"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Monday, December 20, 2010

Barack Obama's Department of Social Justice

Over at Powerline, they're referring to it as the Department of Selective Justice, but I think we all know what the true criteria is for selection. First the Arizona lawsuit, now this. As reported by IBD:

On Monday, Justice sued an Illinois school district for rejecting a Muslim teacher's request to take a three-week leave of absence to travel to Mecca. The suit claims that the Berkeley School District discriminated against middle-school instructor Safoorah Khan, whose religion "required" her to perform the hajj, and is seeking damages for this so-called victim.
But it's not stopping there. It seeks an order mandating school officials adopt policies accommodating all Muslim customs, no matter how unreasonable.

I have written before about the dangers of social justice and how it perverts every citizen's rights. Once again, Eric Holder is ignoring the American system of equality under the law to play favorites with select groups or classes of citizens. The repercussions of the Justice Department winning this lawsuit are truly frightening. It opens the door for all sorts of abuse, giving Muslims the status of protected citizens and possibly forcing our courts to recognize Sharia law down the road. And to think, they laughed at Oklahoma voters for overreacting when they passed a resolution to prevent courts from taking Sharia law into account. Suddenly, Justice is leading the charge to bring such radical change?

When it comes to our public schools, Jesus is apparently out but Mecca is in. I can't imagine the Justice Department getting involved in this matter if the teacher was asking for a three week break to visit Israel or take a Christian mission trip to Africa. Nor should they. It's a personal decision by the employee who clearly has a choice in their time and place of employment. It's not the responsibility of employers to accommodate such a leave of absence for any reason short of health and/or maternity leave.

No business could remain productive while trying to placate every worker's whim and religious "need." We'd sink into a depression, or worse, become Spain. The school industry is no different. I believe the needs of a child's education rank higher than the vacation plans of the hired help - no matter how holy. The question is why doesn't President Obama or Eric Holder?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Clinton's Phony Legacy

It certainly seemed strange this week to see Bill Clinton pressing for a tax compromise (along with President Obama) that prevented the tax rates from his presidency from coming back to fruition. After all, all we’ve heard for years from the center-left media and the Democratic Party is how great the economy was in the 1990’s as a result of Bill Clinton's tax hikes.

Well, with the tax rates expiring and going back to Clinton era levels without action by Congress, don’t we have a chance to test that very hypothesis? If it was the tax rates under Bill Clinton that led to good economic times (and a budgetary surplus), then why is the former president so dead-set against allowing them to go back to 1990 levels? Why is Bill Clinton avoiding the tax rates he put into place to instead endorse the tax rates created by George W. Bush? Will any Democrat remember this in a year and a half when they start clamoring for tax increases again?

I think we all know the truth. Bill Clinton’s economic legacy is a fraud. He got lucky in that 1) Republicans came to power in 1994 and forced spending cuts and welfare reform (I do give Clinton credit for signing that legislation) and 2) the dot.com bubble took place as the internet was developed and companies like google, yahoo, and amazon were created. Of course, the tech bubble later burst, but that was in the final four months of the Clinton presidency, overshadowed first by the Florida recount in a razor-close election and a year later by the tragic events of 9/11.

President Clinton is petrified of the truth, that his tax increases had nothing to do with the booming economy of the 1990’s, and he knows it’s a media myth that would be exposed by raising taxes in this economy with an attentive voting public. During bad times, the damage caused by tax hikes on families and businesses becomes evident. People feel the pain. In a good economy (and especially a bubble economy), the pain is camouflaged. In fact, there may be enough economic momentum to outlast the negative consequences of tax increases in the short term. In the long-term, however, tax hikes still aren’t good – even if they erase the deficit, because tax hikes stunt future growth and punish productivity.

The big news isn’t what Democrats or Republicans gained or gave up in pushing this tax compromise forward. The big news is President Obama and Bill Clinton endorsed George W. Bush’s tax rates over the Clinton tax rates. Incredible, if you think about it! For Obama, it improves his chances of getting re-elected, and for William Jefferson,  it protects his phony legacy.

If anyone is enjoying a “comeback” in Washington, I’m sorry Mr. Krauthammer, but it’s not President Obama. It’s George W. Bush.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Obama Bows Again, This Time to Bill Clinton

Tired of bowing to foreign leaders, President Obama bowed out to former president Bill Clinton on Friday at a White House press conference. In one of the more bizarre (and weakest) moments in modern presidential history, the so-called leader of the free world left Bill Clinton alone at the podium speaking to reporters about the White House tax plan as if he had just returned to Camelot. The real president, it turned out, had to attend a Christmas party, leaving the former president to run things. The only thing that would have seemed stranger perhaps would have been if Obama left Joe Biden in charge. I'm not sure Jill even leaves Joe in charge of the DVR.

Imagine for a moment if Bush 43 had ceded the stage to his father, Bush 41. Imagine the reaction the press would have had, how far in over his head they would have deemed him, especially given the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine that scenario, which is frightening to say the least, and you get a feel for just how bad this looks and how inept Obama's leadership has become. Someone page Rahm Emanuel, because it appears his president has completely checked out.

None of this should be surprising. Barack Obama has spent a lifetime bolting for the exit before the going gets tough. There's a reason he has a history of all those present votes in the state senate of Illinois. There's a reason he let Nancy Pelosi take the lead on so much legislation for the past two years. Barack Obama has spent a career running for office without ever actually running an office. Running an office, after all, tends to lead to decision-making. And making tough decisions in the face of adversity is the fastest way to lose popularity. Witness George W. Bush and the surge.

Two years in, and Barack has lost interest because he can't further his self-interest. Being president is getting in the way of his golf game, his approval ratings, and perhaps even his trip to Hawaii to celebrate the winter solstice (or whatever progressives celebrate on December 25). And coincidentally, if you look at Obama's entire political career, two years in is about as long as he can last before seeking further adulation in another position of power.

It was just two years into his term in the U.S. Senate when freshman Senator Barack Obama began his campaign for president. He made his first failed attempt for U.S. Congress just three years in as a state senator in Illinois. And it was only two and a half years later when he made the decision to run for the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, there's no higher office to run for this time and Obama knows it. He's stuck governing for another two years, and in more difficult circumstances than ever. Add in a Republican controlled House, and not only will he be unable to control the agenda, his cabinet will be open to investigation while his popularity takes a nose-dive. And for a narcissist like Obama, nothing could be more consequential.

If Obama wasn't already a puppet of George Soros and John Podesta, he's now being upstaged by a shadow president in Bill Clinton. Funny, but Iowahawk predicted this day back in 2008. So much for satire. It really is starting to get confusing exactly who is in charge. Foreign leaders have to be licking their chops at such a show of impotence. That is, if they weren't licking their chops already back when Obama was offering hot dogs to Iranians to celebrate the 4th of July, getting the Russian translation wrong on "reset buttons", and bowing to Saudi princes.

What are the odds that President Obama won't seek re-election in 2012? I can't imagine him not running, because the process pretty much starts in six months and his ego won't allow him to not begin the campaign - but the chance of him bowing out of the race before the Democratic National Convention, for "health" or "family reasons" perhaps, seems to me greater than ever.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Democrats, Christianity, and Class Warfare

There’s nothing more pathetic really than a Democrat who wraps themselves in the veil of compassion in order to justify class warfare. There’s no moral high ground in this position. For those who believe they are somehow more caring because they desire to “soak the rich”, I have news for you. Taking isn’t the same as giving. It requires no moral courage to propose confiscating a greater share of someone else’s private and personal property. You are stealing, plain and simple. Such behavior isn’t to be celebrated, but condemned.

No man’s house ever got built by tearing another man’s house down. No nation ever prospered by allowing envy, greed, and thuggery to run rampant. The wealth created and produced by individuals doesn’t belong to the state. For the state to lay claim to a greater and greater percentage, to require the individual to labor more and more every year to justify the expansion of government, this is a form of slavery and it robs a man of his dignity. Yet we have allowed this indentured servitude to gain acceptance and dictate how our economy operates.

The result is class warfare and it’s destroying our country. We have reached a point where half the population can vote to steal a greater share of the wealth from the more productive members of society. Once this Pandora’s Box has been busted open, what’s to stop one half from robbing the other completely blind?

Let’s examine a moral dilemma. If you are struggling to make ends meet and your neighbor down the street is a millionaire living in a 10,000 square foot mansion, is it morally acceptable to break in and steal from them? Do we not have laws against this? If it’s not morally acceptable for you to steal, what makes it desirable for the government to step in and do the same thing?

Welcome to the slippery slope of government sanctioned greed. By always proposing tax hikes on “just the wealthy,” our government, and in particular progressives, are legitimizing theft. They are encouraging neighbors to covet each others possessions. The mantra of the spiritually enlightened is “do unto others as you would have done to yourself.” The manta of the Democrat, especially in Washington, is “Take from the other guy!”

For western society, the Bible is quite clear about all of this. Thou shalt not steal. That applies to corporations and governments as much as individuals. While Christianity advocates for the poor and Jesus preached against the evils of greed and the importance of charity, nowhere in the Bible does it suggest the way to help the poor is by stealing from the rich. To advocate as much, Jesus would have had to break the Ten Commandments.

The truth is the way to create an economy of abundance that best benefits the least fortunate members of society is to encourage acts of virtue, not discourage affluence. Generosity begets generosity. An economy of abundance is abundant for everyone, but it can’t be forced. Giving has to come from the heart. That’s the true change in humanity that Christ wants us to live by.

Of course, by weakening the property rights of the select few, we’ve actually condoned weakening the property rights of every citizen. The only thing that changes is the threshold to decide where that confiscation begins, who has “too much” according to the all-powerful state.

It was Karl Marx who advocated a progressive income tax scheme. Karl Marx, of course, was an atheist who called religion “the opiate of the masses” and condoned armed revolution to achieve his aim of a Worker’s Utopia. The purpose of a progressive income tax was, according to Marx, not to create a more virtuous or fair society, but to literally divide society by class until the working class was able to seize total control of production from the bourgeoisie. In other words, the purpose of class warfare was the annihilation of the propertied class! Sound familiar?

We have, in essence, unleashed two value systems against one another in America – a progressive tax code based in Marxism vs. the Judeo-Christian ethic this nation was founded on. They are not compatible. One encourages stealing, and the other encourages sharing. One abandons the idea of private property, the other celebrates it. One divides by class, the other says love your neighbor regardless of class or creed.

Rather than emphasize charity, class warfare, as brought about by a progressive income tax, really encourages hoarding and greed. The more you threaten to take from someone, the more likely they are to hold on to it tighter and find ways to hide it from being confiscated. There’s a reason, after all, so much wealth earned right here under our capitalist system is sitting in secret bank accounts overseas. Imagine if we could inject all that capital back into our economy by simply eliminating the progressive income tax code.

Anyone can be generous with other people’s money, and it’s even easier to be generous with other people’s money when it’s in your own self-interest. If I use a stolen credit card to buy dinner at a restaurant for 100 people, that doesn’t make me a particularly noble person. If I own the restaurant, that makes me the very definition of a Washington scoundrel. If I demand recognition for this "charity" and chastise others who don't support such a scheme, I can only be Chuck Schumer – or any Democrat for that matter.

I would go so far as to argue that government is the most dangerous of all thieves. At least a family in need who gives into temptation sees who they’re stealing from and takes only what is necessary. They might even spend the money locally, propping up small businesses. The government or state, by contrast, redistributes wealth only among the political elites and favored special interests. They have absolute power, which corrupts absolutely, and are therefore guaranteed to spend the confiscated sum in the most corrupt manner possible. Fraud and waste go hand and hand.

Theft practiced on the government’s grand scale is treated like a victimless crime, but we are all victims. It's just no one has to look into the eyes of the families they are stealing from. They don’t ever see the consequences of taking wealth out of communities or tying the hands of small businesses, causing local opportunities to shrink at the expense of propping up Washington. They aren’t accountable for the money that gets wasted, and they never have to spend time with the poor who fail to see their lives improve from such a corrupt system. They simply pat themselves on the back for having the very best intentions of stealing the money in the first place. The bureaucratic machine keeps the trains rolling to the slaughterhouse without ever having to see the horrors of the slaughter.

It is a convenient system for madmen and thieves. Less convenient for its citizens, even the citizen who believes somehow, some way, somewhere down the road, no matter how many years it takes, they are going to see a benefit from this sanctioned immorality. That day never comes.