December 06, 2012
What is the story on Benghazi? Four Americans, including an American ambassador, were killed on Sept. 11 and the American people have a right to know what happened and why military aid was not sent to an American compound under terrorist attack for seven hours.
It seems we now all agree that it was a terrorist attack, and the election is over. It doesn't matter if President Barack Hussein Obama personally called troops who were on their way and told them to turn around or if it was all some embarrassing communication error – Obama is president for four more years regardless – so it is long past the time to tell the American people what happened.
And while the White House is going over the minute-by-minute report of the seven-hour terrorist attack, it might also be nice for someone to explain why UN Ambassador Susan Rice was sent out to lie on national television after it happened. Rice may or may not have known the truth at that point, but certainly the White House knew, and the CIA knew, so was Rice told to lie or just told a cock-and-bull story and sent out to face the cameras?
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One of Obama's huge problems is that he doesn't know how to negotiate. He seems to think that negotiation is the art of refusing to compromise.
Republicans have made no secret of the fact that they are not going to vote for an increase in income tax rates, for the poor, the middle class or the rich. They have agreed to look at revenue enhancements, which is a huge concession on their part because one of the major differences in the two parties is that the Democrats believe that the deficit is caused by a lack of revenue and the Republicans believe that the deficit is caused by run-away government spending.
What both sides agree on is that the federal budget is so far out of whack right now that it cannot be brought into balance in the near future.
The most painless way to bring the deficit back into some level of sustainability is to do whatever it takes to get the economy rolling again. If the economy were going great guns then the government would have a lot more revenue coming in with the present or even lower tax rates. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who the last time I checked was a Democrat, said the way to stimulate the economy was to lower taxes. It's not rocket science.
Increasing tax rates takes more money out of the private economy, which gives private enterprise less capital to work with. It also discourages the "rich" from making more money because if they make more money they simply hand more over to the government.
Obama has never seemed to grasp that the "rich," whom he demonizes every chance he gets, have a lot of control over their own income. They also have a lot of control over everyone else's income. For instance, if a rich man can open a new factory and increase his own wealth he is much more likely to risk the capital involved if he knows that if it is successful he will increase his personal wealth. If working hard and risking capital means in the end he will simply pay more taxes, he just doesn't have much reason to risk the investment and do the work. People are in business to make money.
Also the rich are not a static group of people. In this country we have a fluid society where people may struggle for years and then finally get a break and make a lot of money. When they do make all that money, Obama wants to take it away.
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I hope you will be glad to know that President Obama was out on the golf course again last weekend. He only played golf 12 times this year before the election. After all, running for president is a full-time job. However, being president for Obama appears to be 9 to 5 with weekends free. Obama has played golf three times since being reelected.
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Obama acts like he was reelected with a huge mandate from the people. In fact he is an extremely rare bird in the presidential category, because it is extremely rare for a president to win a second term with less of a majority than the first term. Obama got fewer votes, won fewer states and won fewer electoral votes in 2012. By any measure he won bigger in his first term.
Rather than a mandate that the people liked Obama and his policies, the win may have just said that the people didn't like Mitt Romney.
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The media acts like these budget negotiations are some kind of test of wills between Grover Norquist and Obama. According to the mainstream media, somehow the evil Norquist has forced Republican lawmakers against their wills to sign a pledge not to raise taxes. Norquist is a bespectacled, short, slightly pudgy fellow who reminds me more of a teddy bear than an enforcer. It's just hard to imagine Norquist leaning on elected officials to mold them to his will.
The mainstream media just can't seem to grasp the concept of the government being too big and spending too much money. If you believe, as Norquist and a lot of conservatives do, that the fiscal problems are caused, not by a lack of revenue, but by a government that is spending too much money, then raising taxes doesn't make sense. The only sensible way out of the mess is to reduce spending.
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I really don't care what color Obama's hair is, but I do wish he would decide whether he wants to be gray or not and stick with it. I do find it disconcerting to see photos of him with black hair one day and salt and pepper the next. Of course, it's his hair and he can do what he wants with it.
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I have been reading The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward, who no one has ever accused of being a conservative. It is the story of the first three years of the Obama administration. And I am reading about the last time the Republicans and Obama tried to negotiate a fiscal deal. The issues today are almost exactly the same as they were then. Obama is insisting that the tax rate be increased and the Republicans will negotiate but won't raise tax rates.
The question I had then, which I have now, is, why is Obama so insistent on raising taxes on the wealthy? It doesn't raise enough revenue to solve the fiscal crisis. Republicans were not then and are not now opposed to some tax reform that would raise as much or perhaps more money depending on how it was done, but they are not going to vote for a tax rate increase. It appears Obama just wants to raise taxes, not because it is the right answer fiscally, but because he wants to do it.
In Woodward's book, Obama won't negotiate and won't even provide the Republicans with a written plan. He'll talk about what he wants to do, but it's a little tough to negotiate a complicated fiscal agreement when there are no written plans to consider.
It appeared then, like it appears now, that Obama doesn't want to negotiate or doesn't understand what negotiation is. There has to be give and take and Obama should know that the Republicans commit political suicide if they agree to a tax rate increase.
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It will be interesting to read some of the books, which are even now being written, about the 2012 presidential race to find out what really happened. It appears that what conservatives said about Romney from the beginning turned out to be true – he wasn't able to get out the base. ...continued on page 2