Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Obama

The Invisible Recovery

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On Friday Reuters reported that non-government payrolls rose only slightly in June and overall employment fell “for the first time this year…indicating the economic recovery is failing to pick up steam.” This report followed several others last week indicating weakness in consumer spending, housing, and manufacturing which “have heightened fears [that] the economy could slip back into a recession.”

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Financial Reform: Expanding Hubris, Limiting Freedom

Chris Dodd

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When the House passed the 2,319-page Dodd-Frank financial reform bill by a vote of 237-192, all it did was confirm for many the extraordinary hubris of legislators believing they could in fact “fix” the problems they themselves created which resulted in the Great Recession of 2008.

John B. Taylor,  professor of economics at Stanford University says, “The main problem with the bill is that is based on a misdiagnosis of the causes of the financial crisis…the presumption that the government did not [already] have enough power to avoid the crisis.”

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Warning Label Goes Viral

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When FoxNews.com wrote that a small publishing company put warning labels on copies of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and other founding documents of the American republic, the immediate response was negative, and viral. The disclaimer on the publisher’s reprints of Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and other historical documents reads: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.” The disclaimer goes on to warn parents to discuss the contents with their children before allowing them to read those documents.

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50-year-old Book is Amazon Bestseller

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When Glenn Beck urged his listeners, “Please, pick it up. The Road to Serfdom. Make it part of your essential library,” sales of Austrian Economist Frederick von Hayek’s book at Amazon.com pushed it to Number 1 the next day. Prior to the election of President Obama, “The book sold respectably at a clip of about 600 copies a month,” according to Bruce Caldwell, editor at the University of Chicago Press. “But then, in November 2008, sales more than quadrupled, and they haven’t slowed down since.”

When John Stossel, host of Fox Business, featured the book on his show on February 21, sales jumped again.

Opinions as to the remarkable interest in a book published in 1944 by an obscure economist vary, but most center on the book’s uncanny prediction that is now being fulfilled in the United States:

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Jobs? What Jobs?

Henry Hazlitt

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When CNBC announced that the number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week while private employers added new jobs in May, this was “further evidence [that] the labor market was improving.” In more muted fashion, the Associated Press called it a “slow-motion recovery,” but a recovery nevertheless.

This was in line with Vice President Joe Biden’s prediction back in April that the economy would be adding between 250,000 and 500,000 jobs “in the next couple of months.” Similar sentiments were echoed by President Obama on Wednesday in a speech at Carnegie Mellon University:

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Economic Forecast: Summer of Discontent

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After six straight months of gains in consumer spending the April numbers showed no change from March, according to the Commerce Department. This was a surprise to some who have been tracking such things as the University of Michigan’s index of consumer confidence (higher), consumers’ expectations on the economy over the next 12 months (higher), moderate real job creation (higher), savings rate (higher) and manufacturing activity (higher).

Others remained sanguine, holding that “We do not expect household spending to flatline in the coming months,” according to Michelle Girard, senior economist at RBS in Stamford, Connecticut.

Consumers themselves, however, are not a happy lot. According to Rasmussen Reports, only 35 percent of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year, and those who are, aren’t planning on spending as much as they have in the past.

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Biden Predicts Job Growth—but Where’s the Evidence?

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Vice President Joe Biden predicted job growth of 250,000 to 500,000 jobs a month in the next two months, according to CNBC on Monday. Biden was speaking at a political fundraiser in Pittsburgh, where he said, “We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down. We’re going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up…All in all, we’re going to be creating somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs next month.”  Even though some have cautioned Biden about his excessive and premature enthusiasm, Biden continued:  “I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.”

However, the evidence and logic backing up Biden’s prediction are clearly lacking.

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Rush Limbaugh as GOP Kingmaker?

Rush Limbaugh

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Zev Chafetswriting an op-ed for the New York Times, concluded that radio show host Rush Limbaugh “is the brains and the spirit behind [the conservative] resurgence.”

The writer claimed that “when the Tea Party movement emerged, Mr. Limbaugh welcomed it”:

The movement’s causes—fighting against health care reform, reducing the size and cost of government, opposing the Democrat’s putative desire to remake America in the image of European social democracies—were straight Limbaughism. A very high proportion of Tea Partiers listen to Mr. Limbaugh. Sarah Palin’s biggest current applause line—“Republicans are not just the party of no, but the party of hell no”—came courtesy of Mr. Limbaugh. Glenn Beck…calls Mr. Limbaugh his hero.

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SENATOR Rand Paul?

Rand Paul

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If Rand Paul’s poll numbers are confirmed in today’s Republican primary in Kentucky, it will, according to the New York Times, “mark one of the most important moments yet for the Tea Party.”  Establishment Republicans such as Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former Vice President Dick Cheney have endorsed Paul’s opponent, Trey Grayson. But it is Paul who is leading by double-digits in thelatest polls, and the polls also show Rand leading his potential Democrat challengers, state Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo. That is, it appears likely that Rand Paul will not only win today’s primary but will go on to win the Senate seat now held by retiring Senator Jim Bunning in November.

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Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan: Clearly Opaque

days Elena Kagan since 2010

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When President Obama named Elena Kagan as his nominee for justice of the Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, he said she “embodies that same excellence, independence, integrity and passion for the law” as did Justice Stevens. Obama said Kagan is “one of the foremost legal minds” in the country, and is “a trailblazing leader.”

As was immediately pointed out by Conservative Action, the words “independence” and “trail-blazing leader” translate into “Liberal Judicial Activist.”  Conservative Action then went on to offer rebuttals to various “talking points” the administration is using to promote her nomination:

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10,000 Commandments—The Hidden Tax

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When the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) announced the conclusions of its annual “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State” earlier this week, it came as no surprise to learn that the rules and regulations placed on the economy by illicit agencies of the “fourth branch of government” constitute an enormous burden that is largely uncounted.

What was surprising was the horrendous cost of that burden which constitutes an additional tax on the economy.

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47 Percent Pay No Taxes? Actually, No.

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In a recent article here about the VAT (Value-Added Tax) being floated as another way to raise taxes, the author stated that a VAT “would force the 50 percent of people in the poor and middle classes who pay no income taxes at present to start to contribute to the ever-increasing costs of the nanny state.” Fortunately, the New York Times published a correction and a clarification.

According to the Times, which took a closer look at the data from the Tax Policy Center, “The stimulus programs of the last two years [under the Bush and Obama administrations] have increased the number of households that receive enough of a tax credit to wipe out their federal income tax liability…but income taxes aren’t the only kind of federal taxes that people pay.”

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Will America Get a Value Added Tax (VAT)?

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker sent up a trial balloon at the New York Historical Society April 6 when he said that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) needed to be considered in light of the huge deficits facing the country. According to Volcker, the VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as many have considered it to be in the past, and “if at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes.”

He wasn’t the first one to float this recently. Charles Krauthammer wrote late last month that “as the night follows the day, the VAT cometh” and that “a national sales tax near-universal in Europe is inevitable.” Because of the huge deficits facing the nation, exacerbated by the newly passed ObamaCare bill, there is no way out except to raise taxes, according to Krauthammer.

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Can ObamaCare Be Repealed, Nullified?

Repeal ObamaCare

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U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has earned a “Freedom Index” rating of 90 percent in the current Congress to date, has introduced a bill in the House to repeal ObamaCare. In her press release, Bachmann reminded her constituents that “the government already owns or controls about one-third of U.S. economic activity through the takeover of General Motors, the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler, the partial ownership of two of the country’s largest banks in Bank of America and Citigroup, and the seizure of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as AIG. Taken all together, [with ObamaCare] we’re looking at half of the American economy in the grip of the federal government.” Bachmann said that it “will do nothing to spur economic growth … [but] will serve only as an obstacle to actual recovery and smother the spirit of innovation and freedoms that made this country great.”

Her bill is simplicity itself:

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Citigroup Bailout Retrospective

Citigroup

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In the announcement that the U.S.Treasury was likely to make a profit selling its stock in Citigroup, much was made about the great returns that sale would generate, and very little was said about how it all happened in the first place.

The potential profit was estimated to be about $7.5 billion assuming that the price of Citigroup’s stock stays at its current level through the end of the year. The article joyfully announced that “it’s a 14 percent rate of return on the $165 billion invested in the biggest banks. Hundreds of smaller banks also received [TARP] money and have been paying the government a steady stream of dividends and interest.” Banking analyst Bert Ely said, “Overall, TARP may cost taxpayers money. But the banking part of it is going to be a moneymaker.”

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Recess Appointments and the Constitution

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“Side-stepping Senate confirmation,” declared the New York Times. “This is going to make problems worse,” exclaimed Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “What this is going to do is cause the election of a lot more Republicans…in November who are determined to come in and provide some checks and balances in Washington to stop the overreaching of the government,” hollered Lamar Alexander, (R-TN).

On Saturday, March 27, President Obama used “recess appointments” to fill 15 administration positions because he couldn’t get them past the Senate’s constitutional requirement to give the appointments its Advice and Consent. Obama said, “The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees.” On that point, the President is exactly correct. Here is the language from the Constitution under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2:

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Housing: Washington Only Delaying Inevitable

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Friday’s announcement of more intervention in the housing mortgage market will result in a deeper, longer, and more painful delay in the inevitable decline in housing prices that are necessary to clear the market. According to the Obama administration, the “broad new initiatives” will help troubled homeowners to refinance their existing mortgages with more favorable affordable ones provided directly by the government. Part of the new program is “meant to temporarily reduce the payments of [those] borrowers who are unemployed [but are] seeking a job.” In addition, the enhancements include inducements to “encourage lenders to write down the value of loans [already] held by borrowers in modification programs.”

In simple English, HAMP (the Home Affordable Modification Program), announced with great fanfare and high expectations early on in the Obama administration, isn’t working, and so more of the same is required.

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Sestak Coverup

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The main reason Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, is pressing the issue over Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA.) is owing to the reticence of the White House to be forthcoming about the matter. Most of the time, plausible deniability and the passage of time work well to make any potentially contentious or dangerous issue “go away.”  But not this time.

Back in July of 2009, well before liberal Sestak (Freedom Index rating of 0) decided to make a run for Arlen Specter’s (D-PA) Senate seat in November of 2010, he was approached by someone from the Obama administration who asked him to back off.  As incentive to leave Specter alone, Sestak said in an interview on Larry Kane’s Voice of Reason show in February this year, that the White House offered him a federal job.  Here is that conversation:

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ObamaCare: The Final Nail, or the Last Straw?

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In responding to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) incredulous “Are you serious?” about the constitutionality of Obamacare, many have written persuasively that the healthcare law is in fact unconstitutional.

Michelle Morin in her blog reminded her readers that Article 1, Section 8 limits the federal government to specific and enumerated powers, with all other unenumerated powers being left to the states or to the people. Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center analyzed the purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as limitations and restrictions on the power of the federal government. He concludes his analysis with these words:

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Reports of ACORN’s Death Greatly Exaggerated

ACORN

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Following the announcement on Sunday that the ACORN Association Board had “approved a set of steps to responsibly manage the process of bringing its operations to a close over the coming months,” spokesman Kevin Whelan tried to explain it away by saying, “It’s really declining revenue in the face of a series of attacks by partisan operatives and right-wing activists that have taken away our ability to raise the resources we need.”

Bertha Lewis, ACORN CEO, expanded on why ACORN was closing its doors: “ACORN has faced a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded right wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era. The videos were a manufactured, sensational story that led to rush to judgment and an unconstitutional act by Congress.”

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.