A Clueless White House

It’s day 58 of the Gulf oil spill and the President still has no idea what he’s doing. I’m not blaming him for the disaster, nor am I suggesting that he should be out there scrubbing oil off the sand. (Courtesies never extended to Bush after Katrina.) However, this crisis has reaffirmed what many of us have known and been saying all along: Barack Obama does not know what he’s doing.

What more could you expect from someone who has never run ANYTHING in his entire life? He has had ZERO executive experience during his brief and unimpressive career. All he has ever done is organize communities (extreme social activism bent on causing chaos, à la Saul Alinsky) and campaigned for state and U.S. senate, where he hardly ever showed up to cast a vote. He’s never headed up a major corporation or run even the smallest local government, and does anyone really think the Oval Office is the place for on-the-job training?

During these last 58 days, Obama has shown no ability to see America through a crisis. When the livelihoods of so many are at stake — as well as the Gulf’s precious beaches, marshes, and marine life — he has been out golfing every other day, or sending lawyers to the coast, or blaming Bush, or going on vacation, or seizing this as an opportunity to push forward a crippling energy tax on America’s economy — none of which do anything to stop a single drop of oil from polluting the Gulf or cleaning up what has already been spilled. When he should have been leading the way by working with the experts in the oil industry in stopping oil from pouring into the ocean, as well as assuring the country that he is in control, he has only worked to establish (yet another) commission to study why and how the disaster occurred, pushed for global warming legislation, and initiated a criminal investigation and possible prosecution of BP. Seriously?

I’m not alone in my assessment either. Even the most radical liberals in the media are finally starting to take note. In the wake of his grossly belated Presidential address from the Oval Office last night, the talking heads at MSNBC had nothing positive to say about either this speech specifically or Obama’s leadership during this crisis in general. Up until now, the only time the liberal media criticized Obama for anything was when he wasn’t being liberal enough in his policies. But during this significant crisis even the most staunch, card-carrying progressive wacko can see just how inept Obama truly is. Teleprompters, politics, blaming others, and speeches can never replace executive aptitude or command, and his response to the Gulf oil spill proves it.

What can we learn from this episode in our nation’s history? I have enumerated the following list of thoughts, which may grow over time as the crisis continues to unfold:

  1. Barack Obama is not a leader. Good speaker? Maybe. (Assuming he has a functional teleprompter handy.) Charismatic personality? Perhaps. Leader? No. Sadly, we have a child playing the role of President, someone who is totally incompetent and unqualified to occupy the office and perform its duties.
  2. This administration will take advantage of any crisis to cram an ultra-liberal/progressive legislative agenda down a reluctant America’s throat. They did it with housing crisis. They did it with health care crisis. They did it with the recession. And they’ll keep doing it every chance they get. (Never forget what Rahm Emanuel said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”)
  3. The Federal government cannot be relied upon for everything. The response has been slow and mismanaged from the beginning. Sadly, this is the same Federal government that wants to manage EVERY aspect of your, and my, daily lives. A big, bloated government only makes things more difficult. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House, as well as the Coast Guard, have been putting out confusing and contradictory statements since the disaster began.
  4. Federal regulation does not guarantee quality or safety. Is there a more heavily regulated industry than the oil industry? Yet this disaster still occurred. In the end, you can never completely avoid freak disasters, and over-regulation only makes things more difficult and complicated and in the end hurts the consumer.
  5. The enviro-left shares as much blame for this disaster as BP. Why are we drilling for oil in mile deep water when there is oil that is much easier to access? I think you already know the answer.

What should be done? I think the Heritage Foundation has some good ideas (as they always do). But what can we do about it? The best we can do is take advantage of this November’s elections to replace the folks in Congress that have given Obama a free pass to push forward such a destructive agenda, minimize the damage of the second half of his term in office, and get him the heck out of there in 2014 by replacing him with someone who has a clue, shares genuine American values, and adheres to and cherishes the Constitution.

Dispelling Some Myths About Social Security

Recently I received a political email forward from a friend concerning Social Security. The whole point of the email was to demonstrate the evils of Social Security and that the Democrats are solely to blame for them all. Now anyone who has been on this site before knows that criticism of the progressive left is a regular feature on this blog. But, in the interest of objectivity, I did some looking into the assertions of this forward in order to get to the truth of it.

I asked a close friend who teaches U.S. History to look into the matter for me. He emailed some questions to a certain scholar from Stanford who is an authority on U.S. History, particularly during the Depression and WWII eras. Here is the content of their correspondence (answers in blue):

What is the the level of accuracy of these statements concerning the history of social security?

1.) That, in the beginning, it was promised that participation in the Program would be completely voluntary? I HAVE NEVER HEARD THIS. THERE MAY BE SOME ROOM FOR ARGUMENT ABOUT “THE BEGINNING,” SINCE THE FIRST FORMAL PROPOSALS FOR OLD-AGE PENSIONS WERE IN THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY PLATFORM OF 1912 (A DOCUMENT YOU CAN FIND ON-LINE). BUT THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC SECURITY THAT FDR APPOINTED TO DRAFT THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT PRESUMED FROM THE OUTSET THAT COVERAGE WOULD BE AS CLOSE TO UNIVERSAL AS POSSIBLE, AND THEREFORE OBLIGATORY FOR WHOMEVER WAS TO BE COVERED.

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program? THE 1% TAX IS CORRECT WITH RESPECT TO THE OLD-AGE PENSIONS PART OF THE ACT. (ONLY EMPLOYERS PAID INTO THE UNEMPLOYMENT FUND, THE OTHER MAJOR PIECE OF THE LEGISLATION). OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE $1400 CEILING, BUT THAT NUMBER WAS APPROXIMATELY THE AVERAGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN 1935. See: http://www.bls.gov/opub/uscs/1934-36.pdf

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year? IT WAS NEVER DEDUCTIBLE

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the
general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program? NO MONEY FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM WAS EVER DIRECTLY ALLOCATED TO GENERAL TREASURY FUNDS.

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income? SOME FRACTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME WAS TAXED FOR THE FIRST TIME ONLY AFTER LEGISLATION IN THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION YEARS. SEE: http://www.ssa.gov/history/InternetMyths2.html

Don’t misinterpret this blog entry as any kind of defense for government entitlements. Nor am I suggesting that the assertions of this email are entirely untrue. The alarming truth is that big entitlements like Social Security and Medicare (with their $45+ TRILLION in unfunded obligations), along with the national debt and skyrocketing deficits, are literally bankrupting America for generations to come. My interest, however, is in the truth, and that means thinking about accusations before making them.

So my charge to you is to think before you forward. Don’t send emails just because they appear damning to your political opposition, even if they are partially, or even mostly, true.