Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1st, 2012 Edition

W Cries & Laura Bush Adds "This House Belongs To Those Who Will Never Have A Portrait Here"
by Greg Hingler
May 31, 2012

This is what I call "change" after the last three and a half torturous years of me-me-me-centered rhetoric from the current White House residents. Because of the absolute lack of three incredibly prized character qualities from the Obama alpha and omega, there are three things that jump out of the former President and First Lady of the United States in this video: humility, authenticity, and gratitude.

Why We Don't 'Owe It To Ourselves'
By William Tucker
June 1, 2012

The national debt, that is -- no matter how often Paul Krugman tells you otherwise.

Since the incomparable William F. Buckley, Jr., has already dealt with this subject in 1958, I defer to his inimitable style in introducing the subject of today's column:
Halfway through the second term of Franklin Roosevelt, the New Deal braintrusters began to worry about mounting popular concern over the national debt.… Indeed, Franklin Roosevelt had talked himself into office, in 1932, in part by promising to hack away at a debt which, even under the frugal Mr. Hoover, the people tended to think of as grown to menacing size.… And then, suddenly, the academic community came to the rescue. Economists across the length and breadth of the land were electrified by a theory of debt introduced in England by John Maynard Keynes. The politicians wrung their hands in gratitude. Depicting the intoxicating political consequences of Lord Keynes's discovery, the wry cartoonist of the Washington Times Herald drew a memorable picture. In the center, sitting on a throne in front of a maypole, was a jubilant FDR, cigarette tilted up almost vertically, a grin on his face that stretched from ear to ear. Dancing about him in a circle, hands clasped together, their faces glowing with ecstasy, the braintrusters, vested in academic robes, sang the magical incantation, the great discovery of Lord Keynes: "We owe it to ourselves."

With five talismanic words, the planners had disposed of the problem of deficit spending…. Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect…

After being pinned to the wall in such eloquent fashion like a rare butterfly, you would think the conceit that "We owe the national debt to ourselves" would have been long retired to some museum of rhetorical antiquities. But no, we find that even today the doctrine is still vigorously alive, at least in the mind of Paul Krugman, the lunatic columnist of the New York Times who has just published another 300-page volume that can be digested into three words: "Spend, spend, spend" -- the government, that is.

I admit I stopped reading Krugman a long time ago. You can only listen to a one-track mind for so long before it loses any further informational value. It all reminds me of the scene in Woody Allen'sTake the Money and Run where Virgil Starkwell, the inept career bank robber, drops a rock on the foot of a prison guard and is "locked in solitary confinement for a week with an insurance salesman" whom we last see disappearing into the hole with Woody propounding, "Now you're gonna need life. I think term would be best. Then we're going to want to cover you for accidents.…" That's what Paul Krugman sound like.

Fortunately, the New York Post's Kyle Smith has stuck his head into the maelstrom and reports in his Sunday column last week what Krugman is up to these days. Wouldn't you know, he finds the Nobel Laureate still flogging that same 1930s horse:
"People think of debt's role in the economy as if it were the same as what debt means for an individual: There's a lot of money you have to pay to someone else. But that's all wrong; the debt we create is basically money we owe to ourselves, and the burden it imposes does not involve a real transfer of resources."
In actuality, "We owe it to ourselves" is one of those deceiving little pieces of rhetoric whereby liberals put their arm around you and pat you on the back while picking your pocket. Let's try an illustration. Imagine for a moment that you have taken out a 30-year mortgage on a house and owe the bank $300,000. Two years into your payments you lose some of your income and start falling behind. After three months the bank sends you a note saying that if the situation isn't straightened out within another three months, they may have to foreclose.

Do you think it would be possible to go into the vice president's office, put your arm around his shoulder and say, "Look, what's the difference whether I pay you or not? I mean, we owe it to ourselves, don't we?"

The bond market is not an abstraction. It is a group of people who have loaned money to the government. As creditors, they are acutely aware of the unspoken words at the end of "We owe it to ourselves," which are, "We owe it to ourselves, therefore we really don't have to pay it back."

Wisconsin Unions in Decline

by Robert Costa
June 1, 2012

Regardless of whether Governor Scott Walker survives Tuesday’s recall election, Wisconsin’s public-employee unions are likely to see their power continue to decline.

According to the Wall Street Journal, government unions in the Badger State have “experienced a dramatic drop in membership” since Walker and GOP lawmakers passed a package of reforms last year, including ones curbing collective-bargaining rights and ending mandatory union membership.

Labor unions are being crippled by the elimination of automatic dues withholding, a practice that had enriched the unions’ coffers. Thousands of state workers are simply refusing to contribute; others are leaving public-sector jobs.

“You see it especially among teachers, where there is a feeling that it doesn’t make sense to keep working under the new rules,” says Paul M. Secunda, an associate professor at Marquette University Law School. Indeed, according to the Journal, the American Federation of Teachers–Wisconsin, a labor organization representing 17,000 public-school teachers, has seen 6,000 members leave its ranks.

But the biggest drop has been in the Wisconsin chapter of AFSCME, the powerful union that represents state, county, and municipal workers. In the past year, more than 30,000 members have deserted the collective.

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