Archive for July 22nd, 2011

We’re Having a Heat Wave

July 22, 2011

Indiana and much of the Midwest have suffered from high temperatures for the last two weeks. Every day we have had highs in the upper 90’s. This is the kind of weather I really don’t care for. With storms, tornadoes, floods and the like, you get a bit of excitement or you’re too busy to think about how miserable things are. With cold weather you can put on a few more layers. But in heat, you can only sweat, or stay inside and crank up the air conditioner and wonder how you are going to pay the electric bill.

As Thomas Paine might have written, “These are the times that fry men’s soles”.

 

More Green Mischief

July 22, 2011

A while back I mentioned that some protesters had destroyed a field of experimental genetically modified crops in Belgium. I have since read about similar incidents in Germany and now Walter Russel Mead writes about Australian Greenpeace “activists’ doing the same in their country.

Science is a funny thing in the hands of today’s global greens.

Greens decry their political adversaries as unsophisticated, anti-science simpletons for questioning the empirical evidence behind global warming.

Yet when it comes to scientific evidence that hurts their cause, the greens are full out flat earthers. Take genetically modified foods, for example: the scientific community has generally concluded that they are perfectly safe for consumption and that the widespread use of GMOs will help feed the world’s poor.  These conclusions are at least as “settled” as the evidence for climate change.

The sober response of the “reality based” and “pro-science” greens?  Yesterday, Australian Greenpeace activists snuck into a government run farm and destroyed a crop of genetically modified wheat.

It is strange that a group of people that call themselves “Progressives” seem to be against progress of any sort. It’s a good thing these people weren’t around during the Neolithic period. They would have probably protested against the invention of agriculture, calling planted crops “frankenfoods“, and insisted that everyone only eat organically hunted and gathered food.

Our Leader Speaks

July 22, 2011

USA Today ran a piece by President Obama today titled “Go ‘big’ on debt deal”, in which he discusses our fiscal situation. I just want to say that I am beginning to fear for his mental health. I honestly think he has lost touch with reality.

He begins well enough,

For years now, America has been spending more money than we take in. The result is that we have too much debt on our nation’s credit card — debt that will ultimately weaken our economy, lead to higher interest rates for all Americans, and leave us unable to invest in things like education, or protect vital programs like Medicare.

Neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this debt, but both parties have a responsibility to come together and solve the problem. That’s what the American people expect of us. Every day, families are figuring out how to stretch their paychecks a little further, sacrifice what they can’t afford, and budget only for what’s truly important. It’s time for Washington to do the same.

Both parties are, of course, to blame. Both Democrats and Republicans have been spending our money like so many drunken sailors. But I really wish that Mr. Obama would take the blame for the unprecedented amount of “stimulus spending” that his administration has been responsible for these last two years

But over the last few months, I’ve also said that I’m willing to cut historic amounts of spending in order to reduce our long-term deficits. I’m willing to cut spending on domestic programs to the lowest level in half a century. I’m willing to cut defense spending by hundreds of billions of dollars. I’m willing to take on the rising costs of health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, so we can meet our obligations to an aging population.

Some of these cuts would eliminate wasteful spending, weapons we don’t need, or fraud and abuse in our health care system. Still, some of the cuts would target worthwhile programs that do a lot of good for our country. They’re cuts that some people in my own party aren’t too happy about, and frankly, I wouldn’t make them if we didn’t have so much debt.

But the American people deserve the truth from their leaders. And the truth is, you can’t get rid of the deficit by simply eliminating waste and fraud, or getting rid of pet projects and foreign aid, like some have suggested. Those things represent only a tiny fraction of what we spend our money on.

But he doesn’t give any specifics on what he thinks we should cut. So far, I have not heard him even consider cutting spending on any of his pet projects like Obamacare, or all of that stimulus. But next he get what he’s really after.

At the same time, it’s also true that if we tackle our deficit with spending cuts alone, it will likely end up costing seniors and middle-class families a great deal. Retired Americans will have to pay a lot more for their health care. Students will have to pay a lot more for college. A worker who gets laid off might not have any temporary help or job training to fall back on. At a time of high gas prices, we’ll have to stop much of the clean energy research that will help free us from our dependence on oil.

That’s why people in both parties have suggested that the best way to take on our deficit is with a more balanced approach. Yes, we should make serious spending cuts. But we should also ask the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay their fair share through fundamental tax reform. Before we stop funding clean energy research, we should ask oil companies and corporate jet owners to give up the tax breaks that other companies don’t get. Before we ask college students to pay more, we should ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries. Before we ask seniors to pay more for Medicare, we should ask people like me to give up tax breaks they don’t need and never asked for.

The middle class hasn’t just borne the brunt of this recession; they’ve been dealing with higher costs and stagnant wages for more than a decade now. It’s just not right to ask them to pay the whole tab — especially when they’re not the ones who caused this mess in the first place.

That’s right. Raise the taxes on those evil rich who caused the mess we are in. He doesn’t want to cut any of his projects like “clean energy research” that is going nowhere. Of course he has to throw that bit in about corporate jets. That facts of the matter are that eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jets wouldn’t even begin to pay for the increased spending that has occurred on his watch. Confiscating the wealth of every millionaire wouldn’t make a dent on our national debt. Our problems come not because the government is not getting enough revenue but because our leaders can’t stop spending, even if their lives depended on it. Either Obama knows this and is the biggest liar we have ever had in the White House, or he believes what he is saying and has lost it.


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