Friday, March 6, 2009

We're From The Government, And We're Here To Help You

On March 3rd, Rachel Maddow was on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. She, like her fellow blowhard Keith Olbermann, basks in the warming cocoon that NBC provides. Coming from the ultra-liberal MSNBC, she knows that venturing out into the world could be tough, except this was an appearance on NBC. So, she knows that she can try hard to be cute and snarky and Leno is not going to take her to task.

When the conversation turned to Rush Limbaugh, she of course latched onto the concept that it was horrible for Rush to say he hopes Obama fails as our president. Her point was that if Obama's policies are meant to improve the economy, why would you root against them? According to Maddow, we should all be hoping that they succeed! And so she uses the classic ploy of linking the political agenda to improving the crisis du jour to make anyone who opposes it seem like a dingo lurking outside a preschool.

The fact is that the policies Rush is taking exception to are not policies that are designed to bring the country back to prosperity. As he said, "what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it?" Why indeed?

The Orwellian policies of the committed left are designed to keep poor people under the thumb of kindly old Uncle Sam. If you don't think that's true, then why is Obama and the Democratic congress so bent on increasing welfare, effectively reversing the reforms made in the 1990's? As Harry Browne said, the government is good at one thing: it breaks your leg, hands you a crutch and says "See, if it wasn't for government, you wouldn't be able to walk." And so it goes with welfare. If you're completely dependent on the government for your subsistence, why would you vote that government out of office? The Left says it wants to help the poor? That means it wants to KEEP them poor. Miss Maddow, this policy is NOT meant to bring the country back to prosperity.

If Maddow is so convinved that Obama is trying to lead America back to prosperity, why is he raising capital gains taxes at a time when the stock market is at the lowest point in 12 years? In the first place, raising capital gains taxes reduces investing; in the second place, NO ONE is making any gains right now, so including this as a budgetary item is not going to help the balance sheet in the least. Miss Maddow, this policy is NOT meant to bring the country back to prosperity.

If Obama is trying to lead the country back to prosperity, why is he limiting the charitable contribution deduction at a time when so many people need help? Look at who this move hurts: religious and conservative Republicans give on average three times as much to charity as secular Democrats. In his book "Who Really Cares; The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism," Arthur C Brooks also reveals that conservatives are also more likely to do volunteer work for charities, participate in blood drives, and even are more likely to give back extra change when a clerk makes a mistake at the cash register. Since Democrats don't give to charity as much, there's no harm in reducing the tax benefits, is there? If you're paying attention, the answer is YES. Increasing the tax burden on charitable individuals will reduce the money they have available, and they will either reduce what they give to charity, or they will reduce what they spend in the marketplace. Is either option what you want at time when factories and stores are laying people off by the thousands because of a lack of spending? If you're Obama or Rachel Maddow, the answer is yes. Miss Maddow, this policy is NOT meant to bring the country back to prosperity.

Why would we be limiting the mortgage interest deduction at a time when the housing market is already suffering so badly? Supposedly the reduction will only affect people who own a second home...but that doesn't do much to help the economies of Florida or Arizona, the second home capitals of the United States. Many people buy second homes with the tax benefits playing a major factor in the investment decision. If you take away that incentive, the demand for housing will drop even further, prices will continue to decline and the market will further stagnate. Why would Obama do this? One reason might be that if the housing prices are depressed far enough, poor people can afford to buy them. The problem here is that the poor are getting poorer along with everyone else, so owning a home is just as far out of reach for them now as it ever has been. Miss Maddow, this policy is NOT meant to bring the country back to prosperity.

The only reason that can carried through all of this is that Obama, a proponent of "redistributive justice" wants to punish people who are successful (he has clearly said he doesn’t intend to punish success, but in true Orwellian prose, that means he intends to do exactly that!). The Committed Left cries all the time about having a level playing field, and people assume that means that the poor are lifted up to the level of the middle class. What no one says aloud is that it also could mean that the middle class are brought DOWN to the level of the poor, the wealthy are brought DOWN to the level of the middle class. Instead of trickle down prosperity, it's trickle up poverty.

Back to Rush Limbaugh and his comments - at least he calls it like he sees it and says proudly that he wants Obama's liberal agenda to fail. Rachel Maddow and her ilk at the Ministry Of Truth (I mean, MSNBC) hate actual truths when they hear them so they go on the attack, but rest assured when it comes to the 4th estate attack dogs, Obama is holding the leash. In his first press conference Obama said that only the government can get us out of this financial crisis. Since the government got us INTO this crisis, I think it’s more important to ask "who will save us from the government?"

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