Tax Hikes and the 2011 Economic Collapse

Arthur Laffer's column in the Wall Street Journal today explains his theory that economic activity has been pulled into 2010 from 2011 to avoid the tax hikes set to occur 1/1/2011. As a result, economic activity will decrease next year, leading to a double dip recession. The stock market's recent correction may be discounting this double dip.



Ignoring the Fax

Until the Obama Occupation of the White House just over a year ago, the idea of faxing or emailing Rep. Baron Hill (left), a U.S. Congressman in Indiana's 9th District, had close to zero chance of turning up on my to-do list.

But, until the Obama Occupation, how many among us who lived outside of Massachusetts would have been so keenly aware of an emerging politician named Scott Brown? Or the number of pro-life Democrats in the House? Or the definition of Senate "reconciliation"?

With our Democracy on the brink, I've joined countless thousands of fellow Americans in an outreach targeting members of Congress, urging staunch rejection of Obamacare, demanding that these elected officials heed the will of a majority of Americans. (The newest Gallup poll finds 48% would advise their Congressmen to vote against the monstrosity, even as it approaches ramming speed).

People who are paying attention recognized long ago that the sweeping legislation sought by Obama, Pelosi and Reid is not health insurance reform but a Socialist takeover of the U.S. economy that fundamentally changes the relationship of citizens to the federal government, does nothing to rein in the high costs of insurance premiums, medical procedures or prescription drugs, and ignores the dire need to end frivolous lawsuits that spawn defensive medicine.

So the choice is clear: Do nothing and assume that the America we've always cherished will weather the Obama Occupation, or rise up and do whatever it takes to stop this, including faxes sent to Democrats like Baron Hill of Indiana.

Even this simple exercise reveals what we are up against. Just because members of Congress have fax numbers (easily located on web sites or in various directories), repeated attempts to fax them can be futile of late. No fewer than a dozen out of 30 key House Democrat Obamacare voters could not be reached this past week by fax, based on my experiences. They've gone into hiding. I suspect they've conveniently instructed Washington staffers to stop adding paper. The obvious alternative is email, but many of these same "public servants" have rigged their web sites to restrict electronic communications to residents of their districts.

At a time when every member of Congress needs to be aware of broad public sentiment against nationalized health insurance legislation, the elected lawmakers listed here are cowering in the shadows: Jerry McNerney (CA-11); Jim Himes (CT-4); Bill Foster (IL-14); Baron Hill (IN-9); Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1); Tim Bishop (NY-1); Mike Arcuri (NY-24); Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15); Paul Kanjorski (PA-11); John Spratt (SC-5); Alan Mollohan (WV-1); and Nick Rahall (WV-3). Kilroy's web site, however, does not restrict emailing from within her district.

As for the others, we must not be deterred. We must find alternate fax and phone numbers (in district offices, for example). We must track these people down and get in their faces, and let them see the glint of Patriotic determination in our eyes. We must keep the pressure on until the bitter end. And it will be bitter. Why must we soldier on? Why is it up to me and you to do the work of the Washington political elite? TheNational Review's Richard Lowry said it quite well in a recent essay entitled, "Defend Her".

"...It is blindness to ignore that American exceptionalism has homegrown enemies -- people who misunderstand the sources of American greatness or think them outdated. If they succeed, we will be less free, less innovative, less rich, less self-governing, and less secure.

"We will be less."


A Patriot's Dilemma

Jonathan Quick has come to a patriotic crossroads. He is a National Hockey League goalkeeper and a member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey team. He loves America and the people who defend her.

The International Olympic Committee will contend that the American Eagle decal bearing the phrase, "Support Our Troops", on Quick's helmet violates an Olympic Games ban on political propaganda and "advertising".

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - U.S. netminder Jonathan Quick will be ordered to remove the slogan 'Support Our Troops' from his helmet for contravening Olympic rules on political propaganda, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) said on Monday.

Quick needs to make a decision. Quickly. Defy the IOC and his sport's international federation and sit out the Games in Vancouver in defense of his support for American troops (certainly a courageous option). Or, remove the handsome decal, which certainly does not come even close to being "propaganda" or "advertising".

Conversely, Olympic athletes are permitted to adorn uniforms and headgear with their nation's flags -- flags that are, in some cases, specifically designed to promote religious and political ideals.

The design at the center of Iran's flag is symbolic of the phrase, "There is no god but Allah." (Four Iranian athletes are competing in Vancouver).

The Scandinavian cross that dominates Norway's flag represents Christianity.

These are but two examples. If it is acceptable to "advertise" two divergent religious viewpoints by wearing a flag logo on a uniform, or raising a flag above an Olympic Village, why is it unacceptable to support a military dedicated to advancing and preserving democracy, and saving innocent lives, around the world?

Either decision by Quick will be understandable. He would honor American troops by leaving the Games. He also honors his country by representing the USA as an Olympian.

But only one decision will elevate Quick to American hero. I'm certain no one need advise him which decision that is.


Notes on Metaphors

If I was Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and I was commenting on Coakley's loss, I'd have chosen a slightly different metaphor when blasting the prior Administration, given who's Senate seat was just replaced.
President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident. President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused repairing the damage to our economy.
Also, props to Rep. Barney Frank who's right about last night's vote. If more of Congress acted like grown-ups and didn't seek advantage at every turn (and yes, I'm talking to Republicans too) maybe. . . oh who the hell am I kidding.


Scott Brown for US Senate

The Daily Pander and I are thinking about having a party tomorrow night in order to celebrate Scott Brown's big victory in the Massachusetts Senate Race. Reports are that, internally, the White House is expecting a Brown victory. The polls and future's markets all point to a Brown victory. It will be a particularly sweet victory given the monkey business with regard as to how that seat was filled after it became vacant. Oh well, I guess this will end America's experiment with European style social democracy!


A New Year's Gift to Al-Qaeda

The Obama Administration has given Al-Qaeda two New Year’s presents. First, in the wake of the Christmas Day terror attack against Northwest Airlines 253, the Transportation Security Administration imposes new security procedures that are so ridiculous that they have to be repealed two days later.

Not allowing passengers out of their seats for the hour preceding landing just begs the questions – why wouldn’t terrorists just leave their seats before the last hour of the flight to do their damage? Not allowing anything in the laps of passenger during the same last hour is also ridiculous. What would happen during final approach into Dulles International when a devout Muslim was reading his Koran? Isn’t that ripe for some litigious Imam to file suit against the airline that attempts to enforce this silly rule?

The imposition of security measures that have no positive impact on security, but rather just inconvenience passengers, makes the United States government look impotent. We would all be better off, safer and less hassled at the airport if the intelligence apparatus worked properly. Once Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab became known to the CIA, thanks to his father, and the United Kingdom revoked his visa, our intelligence community should have connected the dots and revoked his visa to enter the United States.

Just as I said back in 2004, the reorganization of our intelligence community under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 would result in nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs. Apparently, I was right. If the point of that act was to connect the dots, it does not seem to have worked. Unfortunately for President Obama, even he must now admit that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was not just an isolated extremist. Instead, he is a soldier in Al-Qaeda’s terror war against the West in general and the United States in particular. Until the President understands that Islamists have declared war on us, he will not put us in a position to win.

The second gift that the Administration has given Al-Qaeda is the closing of our embassy in Yemen. While no one wants to endanger our diplomats posted overseas, the closure of our embassy means that we are unable to protect it and those who work there. It is a sad state of affairs that the world’s only superpower is apparently unable, or unwilling, to take the steps that are necessary to ensure the safety of those posted to its embassy in Sana’a. This is despite the fact that we have special operations forces working in Yemen. I wonder if the men and women of the US Marine Corp and the Diplomatic Security Service agree with this assessment. Another victory in the War on Terror for the enemy.

2010 is not off to a good start for us in the War on Terror. The New Year’s gifts that the President Obama has given to Al-Qaeda will only serve to embolden them. Let’s just hope that the Administration gets better at connecting the dots.