Monday, 27 October 2008
IS BARACK OBAMA A SOCIALIST?
I hate when terms like "socialist" are tossed around
during a campaign. Usually they are just examples of overheated rhetoric, apropos of
nothing, which make the people using them sound ridiculous.
And, until now, that is how I have felt about the increasingly large chorus of Obama critics who characterized
him as a socialist - in no small part because he told "Joe the
plumber" that he would like to "spread the wealth around". I took Mr. Obama's
comment to mean that he wanted a larger number of people
to be able to acquire wealth - something I wholeheartedly
But what if there were an audio tape of Barack
Obama being interviewed on Chicago public radio, during which he
specifically indicated he was a socialist?
What if, during that interview, Mr. Obama stated his desire to redistribute wealth (not "spread
the wealth around", but literally redistribute it), which means take from the
producers and hand over to the non-producers?
What do you call that, folks?
Here is the audio
. Please, please listen for yourself and please read the
commentary provided by www,nakedemperornews.com, which appears to be the entity
that uncovered it.
(I assume you are now listening to the entire audio. I
certainly hope you are)
Ok. Now you've heard the interview.
Am I in any way exaggerating what Mr. Obama said? Is there any doubt
about his commitment to redistributing wealth?
Now explain this to me: If www.nakedemperornews.com, and
The Drudge Report, and numerous other internet sources can find this
devastatingly incriminating material, WHY ARE MEDIA SUPPRESSING IT?
They have to be suppressing it, don't they? Because if internet
web sites, with their limited resources, can uncover this
interview, then how is it possible to believe that major media, with its
dramatically greater resources, cannot?
The inescapable conclusion is that, for much of the mainstream media,
there is no journalism during this election, not even an attempt at it.
They are committed to electing Barack Obama, and if the effort requires
burying damaging material about him, then so be it.
It is a disgrace beyond belief - one that will irreparably damage them
long after this election is history.
BARACK OBAMA'S ECONOMIC PROPOSALS
What will happen in Barack Obama is elected and manages to implement his
Jack Kemp and Peter Ferrara, writing for Investors Business Daily, can tell
Of course you can skip it and take Barack Obama's word that
everyone earning less than $250,000 will get a tax cut and his nearly a
trillion dollars in new spending proposals will be funded entirely by rich
people. But if you believe that, you probably also believe that
if Tinkerbell just spreads a little fairy dust we can eliminate the
common cold, so its value will be lost on you anyway.
On the theory that you're not counting on Tinkerbell, here is their
Investors Flee From 'Change' Obama Hypes
By JACK KEMP AND PETER
FERRARA | Posted Monday, October 27, 2008 4:30 PM PT
Are Barack Obama's proposed tax increases
adversely affecting our financial markets? We say yes, unambiguously. The
senator has done a masterful job distracting attention from his tax increases
with his $500-per-worker tax credit supposedly for 95% of Americans.
Obama has also set forth more than half a dozen
additional refundable income tax credits targeted to low- and moderate-income
workers for child care, education, housing, welfare, retirement, health care and
other social purposes.
These tax credits are devised to phase-out based
on income, which will ultimately increase marginal income tax rates for
middle-class workers. In other words, as you earn more, you suffer a penalty in
the phase-out of these credits, which has the exact effect of a marginal tax
rate increase. That harms, rather than improves, the economy.
With the bottom 40% of income earners not paying
any federal income taxes, such tax credits would not reduce any tax liability
for these workers. Instead, since they're refundable, they would involve new
checks from the federal government.
These are not tax cuts as Obama is promising. They
are new government spending programs buried in the tax code and estimated to
cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years.
Obama argues that while these workers do not pay
income taxes, they do pay payroll taxes. True, but his planned credits do not
involve cuts in payroll taxes. They are refundable income tax credits designed
to redistribute income and "spread the wealth."
Meantime, Obama has proposed effective tax
increases of 20% or more in the two top income-tax rates, phasing out the
personal exemptions and all itemized deductions for top earners, as well as
raising their tax rates.
He wants a 33% increase in the tax rates on
capital gains and dividends, an increase of 16% to 32% in the top payroll tax
rate, reinstatement of the death tax with a 45% top rate, and a new payroll tax
on employers estimated at 7% to help finance his health insurance plan. He's
also contending for higher tariffs under his protectionist policies.
Finally, he would increase corporate taxes by 25%,
though American businesses already face the second-highest marginal tax rates in
the industrialized world, thus directly harming manufacturing and job creation
while weakening demand for the dollar.
Obama argues disingenuously that his tax increases
would only affect higher-income workers and "corporate fat cats." But it is
precisely these top marginal tax rates that control incentives for savings,
investment, entrepreneurship, business expansion, jobs and economic growth.
While he wants to tax the rich, the burden will fall on the poor and the middle
In their new book, "The End of Prosperity," Art
Laffer, Steve Moore and Peter Tanous argue that the threat of this tax tsunami
is already destabilizing our financial markets and causing capital flight from
They write, "Hot capital is escaping over the
borders out of the United States and flowing into China, India, Europe, and even
Japan. . . Starting in late 2007, foreigners started pulling their money out of
the United States, and Americans started investing more abroad. Global investors
are losing confidence in the U.S."
The American economy was in shambles when Reagan
entered office in 1981. Inflation had soared by 25% over the prior two years,
unemployment was heading toward 10%, the prime interest rate hit 21%, poverty
was on a 33% upswing and real family income had decreased by almost 10% due to
the stagflation of the late 1970s.
Reagan cut the top income-tax rate from 70% to
50%, adopted an additional 25% across-the-board rate cut and sliced capital
gains taxes in half. The 1986 tax reform left us with just two tax rates of 15%
and 28%. Reagan slashed spending growth, lowered tariffs, reduced regulatory
burdens and promoted anti-inflation monetary policies.
The result, the authors explain, was actually a
25-year, noninflationary economic boom, with only two brief, mild recessions in
1990 and 2001. "We call this period, 1982-2007, the 25-year boom the greatest
period of wealth creation in the history of the planet," they write. "Adjusting
for inflation, more wealth was created in America in the 25-year boom than in
the previous 200 years."
By 1989, the economy had grown by almost
one-third, the equivalent of adding the entire economy of West Germany to our
U.S. economy. In 1984 alone, real economic growth boomed by 6.8%, the highest in
50 years. Nearly 20 million new jobs were created in the 1980s, increasing U.S.
civilian employment by almost 20%. Unemployment fell to 5.3% by 1989.
Spectacularly, inflation was slashed to 3.2% by
1983. The prime rate fell to 6.25% by 1992, even though opponents had argued
that Reagan's tax cuts would increase interest rates. Family income reversed its
decline, poverty reversed its rise and tax revenues actually doubled.
This is the "Change We Need" today.
What you have just seen is a series of logical, reasonable conclusions based
on facts. It therefore has very little in common with Barack Obama's
economic smoke and mirrors.
Please take another good look at what Mr. Kemp and Mr. Ferrara have shown
us. Think about the implications. And then be sure to tell your
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER'S ACCEPTABLE RACISM
The following was published in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer, which was
once a great newspaper. It did not appear in a Black supremacist web site
or Barack Obama's church magazine. It appeared in the Philadelphia
It's for the good of the country and for those
who're bitter for a reason and armed because they're scared.
is editor in chief of the blog
As a lifelong Caucasian, I am beginning to think
the time has finally come to take the right to vote away from white people, at
least until we come to our senses. Seriously, I just don't think we can be
trusted to exercise it responsibly anymore.
I give you Exhibit A: The last eight
In 2000, Bush-Cheney stole the election, got us
attacked, and then got us into two no-exit wars. Four years later, white people
reelected them. Is not the repetition of the same behavior over and over again
with the expectation of a different outcome the very definition of insanity? (It
is, I looked it up.)
Exhibit B is any given Sarah Palin
Exhibit C would be Ed Rendell and John Murtha, who
in separate moments of on-the-record candor they would come to regret, pointing
out that there are plenty of people in Pennsylvania who just cannot bring
themselves to pull the lever for a black man - no matter what they tell
These people are ruining things for the rest of us
white people who are ready to move on. Sure, they have their reasons, chimerical
though they may be: He's a Muslim. He's a terrorist. He's a Muslim terrorist.
He's going to fire all the white people and give their jobs to
But those are just the little white lies
these people allow themselves to be told, a self-induced cognitive dissonance
that lets them avoid saying the unsayable: I cannot pull the lever for a
Hey, some people just aren't ready yet, even the
governor said so. Just like some people aren't ready yet for computers or
setting the clock on the VCR.
Or, to hear Murtha tell it, some people -
specifically some people in Western Pennsylvania - will never be ready. But the
fact is, if you did a statewide head count of racists, you'd find just as many
in eastern Pennsylvania as you would in the western part of the
That's why this ban on white people voting I'm
proposing has got to be statewide. And I'm sorry to say, it's going to have to
include all white people, even those who would vote for Obama, because you can't
just let some white people vote. That would be unfair.
By this point, you either think I am joking or are
calling me an elitist. I assure you I am neither. OK, maybe a little of both.
But it wasn't always like this. I come from the Coal Belt, from that Alabamian
hinterland between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as per James Carville's famous
I am, in fact, just two generations out of the
coal mines that blackened the lungs of my grandfather, leaving him disabled,
despondent and, finally, dead at the ripe old age of 54.
So, understand that I am saying all this for the
good of the country and, in fact, for the good of those hard-working white
people that Hillary used to pander to.
I know those people, I come from them. They are
not some shameful abstract demographic to be brushed under the rug of euphemism
by Wolf Blitzer and his ilk.
I have broken kielbasa with those people. I went
to school with their children. I have gone to Sunday Mass with a deer-hunter
hangover with those people. They are bitter with good reason, and they are armed
because they are scared. They mean well, but they are easily spooked.
I fear for what is to become of them after the
campaigns leave town for the last time, and Scranton and Allentown and Carlisle
go back to being the long dark chicken dance of the national soul they were
before the media showed up.
Is it stupid, clumsy (albeit vicious) satire. Yes, self-evidently.
Is the writer a hall of fame quality jerk and a half? Yes,
Now: does it belong in a major daily newspaper?
Let me answer my own question with another question: Suppose a column
was submitted to the Philadelphia Inquirer suggesting that Blacks should not
vote and citing people like convicted thief Mayor Sharpe James of Newark,
child rapist congressperson Mel Reynolds, congressperson William "$90,000 in the
freezer" Jefferson and a host of other similarly embarrassing Black
people. How likely do you think the Inquirer would be to ever print
That answer is every bit as self-evident as the other two, isn't it?
Although it seems to escape the Philadelphia Inquirer's brain trust (such
as it is), there is a fundamental reality here. Racism is racism,
REGARDLESS of which race it is aimed at. Racism isn't any more acceptable when
used against Whites than it is when used against Blacks, even if the writer
tells us he is White.
A racist is a racist is a racist. A racist by any other name would
smell just as foul. Got it?
What we have here is a third rate writer who read "A Modest Proposal",
Jonathan Swift's satire on eating Irish children, and thinks he can write as
cleverly about denying a race of people the vote.
The problem is, he is still a third rate writer.
And a racist as well.
My congratulations to the Philadelphia Inquirer for proving that, no matter
how low a major daily can go, there is always a further sub-basement to shoot
TED STEVENS: CONVICTED
Republican senator Ted Stevens, one week away from an election that, he
hopes, will give him a 7th term in the U.S. Senate, has been convicted on seven
counts of corruption.
We can carp about the timing of this trial, but it won't change the fact that
he is guilty.
Here are the particulars, courtesy of www.legalnewsline.com:
guilty of all seven corruption counts
WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- A Washington jury
on Monday found U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska guilty of all seven corruption
counts he was charged with over gifts he accepted from an oil industry
contractor but failed to report.
Jurors said Stevens, who is running for
a seventh term, deliberately failed to disclose on mandatory Senate financial
disclosure forms more than $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from the
oil company VECO and its chief executive officer, Bill Allen.
The jury of
eight women and four men deliberated for five hours Monday before returning the
The verdicts stemmed from a four-year federal
investigation and a three-week trial that featured 24 government witnesses and
28 defense witnesses.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has
delayed sentencing for the longtime Alaska senator, who was indicted by federal
grand jury in July.
Despite his conviction, Stevens, 84, is not required
to drop out of his Senate race or resign his seat.
If he wins his
re-election race against Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, Stevens can
continue to hold his seat because there is no rule barring convicted felons from
serving in Congress. The Senate, however, could vote to expel Stevens on a
Stevens is the first sitting U.S. senator convicted of a
felony since 1981, when Sen. Harrison Williams Jr, D-N.J., was convicted on
bribery and conspiracy charges.
Stevens is the longest serving Republican
senator in U.S. history. He was appointed to the Senate in 1968, won a special
election to the seat two years later, and has been re-elected since.
the federal investigation, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a fellow Republican, urged
Stevens to tell Alaskans why he was the target of a federal corruption
Palin, who is now the Republican vice presidential
nominee, said at the time that among her concerns is the perception that Alaska
is a place where legislators may be bought.
Incredibly, Stevens not only is able to continue in the Senate, but possibly
(though improbably I would think) can win re-election next week.
If these convictions do not cause Alaskans to dump Stevens it's hard to
imagine what could. But if he should win, the honorable thing to do would
be to resign as soon as Governor Palin is legally allowed to replace him.
Then again, why would anyone think he'd do that? After all, consider
who are we expecting to be honorable.
BARACK OBAMA'S SOCIALISM: BLACKOUT ON THE NETWORK MORNING SHOWS
How far in the Obama tank are the major networks?
Mark Finkelstein of www.newsbusters.org monitored the three
netowork morning shows to monitor their coverage of the interview
Barack Obama had on Chicago Public Radio, in which he specifically espoused
redistribution of wealth (i.e. socialism).
(In case you haven't heard the audio tape, just click below).
Here is Mark's report on how the NBC Today Show, CBS Early Show and ABC Good
Morning America handled it:
Broadcast Morning Shows Bury
Obama Redistributionist Radio Rap
Imagine that a week before a
presidential election, a radio interview surfaced in which the Republican
candidate had called for, say, the abolition of Social Security. Now imagine the
broadcast networks' reaction to that nugget: "We interrupt regularly-scheduled
programming for this Breaking News," followed by 24/7 coverage with talking
heads pondering the devastating impact on America's seniors, the overall
economy, the future of Western civilization, etc. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman
would be booked from now till election day, offering his pained
But how do those same networks react when a radio
interview [YouTube after the jump] surfaces of Barack Obama in a call for the
redistribution of wealth, in which he laments the Supreme Court's insufficient
radicalism in pursuing redistribution and refers to the civil rights movement's
failure to develop a better strategy to bring about wealth redistribution as a
Insert cricket-chirp soundtrack here.
When, awakening, I saw the
story up on Drudge, I made it a point to monitor the crucial first half-hour of
Today, Good Morning America, and the Early Show, to see how much coverage they
devoted to the radio interview. Results:
- Today Show: zilch
- Good Morning America: zip
- The Early Show: nada
What makes you madder: the networks' burying of
the story, or the fact that their deep-sixing of it was so
Note: While I was off watching the broadcast
networks, my NB colleage P. J. Gladnick, who was on this story early, and has also
detailed the Kossacks panicky reaction to
it, noted that Morning Joe, on cable-network MSNBC, did get into a discussion of
the issue during its second hour. We'll update later with details.
Update: Mika Suggests Obama Using
If NBC, along with the other broadcast networks,
was too timid to broach the radio interview, over on MSNBC Morning Joe was not.
Mika Brzezinski went so far as to suggest to Obama surrogate Sen. Claire
McCaskill (D-Mo.) that Obama's redistributionist rap amounted to "Marxist
dialect." McCaskill claimed that all Obama was talking about was changes to the
tax code. Either she hadn't read the radio transcript or she was, let's say,
fibbing. In the interview, Obama advocated nothing less than a radical
reinterpretation of the Constitution.
View video here.
PS: we wish Mika well
in her debate/discussion this evening at Fairfield University with Monica
Crowley. Contrary to a newspaper report
that she would "represent" Obama, a university official has contacted me to
state that while Mika "in general, she holds a liberal political view," she will
not be representing any candidate but will instead share her "wisdom, experience
Note Not Income Redistribution, Wealth
Redistribution: Be Very Afraid
My first edition of this item spoke of Obama's
support for redistribution of income. But then I saw a reader speak of
redistribution of "wealth." I went back and checked, and sure enough, that's
what Obama said in the radio interview. And now that I think of it, of course he
also told Joe the Plumber he wants to "spread the wealth" around.
As bad as income redistribution is, it pales in
comparison to wealth redistribution. Income is what people earn. Income
redistribution comes about through steeply progressive income taxes. Wealth is
what people accumulate over the course of a lifetime of earning. Wealth
redistribution implies nothing less than government confiscation of the nest
eggs people have labored all their lives to build up. Be very afraid.
And don't think it can't happen. After all, Barack
"Citizen of the World" Obama looks to Europe for inspiration. A number of
European countries have a "wealth tax" in which people are required to annually
pay a percentage of their net worth--on accumulated wealth that was of course
already taxed at the time it was earned. Extra credit to France for its
socialistic name for the levy: the "solidarity tax" on wealth. Vive la
Excerpt from transcript of Obama's 2001
interview with Chicago public radio station WBEZ [via Power Line]:
If you look at the
victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy
in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously
dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be
able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it Id
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the
issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of
political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as
people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasnt that radical.
It didnt break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the
founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted, and
the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution
is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states cant do to you, it
says what the federal government cant do to you, but it doesnt say what the
federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that
One of the I think tragedies of the civil
rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court
focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and
community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together
the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed
change and in some ways we still suffer from that.
Is that clear enough for you? The Democratic candidate for President of
the United States is found, on an audio-taped radio interview to support
classic socialism. His voice, his words. And the three
network morning shows bury it. Every one of them.
Now that an internet firestorm has erupted over this and, I am told, Rush
Limbaugh led with it on his show, is it possible that the networks' evening news
shows will continue to bury this information to keep their viewers as ignorant
of it as possible until election day?
It will be interesting to see.