower than it was as recently as the beginning of the Reagan Administration; perhaps our new President's reputed wealth of gifts includes the ability to see several years into the future, and the "crisis" that he invokes is actually the one that will result from his mishandling of policy.
Second, since the government already has a staggering debt, and thus doesn't have the money that it will be "giving" away, how will it pay for the "stimulus?" By printing more paper money and minting more coins, which would lead to inflation and higher interest rates? Or by raising taxes on almost everyone who earns enough to pay taxes—as opposed to the subjects of the Obama tax breaks, who contribute almost no revenue to the Treasury anyway? (Thus ends the pipe dream of a "tax cut for 95% of Americans.")
Third, the concept of spending one's way to prosperity rests on an unwarranted assumption. Economist John Maynard Keynes pioneered the concept of deficit spending; he reasoned that since buying and selling drives an economy, and that a budget shortfall is a lesser evil than a high rate of unemployment, governments could simply give people more money, which the people would then use to buy things. The obvious flaw in this theory is that, during a downturn, the average person avoids unnecessary expenditures, and instead saves money.
Fourth, and most importantly, even if Keynesianism were valid, the fact would remain that hardly any of the provisions in the ARRA can even remotely be held as intended to stimulate the economy. The text of the Act runs baroquely for 1067 pages (thus precluding the possibility that any Congressman even read the entire monstrosity, for only two days elapsed between when it assumed its final form and when it was voted on), throwing many millions of dollars apiece, for a total of 787 billion, at everything from teachers' unions to study of (assumed) global warming to the ACORN to sex education. Obama, just a month ago, promised that there would be none of the pork that he now self-righteously defends.
Democrats have thus enacted the most-expensive legislation in the history not only of the USA but probably also of the entire world, and for what purpose? White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's injudicious “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste” comment helps to reveal that, in the midst of what they are calling the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the Democrats have actually exploited anxiety in order to pass an act that has little or nothing to do with recovery, but serves the true purpose of rewarding their supporters with both direct payoffs and left-wing social engineering.
The ARRA may well be the worst legislation ever in the USA. It is not enough to say that it will fail to achieve its ostensible objective (as did this past year's attempt at "stimulus"); its passage testifies to the low ebb of the fortunes of representative government in this country.

18 February 2009

Uncommon Commentary #38

I'm certainly glad that I live in a genuinely free country like the USA, not in a sham democracy like Putin's Russia or Ch├ívez's Venezuela, where the leader feigns tolerance of opposition by holding rigged press conferences for which not only the reporters who will ask questions, but the questions themselves, are pre-selected—Hey, wait a minute….

16 February 2009

Miscellaneous Musing #11

It's really not important for leaders to have a higher level of intelligence than is necessary simply to understand issues. What someone who rules over others needs more than intelligence is wisdom, the former being merely the ability to comprehend; the latter, to discern, as true from false and right from wrong.

06 February 2009

Uncommon Commentary #37: You Must Be a Cynic to Call One a Clinic

Those of us who are pro-life must be careful not to use the terminology of the "pro-choice." If we're going to refer to the places where foeticide is committed as "clinics," we might as well use the word "chiropractor" for someone who operates the rack in a torture chamber.
("Gehenna" denotes "a place or state of misery" or "Hell"; because it originates from the name of the Bible's valley of Hinnom, where children were sacrificed to pagan gods, I've made it my replacement for "abortion clinic".)