Totalitarian creep 1

Senator Chris Dodd, one of the gang still at large that caused the housing bubble and the consequent collapse of the global economy, is also answerable for the Livable Communities Act, which prescribes:

• Where you must live. – In a tightly packed urban ‘community’.

• How you must live. – For instance, how warm your house and water can be. Big Daddy can easily control this by a device fitted to your thermostat that will hold it to an approved degree. You will be monitored for cheating. Your heating in winter and cooling in summer may be switched off completely ‘to save energy’ without your being consulted or even notified. California is a pioneer in this particular leap forward.

• Where you may work. – Near enough for you to get there by walking, biking, or taking a ride on a bus if you must.

• How you may get about. – By foot, bicycle, wheelchair, scooter, skates, or bus if you must. But not by your own car. To do that is to waste fuel and spoil the atmosphere, and so to darken your soul with the worst of sins in the new religion of environmentalism: harming the environment. This will soon be not only a sin but a crime.

You can read the Livable Communities Act, number S.1619, at Thomas.loc.gov.

And you can enjoy a discussion of it by witty people who share your disgust at PajamasTV here.

Posted under Environmentalism, government, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, November 22, 2009

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Palin for tax cuts 0

Here are passages from the speech Sarah Palin delivered in  Hong Kong on September 23 at the CLSA [Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia] Pacific Markets Conference, taken from excerpts published by the Wall Street Journal. More of the speech can be found here:

We got into this [economic] mess because of government interference in the first place. The mortgage crisis that led to the collapse of the financial market, it was rooted in a good-natured, but wrongheaded, desire to increase home ownership among those who couldn’t yet afford to own a home. In so many cases, politicians on the right and the left, they wanted to take credit for an increase in home ownership among those with lower incomes. But the rules of the marketplace are not adaptable to the mere whims of politicians…

Lack of government wasn’t the problem. Government policies were the problem. The marketplace didn’t fail. It became exactly as common sense would expect it to. The government ordered the loosening of lending standards. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates low. The government forced lending institutions to give loans to people who, as I say, couldn’t afford them. Speculators spotted new investment vehicles, jumped on board and rating agencies underestimated risks…

If you want real job growth, you cut taxes! And you reduce marginal tax rates on all Americans. Cut payroll taxes, eliminate capital gain taxes and slay the death tax, once and for all. Get federal spending under control, and then you step back and you watch the U.S. economy roar back to life. But it takes more courage for a politician to step back and let the free market correct itself than it does to push through panicky solutions or quick fixes…

I can’t wait until we get that Reaganomics sense supplied again because we are going to survive, and we’re going to thrive and expand and roar back to life. And as the world sees this, the world will be a healthier, more secure, safer and more prosperous place when this happens…

Right now we have the highest unemployment rate in 25 years, and it’s still rising. And yet some in D.C. are pushing a cap-and-tax bill that could cripple our energy industry or energy market and dramatically increase the rates of the unemployed, and that’s not just in the energy sector. American jobs in every industry will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under this cap-and-tax plan. The cost of farming will certainly increase. That’s going to drive up the cost of groceries and drive down farm incomes. The cost of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also rise. We are all going to feel the effects. The Americans hardest hit will be those who are already struggling to make ends meet today, much less with this new tax every month…

With most of this we agree. We only don’t believe that people like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd  wanted to increase house ownership among those who couldn’t afford it out of good nature. We judge them less generously. We think they wanted to redistribute wealth and increase the power of government.

At present Palin seems to us to be not only the most charismatic of the Republicans who might be in the 2012 presidential race, but also, to judge by these remarks, one who might rescue the economy.

Help! 0

We draw our readers’ attention to the comment made by ‘roger in florida’ on our last posting immediately below, in which he gives a crystal-clear explanation of why a state-run health service must always necessarily be bad for the patient.

In our opinion there is no good argument for government control of health services.  

Further reinforcing our view, Investor’s Business Daily brings us this information and comment:

The Senate legislation is sponsored by the usual suspects, Democrats Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Chris Dodd of Connecticut. It’s modeled on Massachusetts’ plan, which also imposes a $1,000 fine [shared responsibility payment]… 

The CBO estimates the “shared responsibility payments will bring in about $36 billion over 10 years. This Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) bill also calls for a $750-per-worker “annual fee,” $375 for part-time workers on companies with more than 25 employees that do not offer coverage to employees.

So if you’re a small business seeking to expand beyond 25 workers, you have quite a bit to think about. That’s sure going to help job growth. In a statement released by the White House, Obama welcomed the revised legislation, saying it “reflects many of the principles I’ve laid out.”

The Kennedy-Dodd bill also provides for a government-run insurance option to compete with private plans. A competing Senate Finance Committee version does not.

According to the CBO, under its plan “the number of people who had coverage through an employer would decline by about 15 million, and coverage from other sources would fall by about 8 million.” The number of uninsured would decline by only a third.

This seems to fly in the face of the Obama promise that if you like your current coverage, nothing will change. Around 80% of Americans — 243 million of us — have indicated we like our current coverage and doctors. Too bad, for that will change.

Suppose health care reform passes and all are insured, by force or otherwise. The U.S. will be short 124,400 front-line physicians by 2025, according to the Association of Medical Colleges.

That does not include the 15,585 new primary-care providers the administration plan is estimated to require.

Put together fewer doctors, more patients and government insurance, and that spells less access to care, even rationing. HillaryCare died in 1994 when Americans realized it would force them to give up the coverage and health care providers they liked.

ObamaCare is no different.

Diktat 0

 From Investor’s Business Daily:

Rep. Barney Frank, the Democrat who sits atop Congress’ efforts to deal with the financial crisis, has enough chutzpah for 100 politicians — which is saying a lot.

In comments before testimony from both Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed chief Ben Bernanke Tuesday, Frank said he wants to regulate pay on Wall Street — even for companies that aren’t getting bailouts.

And he called retention bonuses — a time-honored practice on Wall Street and elsewhere in America in which key employees are compensated for their enormous value — "extortion" and "bribes."

Frank, one of the chief architects of the housing mess that’s brought us so low, isn’t satisfied merely with pretending he and his Democratic pals aren’t to blame for all this. No, exploiting voter anger over the now-infamous AIG bonuses, he also wants to dictate to American capitalism what it can earn and what it can’t.

This is the kind of thing that normally happens in Third World countries ruled by tinhorn dictators, or in fascist states, where the democratic rule of law has collapsed. Not the U.S.

Yet, that’s where we find ourselves today, isn’t it? Democrats in Congress, who steadfastly rejected virtually all efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they went on the wildest, most irresponsible lending binge in the history of finance, now pose themselves as the saviors of fallen capitalism.

The hypocrisy is nothing short of stunning.

Take Frank. As we’ve written before, he spearheaded congressional Democrats’ efforts in 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005 to block reform of Fannie and Freddie.

Those two "government-sponsored enterprises" were the nexus of this crisis, holding $5.4 trillion of the $12 trillion in U.S. mortgages, while originating or funding 90% of the subprime market.

Their failures presaged the subsequent financial meltdown from which we’re still trying to regain our economic footing.

Then there’s Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, another posturing moralist in the flap over AIG bonuses. He turns out to have inserted the bonuses into the bailout legislation in the first place.

An innocent move? Please note Dodd was No. 1 on the list of recipients of AIG’s political contributions. Also that his wife was a former director of IPC Holdings, a company controlled by AIG.

We wish all this tinkering with the private sector was limited to Congress. But it isn’t. The Treasury wants what the Washington Post called Tuesday "unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy."

Citing the AIG precedent, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended this radical move, saying on CNN, "We need resolution authority to go in and be able to change contracts, be able to change the business model, unwind what doesn’t work."

Breathtaking. Coupled with the vast expansion of government spending over the next 10 years, this is socialism, pure and simple.

Yes, we know it’s unfashionable to use the "S" word. But we’re willing to be unhip in the service of the truth.

It’s a frightening thing to see a once mighty, and free, capitalist economy placed under the heel of an incompetent government. But that’s precisely what’s happening now.

Executive pay, the focus of much public fury right now, is only the start. Your pay will be next, rest assured. So hold on to your wallets, sure, but also hold on even tighter to something even more precious that now seems at risk: your freedom.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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The budding American dictatorship 4

 From Investor’s Business Daily:

Rep. Barney Frank, the Democrat who sits atop Congress’ efforts to deal with the financial crisis, has enough chutzpah for 100 politicians — which is saying a lot.

In comments before testimony from both Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Fed chief Ben Bernanke Tuesday, Frank said he wants to regulate pay on Wall Street — even for companies that aren’t getting bailouts.

And he called retention bonuses — a time-honored practice on Wall Street and elsewhere in America in which key employees are compensated for their enormous value — "extortion" and "bribes."

Frank, one of the chief architects of the housing mess that’s brought us so low, isn’t satisfied merely with pretending he and his Democratic pals aren’t to blame for all this. No, exploiting voter anger over the now-infamous AIG bonuses, he also wants to dictate to American capitalism what it can earn and what it can’t.

This is the kind of thing that normally happens in Third World countries ruled by tinhorn dictators, or in fascist states, where the democratic rule of law has collapsed. Not the U.S.

Yet, that’s where we find ourselves today, isn’t it? Democrats in Congress, who steadfastly rejected virtually all efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as they went on the wildest, most irresponsible lending binge in the history of finance, now pose themselves as the saviors of fallen capitalism.

The hypocrisy is nothing short of stunning.

Take Frank. As we’ve written before, he spearheaded congressional Democrats’ efforts in 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2005 to block reform of Fannie and Freddie.

Those two "government-sponsored enterprises" were the nexus of this crisis, holding $5.4 trillion of the $12 trillion in U.S. mortgages, while originating or funding 90% of the subprime market.

Their failures presaged the subsequent financial meltdown from which we’re still trying to regain our economic footing.

Then there’s Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, another posturing moralist in the flap over AIG bonuses. He turns out to have inserted the bonuses into the bailout legislation in the first place.

An innocent move? Please note Dodd was No. 1 on the list of recipients of AIG’s political contributions. Also that his wife was a former director of IPC Holdings, a company controlled by AIG.

We wish all this tinkering with the private sector was limited to Congress. But it isn’t. The Treasury wants what the Washington Post called Tuesday "unprecedented powers to initiate the seizure of non-bank financial companies, such as large insurers, investment firms and hedge funds, whose collapse would damage the broader economy."

Citing the AIG precedent, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended this radical move, saying on CNN, "We need resolution authority to go in and be able to change contracts, be able to change the business model, unwind what doesn’t work."

Breathtaking. Coupled with the vast expansion of government spending over the next 10 years, this is socialism, pure and simple.

Yes, we know it’s unfashionable to use the "S" word. But we’re willing to be unhip in the service of the truth.

It’s a frightening thing to see a once mighty, and free, capitalist economy placed under the heel of an incompetent government. But that’s precisely what’s happening now.

Executive pay, the focus of much public fury right now, is only the start. Your pay will be next, rest assured. So hold on to your wallets, sure, but also hold on even tighter to something even more precious that now seems at risk: your freedom.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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McCain’s scruples betray the people 0

All too ominously the signs point to a clean sweep for the Democrats. They will probably command both Congress and the White House.

The pundits say, almost unanimously, that  the reason why most voters will put power into the hands of the Democratic Party is the economic crisis.  If this is so, the irony is heavy. The crisis was fundamentally caused by the Democrats. Pursuing their ideology, they insisted, and legislated to ensure, that people who couldn’t afford mortgages be given them. When the red lights started flashing, both President Bush and John McCain (amongst other Republicans) warned that measures must be taken to prevent impending disaster, but Democrats voted against the bills that were presented to avert it. Among the most guilty of the Democrats were Chris Dodd, Barney Frank – and Barack Obama.

And the Democrats are going to be voted into power primarily to fix the economy? Seems so!

But do most voters know that the Democrats – including, most importantly, Obama himself – are the first and chief cause of the economic collapse? Surely, if they knew, they wouldn’t hire the thieves to guard the treasure, the arsonists to protect the house?

So if they they do not know, who is to blame for that?

First, obviously, the media. This presidential election is a dark chapter in the history of the MSM. They have deliberately withheld essential information about the Democrats’ culpability for the sub-prime collapse and Barack Obama’s  communist training and ties.

But the one person who could have by-passed the media by using his opportunities to spread the information to tens of millions of people in his convention speech and the presidential debates, and did not do so; who could and should have done it fully and clearly and insistently and convincingly, is John McCain. He did not even vaunt his own prescience and efforts to avert the calamity, let alone point his finger at the guilty men. He was too nice, too scrupulous, too respectful to do what urgently needed to be done to save America. This is a destructive kind of hubris. He esteems his own moral superiority more than he desires the freedom and prosperity of his country!  Instead, batting his eyelashes like a starlet, and opening wide his goody-goody eyes, he tell us not to fear an Obama presidency – even though he has noticed of late (too late?), with the help of Joe the Plumber, that Obama’s economic policy is ‘socialistic’.

So he too bears a terrible responsibility for what is now likely to come about: the unimpeded enactment of socialist policies which can only make the economy worse.

Jillian Becker

October 2008

Posted under Articles, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, October 20, 2008

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Free market not to blame for economic crisis 0

 Thomas Sowell puts blame where it belongs: 

It was liberal Democrats, led by Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years– including the present year– denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big risks that could lead to a financial crisis.

It was Senator Dodd, Congressman Frank and other liberal Democrats who for years refused requests from the Bush administration to set up an agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today’s financial crisis.

Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury, five years ago.

Yet, today, what are we hearing? That it was the Bush administration "right-wing ideology" of "de-regulation" that set the stage for the financial crisis. Do facts matter?

We also hear that it is the free market that is to blame. But the facts show that it was the government that pressured financial institutions in general to lend to subprime borrowers, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and, later, threats of legal action by then Attorney General Janet Reno if the feds did not like the statistics on who was getting loans and who wasn’t.

Is that the free market? Or do facts not matter?

His article also deals with how Obama benefited from Fannie Mae. He concludes: 

The country does not deserve to be put in the hands of a glib and cocky know-it-all, who has accomplished absolutely nothing beyond the advancement of his own career with rhetoric, and who has for years allied himself with a succession of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 4, 2008

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Moment of decision 3

 The moment of decision has arrived.

Crunch time.

Is the economic crisis to be solved by a capitalist free-market solution, or made worse by a socialist ‘solution’?

Make no mistake about it – it was caused by socialism: by political correctness, by multiculturalism, by government interference in the market.

It was NOT caused by the Bush administration, by the Republican Party, by capitalism, as the Democrats who did cause it are now alleging to cover their guilt.

Among the most guilty men are Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid.   

Jimmy Carter.  1977. The Community Reinvestment Act. Banks must make loans to high-risk borrowers.  Opened door for ACORN (see earlier posts) to force banks to make sub-prime loans to uncreditworthy borrowers.

Barack Obama.  Trained staff for Madeline Talbott, ‘key pioneer of ACORN’s subprime racket’ as Stanley Kurtz calls her, to run her ‘subprime-loan shakedown racket’.  ACORN employed him as its lawyer. And he funded it through the Woods Fund and indirectly through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. In three years in the Senate, Obama received more contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than anyone else save Dodd, who got his contributions from them over eleven years.   He appointed two Fannie Mae CEOs as advisors to his campaign.  

Bill Clinton, devotee of multiculturalismpressed for more home-ownership by those who could not afford it, minorities and in effect even illegal immigrants, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responded, buying up hundreds of billions of dollars of the bad loans and sellng them on the world markets. 

Harry Reid. In 2005 when John McCain sponsored a Fannie-Freddie reform bill,  he led the  Democrats in crushing it.  Fannie and Freddie were created by Democrats and Democrats are most responsible for their failure.

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who ran Congress’s banking panels, vigorously and persistently opposed Republican Party efforts to regulate Fannie and Freddie.

McCain has repeatedly called for reforming Fannie and Freddie. President Bush – whose administration is being blamed for the crisis by Frank, Dodd, Reid etc – urged their reform 17  times this year. The irony of Bush and the Republicans being blamed now for the catastrophe the Democrats’  so insistently brought about!   

The cure now is not more socialism, not more government control of the market, not the election of the most socialist-minded candidate for the presidency ever – Barack Obama

If America elects Obama, it will be choosing socialism, and socialism has failed wherever it has been tried.

America needs to choose capitalism at this moment in history, to save itself and to give hope to the wider world. Otherwise this crisis will be turned into an American and world-wide disaster from which there may be no foreseeable return.