novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Browsing Posts published in May, 2012

Obama decides to attack his predecessor during the ceremony where the portrait of President G.W. Bush was being unveiled. Obama is a small man precisely because incapable of taking responsibility for anything negative. He continues to blame the current miserable state of economy on anyone but himself. So far the stated reasons for the economy has being lackluster are, ‘Bush‘, ‘warm winter’, ‘the dollar is high’, ‘robots’, ‘Japanese earth quake’, ‘high oil prices’, ‘cold winter’, ‘the internet’, ‘Bush‘, ‘low oil prices’, the dollar is low’, ‘Republicans’, ‘housing prices are falling’, ‘Bush‘, ‘ATMs’, ‘climate Change’. ‘Wall Street’, — it is a litany of woe. That he does so at an event that is supposed to celebrate his predecessor only cheapens him all the more. Classless. Clueless. Frankly, Obama is getting kind of creepy.

The POTUS’ lack of self awareness is becoming laughable. He attacks people for going to Vegas and then proceeds to go on vacation more than any other U.S. President. He attacks Republican Lobbyists for lobbying, and then places a myriad of Democrat Lobbyists on the Whitehouse staff. He attacks Wall Street, and then proceeds to stuff his administration with insiders from Wall Street, and, accepts more campaign donations from Wall Street than any other U.S. President. This goes beyond conflict of interest — it ventures into being down right conflicted. He and his harridan wife lecture us about eating right, and the he sneaks off for a burger BBQ? The rich need to pay their fair share!! Obama, the $10,000,000.00 man, hires accountants and pays an effective rate of 20.5%? The irony! The hypocrisy! It burns!!

I just got an email from Sen. Warner (D-VA) promoting Startup Act 2.0, a bi-partisan bill (S.3217) co-sponsored by Sens. Warner (D-VA), Coons (D-DE), Moran (R-KS), Blunt (R-MO), and Rubio (R-FL).  The email makes the following points:

Too few American college students are pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. So Startup Act 2.0 would, in effect, staple a green card to the diplomas of foreign-born students earning advanced STEM degrees who can demonstrate they are willing to remain in the United States to apply their talents here and create new jobs. The Roanoke Times calls this “a small but crucial slice of U.S. immigration policy,” and notes that “The immigrants at issue would create jobs for themselves and thousands of native-born Americans. That’s an outcome that deserves bipartisan support.”

I’ve got two problems with this. First, it does not really address the problem, which is that “too few American college students are pursuing advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math.” Second, it may actually hamper foreign students’ coming to the United States to study. That may seem counter-intuitive, but many countries subsidize students who come to the United States to study S.T.E.M. subjects, and if those students did not have to take that knowledge back home, there would be no incentive to send them. Also, those students pay the full out-of-state tuition, which help subsidize the tuition of in-state students.

Startup Act 2.0 also offers some targeted tax breaks aimed at enabling small businesses to conserve financial resources more effectively while they grow. Among other things, it creates a targeted research and development tax credit for early-stage startups, and it makes permanent an existing exemption from capital gains taxes on start-up stock that is held for at least five years.

That’s all well-and-good, but we should just eliminate all corporate income taxes.  That would level the playing field, not only at home, but in international competition, too.  Corporation are nothing more and nothing less than a group of people — owners and employees — who produce products for other people (the customers).  Corporate income taxes are paid by those people, either in lower profits, lower incomes, or higher prices.  Thus, it would make more sense to simply tax the income at the individual level, saving the accounting and legal overhead of doing corporate taxes.

Start-up Act 2.0 proposes a mandatory cost-benefit analysis of proposed regulations that could have greater than $100 million in economic impact. “By requiring this analysis, agencies might think twice about imposing unnecessarily burdensome regulations,” according to the Progressive Policy Institute.

Pass this, and see how many proposed regulations start coming in with $90-95 million estimates of their economic impact.

Congress has abdicated its authority to regulate interstate commerce. No regulation should be valid without Congress’ voting on it first.

Let’s face it: not every college or university is as capable as a UVA, Virginia Tech, VCU or ODU to maximize the market potential of faculty-driven R&D. So our legislation will help smaller universities move taxpayer-funded research from the laboratory to the marketplace more quickly.

This is Section 8 of the bill, and it looks very much like the Small business Innovative Research program. Not a bad idea — a lot of good research is not disseminated to those who could make it into useful products.

Of what I have seen so far, the only part I really see backfiring is the “Green Cards” for foreign students. We need to encourage our own children to go into the S.T.E.M. fields, not give up on them and just keep the foreign students here.

Of course, this is Rep. Jim Moran, so what can we expect?

His claim was that, “According to ATF data, 70 percent of firearms recovered and traced in drug cartel crimes in Mexico originated from the United States.”  PolitifactVA, for all that’s worth, says that is “Mostly True”.

You see, of the traced firearms, about 70% were manufactured in the United States, or were manufactured elsewhere and imported here before going to Mexico.

Where neither Rep. Moran nor PolitifactVA bothers to mentions is that fully 1/3 of the firearms the BATF was asked to trace were not traceable.  Furthermore, there were an unspecified number of firearms which the Mexican government did not ask the BATF to trace.

Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson (March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012) was a songwriter, singer and guitarist exemplar. Bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel music were his domain. The music speaks for itself. The pictures are of an age gone by, one I remember fondly. Somehow, Joe B. got his dog transported back in time. Take a minute from ripping each others guts out. Pop open a coke and listen — ya bastards.

Does President 0bama’s Kill List amount to assassination?

Well, technically, I suppose it does. But that is not bad in itself. If so-called assassinations can achieve the objective with fewer people killed on all sides, I’m all for it. We’re not talking about heads-of-state.

Where I do have a problem is with American citizens’ being on that kill list (No Bill of Attainder… shall be passed.), and with attacks on the soil of nations with whom we are not at war.

In the first case, being a U.S. citizen should count for something.  And if a U.S. citizen does not get a trial before his execution, I have a problem with that.

In the second case, we have the obvious international relations problems that arise from attacks on citizens of other countries on their soil.  That is an act of war.  Certainly, if we get permission it is not a problem.  However, as in the case of bin Laden, if we try to get permission first, we lose time and very likely secrecy — the target would be tipped off and gone.

This is the problem the President faces.  He must weigh the decision of whether attacks on individuals in other nations are worth the cost in our relationships with those nations.  I do applaud the President’s going after Al Qaeda leaders. Although I do not like such attacks in countries with which we are not at war, I would not like having an easy shot and not taking it, either.

It seems that in this “War on Terror”, one can say the President has made bad choices.  However, it seems that the only choices he has available are all bad.

This is the question posed by The Telegraph: “A survey shows that young people aspire to a good marriage – so why does the divorce rate continue to rise?”

A new survey shows – contrary, perhaps, to expectation – that young people regard marriage and the raising of a family to be more worthwhile than a high-flying career or the acquisition of material wealth. Indeed, the research, carried out by care home charity Friends of the Elderly, revealed that a lasting marriage was the leading aspiration among every age group, including 18-24 year-olds.

The article doesn’t answer that question, but I will.  They do not know what constitutes a good marriage.  It is difficult to make a cake if you do not even know what the ingredients are.  The recipe for a happy, lasting marriage is actually quite simple:

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

(Ephesians 5:22-33)

St. Paul also gave us these instructions:

3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5,10-14

Peter also weighed in on the subject:

1Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Peter 3:1-7

These instructions are clear and simple, if not always easy to follow. The world of modern liberalism fights against this model of marriage. Liberalism attacks marriage from the outside, and corrupts it from the inside. That is why the divorce rate continues to climb.

By special request, I am writing a monetary-policy article.

Sometime between the next election and the installation of the next Congress and President (not by coincidence, but by design), the United States will again hit its statutory debt ceiling.  A couple of Wharton School of Economics professors, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, have written an article for Bloomberg on the subject.  Their economic “theory” rest on the fact that consumer confidence declined prior to the agreement that raised the debt limit, and improved thereafter:

Confidence began falling right around May 11, when Boehner first announced he would not support increasing the debt limit. It went into freefall as the political stalemate worsened through July. Over the entire episode, confidence declined more than it did following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008. After July 31, when the deal to break the impasse was announced, consumer confidence stabilized and began a long, slow climb that brought it back to its starting point almost a year later.

Of course, the media was hyping the lie that failing to raise the debt limit meant defaulting on our debt.  I contend that it was that lie, not the reality, that caused the drop in consumer confidence.  This is a lie that Stevenson and Wolfers perpetuate:

[Refusing] to raise the limit wouldn’t free the government of its existing spending obligations. Rather, it would leave the government with no choice but to default on its debts.

Uh, no.  One does not default on one’s auto and home loans because the credit card company refuses to raise you limit, or because you simply refuse to take on more debt.  Furthermore, our debt payments are just about the only thing the government is obligated to pay.  After all, Congress has not passed a budget in years, so one cannot say it is obligated to pay anything.  The courts have ruled that Social Security payments are not a right.  But even so, we can simply cash in the Trust Fund bonds, issue new general-issue bonds to raise the cash, and not increase the total debt that counts against the statutory limit.  The same goes for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund — just replace them with general-issue bonds to pay benefits.

So what other “obligations” do we have?  Our entire defense budget is less than 20% of our budget.  Our social programs are already run by the States, so just leave them to the States to pay for, too.  It is simply wasteful to funnel the money through the bureaucracy of the feral government.

Budgeting is simple.  Determine what your income was last year — no bogus projections based on bogus economic models, just hard numbers from the previous year.  Start passing spending bills one at a time.  First defense, then Justice, Post Office, etc.  You know, the constitutional stuff.  When you run out of money, stop passing spending bills.  No debt limit increase required.