Posts Tagged ‘competitiveness’

Lest We Forget: OBAMA Is America’s Sputnik Moment

January 26, 2011

Obama talked about America facing a “Sputnik moment” last night.  For the record, “Sputnik” was a Soviet successful satellite that stunned America out of its complacency.  America entered the space race with a vengeance, and won it by a knockout.  Obama exploited that moment,  pointed out that America is watching the world go past us, and says we need to be competitive by pursuing massive government spending oops I mean “investment.”

A write up from Slate:

But he did evoke a huge defense issue from a half-century ago—the signal wake-up security call that marked the years of transition from Dwight Eisenhower to John F. Kennedy, the single word that has symbolized ever since the fear of slipping behind in a dangerous world: Sputnik.

“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” Obama said. As a result, we need to fund “a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the space race.”

Well, at the heart of Obama’s State of the Union speech were many contradictions.  And I’ll get to them.  But his “Sputnik moment” thing was the worst one of all.

Allow me to cite a couple of my own articles to document just how stunningly pathetic Obama’s analogy truly is:

Space Program: Obama’s Strategy To Turn America Into Banana Republic Moving Like Clockwork

When American Greatness Is Gone, And When NASA = ‘National Aeronautics and Sharia Administration’

The first article above documents how Obama has been GUTTING the space program, and in fact RETURNING AMERICA to the pre-Sputnik vulnerability.  To the disgust and open contempt of former NASA heroes.  And the second documents how Obama has turned the now disgraced NASA into yet another tool for political correctness.

And to make sure you realize how pathetically laughable Obama’s analogy is, let’s make sure we understand that Sputnik was a Russian threat, and then let’s make sure we understand how Obama has helped undermine American interests to advance the Russians with yet another title:

Obama’s Treasonous Lies Help Russia Punk America

That one documents how Obama has undermined America’s missile defense program.  And the actual Sputnik moment was all about dealing with Russian missiles.

This guy’s talking about our Sputnik moment?  Seriously?

Conservatives had already debunked many of Obama’s lies last night before he even told them.  I’ve debunked those lies right here.

This is why Senator Jim DeMint said after Obama’s latest speech, “It’s hard to take the president seriously.”

But sadly we must take Obama seriously.  Because Obama’s real political genius comes down to one simple thing: he realized that the people who support him are stupid and ignorant, don’t know a damn thing that the incredibly biased media machine doesn’t tell them, and that he can therefore spit out anything and not get caught by much of America in his deceit.

Obama is our Sputnik moment.  By which I mean, this turd-in-chief and his policies are the reason that we are failing and falling behind while other nations around us rise up and overtake us.

One of the other major contradictions of Obama’s speech are that he is essentially acting as if the previous two years didn’t happen.  “Nothing to see over there, folks, now if you don’t mind looking this way.” Obama is saying that we need a major new “investment” (which is a tidy euphemism for yet more government pork), when in fact he has already “invested” well over a trillion dollars with absolutely nothing to show for it but more debt and more deficits than this nation has ever seen before.

Which is why DeMint said:

When asked about President Obama’s statements about government investments, DeMint said, “Now the president is promising more spending, which he calls investments, when the time is to cut spending in Washington.. The president needs to tell the American people the truth.. That its time for the federal government to do less.”

Let’s look at Obama’s trillions in “investment” and see what effect it has had on our “competitiveness”:

Why Is American Unemployment Under Obama Rising Faster Than In Other Countries?

The Dirty Secret About Our Unemployment Rate

Obama Stimulus Is Reason Why Our Unemployment So Much Higher Than Others

In other words, there is an inversely proportional comparison to Obama’s stimulus and American “competitiveness.”

And US government spending has little or nothing to such competitiveness.  Take a look at our education spending:

U.S. tops the world in school spending but not test scores

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States spends more public and private money on education than other major countries, but its performance doesn’t measure up in areas ranging from high-school graduation rates to test scores in math, reading and science, a new report shows.

That dates back to 2003.  Look before that, look after that, and the results are the same.  We spend and spend and spend while our kids get dumber and dumber and dumber.  To the extent that right now only a third of our kids are considered proficient in major subjects.

Here’s the problem: liberals call for more and more and more spending, but liberals make sure that all the largess goes to them, and goes to their politically connected interests.  Like the liberal teachers unions that are the REAL reason our country is falling behind in education.  And to the extent we spend more, we only feed the beast that is the REAL source of our dilemma and help build it into an even BIGGER problem as it uses its vast resources to protect the status quo.

Obama wants to spend billions on “green energy.”  What that means is that he wants to subsidize incredibly expensive and NON-Competitive energy sources while our rivals continue to run circles around us with cheap and efficient oil and coal.  And the more and the faster we spend, the more and the faster we fall behind.

The real sputnik moment, epitomized in the person of Obama himself, is this: America is spending itself into extinction.  It is not wise spending, because we are sucking money out of the efficient private sector, giving to an incredibly inefficient and wasteful federal government, and then doling it out on the basis of political patronage rather than common sense.

I’ll end with this: Obama is using a “mangled multiplier” as his basis for the need for more government spending.  On Obama’s and the Democrat Party’s distorted view, for every dollar the federal government spends, we get a $1.55 “bang for our buck.”  But it isn’t true.  Unless you really think building tunnels for turtles, bridges to nowhere and studying cow flatulence is going to make America great.  On the International Monetary Fund model, which just makes more sense in addition to being less ideologically biased, we only get back 70 cents for every dollar spent.  See this article for the documentation on that, and check out this graph:

In his SOTU speech, Obama provided an airplane metaphor that went:

“Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.”

On Obama’s metaphor, government is the engine that flies our economy.  And if you reduce government spending, you eliminate the engine and the plane crashes.  But that simply isn’t true; it is PRIVATE spending that flies our economy.  And sucking money out of the private sector to create more government bureaucracy and more pork-barrel spending is foolhardy.  It is actually OBAMA who is actually removing the engine from our economy.

If we really want to experience a “Sputnik moment” and surge back to greatness, what we need to do is wake up and vote out Obama and the Democrat Party.

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Reuters’ Nine Reasons Democrats’ Healthcare Surtax Is Dangerous

July 16, 2009

Our republic is in the worst kind of danger.  No enemy could do to us from without what Obama and liberal Democrats are doing to us from within.

9 reasons Pelosi’s healthcare surtax is disastrous

by: James Pethokoukis

So what explains the crazy, cockeyed optimism of House Democrats? Maybe they still believe Team Obama’s rosy-scenario forecast that shows the stimulus package a) keeping unemployment under 8 percent this year and b) launching an economic boom next year and beyond. For some reason, though, they think the battered U.S. economy is so strong that politicians can pile tax upon tax on it with no fear of further harm. Less than three weeks after passing a costly cap-and-trade carbon emission plan, Pelosi & Co. have giddily unveiled a $1.2 trillion healthcare plan partially funded by a $544 billion surtax on the work and investment income of wealthier Americans, including small business owners.

[See why Obama’s economic gamble is failing.]

The ten-year proposal calls for a 1 percent surtax on adjusted gross income — including capital gains — between $350,000 and $500,000; a 1.5% surtax on income between $500,000 and $1 million; and a 5.4% surtax on income exceeding $1 million. (Interestingly, the House fact sheet on the surtax forgets to mention the highest tax rate. Hey, they were in a rush.) How bad an idea is this? Let me count the ways:

It’s not the first Obama tax hike. This tax would be in addition to the $1 trillion in new taxes that Obama called for in his budget released earlier this year. (And then there’s cap and trade, remember.) And if healthcare reform costs more than expected — what are the odds of that, you think? — the surtax would go up.

[See 5 economic stimulus plans better than the one we’ve got.]

It pushes income tax rates above a key threshhold. Once you take into account state income taxes, the top tax rate would sneak above 50 percent. Research by former White House economist Lawrence Lindsey has found that rates above 40 percent really start to hit economic growth especially hard.

It’s risky in a weak economy. Democrats love the “consensus view” when it comes to climate change, so how about the economy? The consensus view is for unemployment to hit double digits this year and stay high throughout 2010 and beyond as the economy staggers to its feet. Even Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said “it seems realistic to expect a gradual recovery, with more than the usual ups and downs and temporary reversals.” In a “long recession” environment, do we really want a policy that, according to research that current White House economic adviser Christina Romer conducted at Stanford University, is “highly contractionary.”

It actually makes America’s healthcare problem worse. Entitlements, including Medicare, will eventually bankrupt the economy unless action is taken. Agreed. But lowering the potential U.S. growth rate will only make those problems worse by generating lower tax revenue and making the overall pie smaller than it would be otherwise. Yet many economists think government interventions in finance, housing, autos, energy and now healthcare will do just that. And adding layers of additional new taxes helps how?

It makes the tax code more lopsided and inefficient. As it is, the top 1 percent of Americans in terms of income pay 40 percent of taxes. Not only would this plan exacerbate this imbalance, it adds further complexity to the tax code. Most tax reformers favor a simpler system with fewer brackets and deductions matched by a lower rate. Indeed, Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center points out the following:

Many of the uber-rich are unlikely to pay much more in taxes than they do now, despite the rate increase. Since we’d be returning to pre-1986 rates, we shouldn’t be surprised when the very wealthy reprise their pre-1986 sheltering behavior. The hoary financial alchemy of turning ordinary income into capital gains, morphing individuals into corporations, and deferring compensation will return. Remember, the targets of these tax hikes are the people who can most easily manipulate their income. The bad old days of bull semen partnerships may not return, but I suspect the financial Merlins are already cooking up new shelters for what promises to be a booming new market.

It hurts U.S. competitiveness. America already has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Under the House plan, the top U.S. income tax rate would be higher than the OECD (advanced economies) average of 42 percent. France and Germany, by contrast, are looking to keep rates stable or lower them. Pro-growth China doesn’t even tax investment income.

It ignores the lessons of Clinton. Democrats love to point out how the Clinton tax increases didn’t tank the economy back in the 1990s. Oh, you mean the economy that was expanding for more than two years before he signed his tax increases? The economy is far weaker today and may be anemic for some time given the history of economies that suffered a banking crisis.

It ignores the lessons of 1937. The slowly recovering 1930s economy weakened again in 1937 and 1938. Again, Christina Romer tells all:

In this fragile environment, fiscal policy turned sharply contractionary. The one-time veterans’ bonus ended, and Social Security taxes were collected for the first time in 1937. … GDP rose by only 5% in 1937 and then fell by 3% in 1938, and unemployment rose dramatically, reaching 19% in 1938. The 1937 episode is an important cautionary tale for modern policymakers. At some point, recovery will take on a life of its own, as rising output generates rising investment and inventory demand through accelerator effects, and confidence and optimism replace caution and pessimism. But, we will need to monitor the economy closely to be sure that the private sector is back in the saddle before government takes away its crucial lifeline.

Except in this the case, Uncle Sam is not taking away a lifeline but tightening the noose.

It pays for a wrong-headed healthcare reform plan. Health exchanges, a public option, subsidies, taxes … well, we could go on and on. Or we could try to create a simpler consumer-driven market. Harvard Business economist Regina Herzlinger recommends reforming the tax system by making the money spent by employers on health insurance available as cash, tax-free, to employees. “Insurers would then compete for customers with policies that offer better value for the money,” she wrote in an analysis for consultancy McKinsey. Not even on the Obamacrat radar screen, though.

All in all, it’s another sign from the Obama administration and the Obamacrats in Congress that their top priority is redistributing existing wealth — at least what’s left of it — rather than creating new wealth. That, I guess, explains those ear-to-ear smiles on Capitol Hill.

Small businesses – widely recognized as by far and away the biggest job- and wealth-creating engines for our economy – are about to get hit with a massive double whammy.  Since most file as “S corporations” by which they are taxed on their total earnings, they will fall under the Democrats plans to “tax the rich.”  More than 1 million of our most successful small businesses which employ the most workers will be hit by this tax.  And at the same time, all but the very smallest small business will be hit with Obama’s additional 8% payroll tax unless they provide health care insurance that passes liberals’ scrutiny.

Meredith Whitney, who gained a great deal of credibility after predicting much of the economic calamity that has since come to pass, has predicted that unemployment will surpass 13%, and continue to harm the banking industry and the overall economy for years to come.  What fool thinks it’s a good idea to impose job-crushing policies while our unemployment rate is already soaring?

We are facing deficits and debts that dwarf anything ever seen in human history.  And we are about to reach a critical mass, a point at which the entire house of cards comes crashing down.  And America is going to experience suffering on a scale never even imagined before.

Gerald Celente, CEO of the highly regarded Trends Research Institute, predicted that we will have food riots and tax revolts by 2012.  He said “America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for.”

Obama and his giant nest of liberal snakes have already imposed shocking levels of debt on this nation that will almost certainly result in hyperinflation in coming years.  And he is hard at work poisoning our economy with stupid and immoral health care legislation and even more stupid and immoral cap-and-trade legislation that will kill our economic output without even slightly reducing overall global warming gasses.

What is going to happen in the next few weeks is the difference between whether this nation has any chance whatsoever to recover, or whether we are destined to become a banana republic spiralling down a cyle of violence and repressive government regimes.