Archive for the ‘socialism’ Category

Dick Morris On Obama’s Economy, Socialism

March 25, 2009

Does President Obama truly believe that he can castigate and condemn Wall Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and then secure its cooperation on the other days of the week?

Does he not understand that when he ignites a public furor over AIG bonuses and then incites Congress to pass a punitive tax, he sends shivers down the spines of every other corporate executive who makes a lot of money?

Does he seriously believe that Wall Street investors will not worry that their winnings, should they join the Treasury as partners in risky investments, would be subject to public abuse, publicity and confiscatory taxation?

Of course he realizes that his rhetoric makes it unlikely that his program will succeed. He obviously gets it that the entire concept of a public-private partnership is impossible amid a climate of waging class warfare, taxing the rich and heaping contempt on anyone who makes money. The president is quite bright and certainly understands that you cannot shake hands with your right while you launch a roundhouse with your left.

So why does Obama persist in his aggressive rhetoric? Why does he continue to treat Wall Street as something out of Dante’s Inferno?

Because he’s just not that into you! He doesn’t really care if the public-private partnerships work out.

He sends Geithner out to announce the program because he doesn’t want to make it his own. When he announces a stimulus plan or a new spending bill, it’s Obama’s moment before the teleprompter. But the public-private partnerships he leaves to his Treasury secretary to announce.

The most rational explanation for Obama’s puzzling conduct — sabotaging his own program by way of his own rhetoric — is that he truly wants to be forced to nationalize the banks in pursuit of his ultimate goal of a socialist economy.

Obama has to oppose nationalization today in order to achieve it tomorrow. He has to show the country and the world that he is doing all he can to help the private sector to sort things out with government help. He must ostentatiously invite the hated demons of Wall Street to join him in rescuing the banks in order, later, to say that he did his best to avoid having to take over the banks. Only then will nationalization be an acceptable alternative — when he has run out of other options.

Meanwhile, he makes sure the private sector won’t play ball by going after their bonuses, sending an implicit message to the other executives on Wall Street that reads: Stay away.

Even when he takes over the banks, as he almost inevitably will, he is going to have to dress up the nationalization as a temporary measure forced on him by the economy and the previously unrealized depth of the problem. He will cite the example of Sweden, where the government nationalized the banks only temporarily and returned them to private hands quickly.

You can’t be for nationalization. But Obama hopes to accomplish it nonetheless.

Already, in the TARP and TALF programs, we can see how eager he is to use government power to manipulate the once-private sector. Consider the mandates piling up on any financial institution that takes government funds: limits on executive pay, corporate travel and conferences; a strong Buy American recommendation; and aggressive action to get them to make consumer loans. Can affirmative action, low-income lending and diversity outreach be far behind?

If Obama can bring banks and the healthcare industry under government control, we will have de facto socialism. Is this Obama’s goal? It is obviously where he is headed.

Is Obama a socialist? Rather than throw around labels, let’s do the math. The best measure of whether an economy is government- or private sector-oriented is the percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) that flows through government expenditure. Before the current fiscal crisis, the major nations stacked up as shown in the chart on page 27.

Obama’s stimulus package, alone, comes to about 6 percent of GDP, vaulting the United States past Japan to 40 percent on the list above. If we add in the extra spending in the supplemental appropriations bill and the likely increases for healthcare, the total government percentage will rise well past 40 percent and probably close in on the United Kingdom’s 43.

That’s pretty socialistic, but Obama has three more years to get us up around Germany and really ruin our economy!

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Obama: Press Conference Hints at Class Warfare

March 25, 2009

We’re sorry, Dear, that this is so tough.

I wonder what Putin is thinking.

Those are my basic reactions to Barack Obama’s second White House press conference, March 24, 2009.

We have a long way to go.

Actually, we already know what China thinks.

Their Premier is worried about the solvency of the United States and their Ben Bernanke wants another currency — not the dollar — in reserve.

The president said just about a week ago that we needed confidence to get us out of our depression.

But how does the president himself express confidence?

With a telepromter.  And Tiny Tim Geithner.

“There were no smiles on Tuesday night, no memorable moments, no attempt by the president to capture the sense of drama or anticipation that has surrounded prime-time news conferences by prior White House occupants,” wrote Peter Wallsten for the Chicago Tribune, Obama’s home newspaper.

Wallsten also noticed something I saw: the president was speaking mostly to people who will get money from him.  This is now “Love me because I am the give away president.”

Obama as crack dealer.  That’s where we are.

Said Peter Wallsten for the Chicago Tribune: “He passed over reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, opting instead to call on correspondents from Univision, Ebony magazine and Stars and Stripes. He did call on some of the traditional networks, but he did not seem to bring any special energy to answering their questions.”

I saw this as an avoidance of tax payers and an embracing of tax money getters.

More class warfare.  Right in the White House. Or rather, all the way left in the White House.

The president was shut out last night — and not by the reporters.

He beat himself.

Pollster Frank Luntz sat with a cross-section of American voters during the news conference and had this to report.

“They want him to succeed but they don’t agree with his policies.”

Related:
President, Congress, Media “Vacant” in Time of Crisis

Obama Throws In The Towel

 After Leno, Laughter on “60 Minutes,” Boredom From “No Drama” Obama

Obama Once Ruled the Media: Now He Wants To Reach You With Less Of Them

****************

From the Chicago Tribune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw
orld/chi-obama-assess_wedmar25,0,5733169.story

*******************

Washington Post writer Tom Shales still called President Obama “President Wonderful.”

But he wrote:

It looked as though Obama was hampered by a technical dislocation or two. He began with an opening statement — too long an opening statement, as it happens — but one that seemed longer because something seemed to be wrong with the prompting device, which reportedly had been relocated to the back of the room. Obama was not looking squarely into the camera the way he usually does when talking to us “folks at home.” He wasn’t making eye contact as effectively as usual; in fact his eyes looked a little blurry and weary. His delivery was also somewhat halting at times.

Yes, they are little things, the hesitancy in his speech pattern, the prompter and the president’s gaze. But the little things in a presidential appearance add up to the big thing of How He Did and whether he came out of the event in better, worse or the same shape as when he went into it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2009/03/24/
AR2009032403933.html

Geithner Wants To Seize Troubled Businesses: “By What Authority in the Constitution?”

March 24, 2009

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today to identify where in the constitution one could find authority governing his idea for seizing a trioubled bank to preserve our national economy.

Geithner said, “It’s the law of the land.  We get our authority from Congress.”

Bachmann’s question was meaningful, in fact, central to much of the recent debate in the congress.  By what authority are we doing all this movement toward socialism and central government planning?  Just because we don’t like the economy, doesn’t mean we can st pay standards for executives, tax them at 90% and seize troublesome businesses.

Bachmann said later on the Fox News Channel she fears a “lurch toward socialism.”

Geithner and Bernanke 
Treasury Secretary Geithner (left) and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at the House Financial Services Committee today (AP)

*****************

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked Congress on Tuesday for broad new powers to regulate nonbank financial companies like troubled insurer American International Group whose collapse could jeopardize the economy.

“AIG highlights broad failures of our financial system,” Geithner told the House Financial Services Committee. “We must ensure that our country never faces this situation again.”

At the same time, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke revealed that he had considered filing suit to keep AIG from paying millions in executive bonuses but that his legal advisers counseled him against it.

Geithner acknowledged that the current climate of anger, including the furor over those retention bonuses, will complicate any effort by the Obama administration to get more bailout money from Congress. “We recognize it will be extraordinarily difficult,” he said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20
090324/ap_on_bi_ge/bailout_
bernanke_geithner

Grassley: Stop the ‘socialist’ trend

March 24, 2009

The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee on Monday said an across-the-board freeze on federal spending is needed to reel in President Obama´s massive budget plan, signaling a more active Republican stance in fighting the president’s agenda.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, also said the president is pursuing a “socialist” form of government that will stifle the free market.

Mr. Grassley told editors and reporters at The Washington Times that a spending freeze is necessary to get the federal deficit under control and to show voters that the government is capable of living within its means in hard times.

“What you get when you have an across-the-board freeze is everybody is seen as contributing something,” Mr. Grassley said.

“Congressmen don’t get an increase in [pay], government pensions don’t go up, you don’t charge senior citizens more for their Medicare premium than you did the year before,” he said, adding that a three-year freeze would produce a more dramatic effect.

As the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, Mr. Grassley figures to play a central role in the fate of some of the president’s top priorities, including tax reform, health care and energy. Mr. Grassley’s collegial relations with Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, only increases his clout.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news
/2009/mar/24/grassley-urges-budget-
freeze-on-socialist-trend/

Can American Capitalism Survive?

March 23, 2009

The story of American capitalism is, among other things, a love-hate relationship. We go through cycles of self-congratulation, revulsion and revision. Just when the latest onset of revulsion and revision began is unclear. Was it when Lehman Brothers collapsed? Or when General Motors pleaded for federal subsidies? Or now, when AIG’s bonuses stir outrage? No matter. Capitalism is under siege, its future unclear.

By Robert J. Samuelson
The Washington Post

Schumpeter, one of the 20th century’s eminent economists, believed that capitalism sowed the seeds of its own destruction. Its chief virtue was long-term — the capacity to increase wealth and living standards. But short-term politics would fixate on its flaws — instability, unemployment, inequality. Capitalist prosperity also created an oppositional class of “intellectuals” who would nurture popular discontents and disparage values (self-enrichment, risk-taking) necessary for economic success.

….

Successful capitalism presupposes three conditions: first, the legitimacy of the profit motive — the ability to do well, even fabulously; second, widespread markets that mediate success and failure; and finally, a legal and political system that, aside from establishing property and contractual rights, also creates public acceptance. Note that the last condition modifies the first two, because government can — through taxes, laws and regulations — weaken the profit motive and interfere with markets.

….

Still, the present populist backlash may not end well. The parade of big companies to Washington for rescues, as well as the high-profile examples of unvarnished greed, has spawned understandable anger that could veer into destructive retribution. Congressmen love extravagant and televised displays of self-righteous indignation. The AIG hearing last week often seemed a political gang beating.
If companies need to be rescued from “the market,” why shouldn’t Washington permanently run the market? That’s a dangerous mindset. It justifies punitive taxes, widespread corporate mandates, selective subsidies and meddling in firms’ everyday operations (think the present anti-bonus tax bill). Older and politically powerful companies may benefit at the expense of newer firms. Innovation and investment may be funneled into fashionable but economically dubious projects (think ethanol).

Government inevitably expands in times of economic breakdown…..

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co
ntent/article/2009/03/22/AR200903220
1507.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Did ACORN Organize Protests At Homes of AIG Execs?

March 22, 2009

On Saturday reporter John Christofferson wrote for the Associated Press that protesters had gone to the homes of AIG executives to make their displeasure known on the bonus issue.

One of our readers commented on the article that the reporter should get an “F” for not pointing out who these people were.

“‘Activists’ ? Who are they? Who organized them? Who paid for the bus ? These are not deep investigative questions. He certainly got the names of the executives and towns easily enough. This is selective journalism at its worst.”

Social Unrest: Hurt by Economy, Europeans Vent Their Anger

We pulled the thread on this and found several sources that confirmed that ACORN (the Association of Community Reform Organizations) engineerd these protests.

We also found out that reporters vastly outnumered the ACORN protesters…

Why would a far left organization so closely tied to Barack Obama feel the need to invade the neighborhoods of the AIG executives after the House of Representatives already made it clear they wanted to get back 90% of these guys’ “bonus” money?

Related:
Protesters At Homes Of AIG Execs (Organized by ACORN?)

Protesters At Homes of AIG Execs Similar To Lawlessness For UK Bank Exec?

Inside Obama’s ACORN
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=N
DZiMjkwMDczZWI5ODdjOWYxZTIzZGIy
NzEyMjE0ODI
=

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From:

Nice Deb

While the tea parties, (which are popping up all over the country, drawing hundreds and even thousands of people every week), are attracting scarce attention from the media, a motley troupe of 40 ACORN malcontents that go by the name of the Connecticut Working Families Party attracted dozens of reporters from around the world for their protest of AIG working family homes, today:

I’ve been to three tea parties so far, all of which were considerably larger than this sad little  exercise in class envy. Only the last one was covered by anyone in the MSM; one lone reporter from the local Fox affiliate.

But the AIG bonuses are apparently what the media insists we  be outraged about, not the insane spending spree Obama and the Dems in Congress have been on. I could have worked up a little indignation over the bonuses, myself,  but all of the maudlin emoting that came out of Congress, and the White House over them, knocked it right out of me.

Not so with CT Working Families Party.

http://nicedeb.wordpress.com
/2009/03/21/acorn-aig-protest-fail/

See also:
http://sweetness-light.com/archi
ve/acorn-behind-protests-at-aig-ct-homes

http://faustasblog.com/?p=10979

http://pjmiller.wordpress.com/
2009/03/22/anger-militancy-and-riots/

The activist group ACORN provided liberal causes with protest-for-hire services and coerced donations from the targets of demonstrations through a mob-style “protection” racket, according to one of their former lawyers. 

ACORN called it the “muscle for the money” program….

See:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/n
ews/2009/mar/19/hill-panel-testi
mony-to-accuse-acorn-of-mob-tactic/

Visit Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/23/this-court-brought-to-y
ou-byacorn/

Resistance grows to Obama’s bigger government

March 22, 2009

“We’re in the midst of a huge political battle, which is being obscured behind a financial crisis,” said Bruce Kogut, professor of ethics and corporate governance at Columbia University. “If the financial crisis wasn’t here we’d be having this battle anyway.”

“The question I think we need to figure out as a country is what is the proper role of government?” said David Moss, professor of economic history at Harvard Business School.

By Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters

Regulation of the financial system to contain risk has not been adequate or effective, he said. “So on the financial front we want to try to find a Goldilocks scenario of not too much and not too little.”

Obama administration officials have had to fend off accusations they were too easy on the financial industry, after the insurance giant AIG paid out millions of dollars in bonuses after accepting billions of dollars in taxpayer funds.

CHARGES OF SOCIALISM

Airing charges of socialism, opponents have sought to turn public opinion against Obama’s big spending policies, including a record $3.55 trillion budget proposed for next year and a $787 billion economic stimulus package.

In the United States calling someone a socialist is often an insult, striking at the heart of American individualism and raising the fear of government fingers in everyone’s business.

The word’s powerful negative connotation prompted Obama to call The New York Times back after an interview to belatedly respond to a question on whether he was a socialist.

“It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question,” Obama said, defending his policies as consistent with free-market principles.

“The fact that we’ve had to take these extraordinary measures and intervene is not an indication of my ideological preference, but an indication of the degree to which lax regulation and extravagant risk-taking has precipitated a crisis,” he said.

Read it all:
http://www.reuters.com/article/n
ewsOne/idUSTRE52L0J820090322

AIG Bonus Caper Demonstrates Obama Administration Weak Thinking

March 17, 2009

President Obama’s apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda.

By Michael D. Shear and Paul Kane
The Washington Post
Politicians in both parties flocked to express outrage over $165 million in bonuses paid out to executives at the company, demanding answers from the president and swamping yesterday’s rollout of his efforts to spark lending to small businesses.

The populist anger at the executives who ran their firms into the ground is increasingly blowing back on Obama, whom aides yesterday described as having little recourse in the face of legal contracts that guaranteed those bonuses.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, peppered with questions about why the president had not done more to block the bonuses at a company that has received $170 billion in taxpayer funds, struggled for an answer yesterday afternoon. He explained that government lawyers are “looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients.”

Obama himself sought to channel the public’s sense of disbelief yesterday. “How do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?” he said, declaring the bonuses an “outrage” that violate “fundamental values.”
White House aides grasped for actions that could soothe sentiment on Main Street and in the halls of Congress, where the fate of the new president’s sweeping agendas on health care, climate change and education will be decided. They suggested that the government will use its latest pledged installment of $30 billion for the ailing company to recover the millions in bonuses paid Friday.

But the damage control did not seem to satisfy incredulous lawmakers in both parties, who said the image of financial executives taking huge bonuses from a taxpayer-funded rescue puts the president in a politically impossible position.

“I warned them this would be met with an unprecedented level of outrage,”  Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), the chairman of the banking committee and part of a group of senators who pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to stop the bonuses, said yesterday.

House  Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said the bonus issue added to his belief that there will be almost no Republican support for any expansion of a bank-bailout program that passed Congress last fall with broad bipartisan support.

“What is the government’s exit strategy from this sweeping involvement in private business?” he asked in a statement, adding that “taxpayers are not receiving an adequate accounting from either the Treasury or the management of the companies that received taxpayer funds. Unfortunately, we have not yet seen such a plan.”

The rhetoric grew so heated yesterday that  Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) suggested in a radio interview that AIG executives ought to “follow the Japanese model . . . resign, or go commit suicide.” An aide later explained he does not actually want executives to kill themselves.

More than 80 House Democrats signed a letter demanding that the money used to pay the bonuses be recouped from AIG. New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he will subpoena the Manhattan-based company, seeking data documenting who received the bonuses and the justification for them.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/03/16/AR200903160064
0.html?hpid=topnews

Related:
Why Taxpayers Should Pay the AIG Bonuses; Obama is Dead Wrong On This

Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”

March 16, 2009

The world really is heading toward a more socialist utopia: make no mistake about that.

Mauricio Funes, a former television reporter, declared himself the winner before F.M.L.N. campaign workers chanting “yes, we could” at the Sheraton Hotel as supporters on the street waved flags and honked car horns in celebration.

“This is the happiest night of my life,” Mr. Funes said. “And I hope it is also the night of greatest hope for El Salvador.”

Funes’ victory ended a 20-year hold on the presidency by the right-leaning ARENA.

“Now the ARENA party passes into opposition,” Funes said. “ARENA … can be assured that it will be listened to and respected.”

El Salvador now has everything many of its neighbors, even its notable northern neighbor, has: bipartisanship, transparency, hope, “yes we can,” and socialism.

El Salvador joins other Latin American countries that have elected leftist leaders in recent years — Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and Brazil.

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/
17/world/americas/17salvador.ht
ml?_r=1&hp

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WOR
LD/americas/03/15/el.salvador.ele
ction/index.html

“If socialism signifies a political and economic system in which the government controls a large part of the economy and redistributes wealth to produce social equality, then I think it is safe to say the likelihood of its making a comeback any time in the next generation is close to zero,” wrote Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History, in Time magazine in 2000.

Socialism Is Alive in Europe:
http://www.newstatesman.com/eu
rope/2008/12/socialist-party-socialism

For Obama, Crisis is a Really Good Thing

March 16, 2009

After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Roosevelt didn’t also declare a crisis in health care, the environment, education, our energy supply and other fibers of the national fabric.

Obama did.

Suddenly, when faced with a huge financial and economic crisis, we needed a total overhaul of health care in order to survive.  Health care costs are the reason the economy is a mess.

Same for education: without a better (and much more costly federalized) system, our future is bleak.

“Never waste a good crisis” has become the semi-official motto of the Obama administration.

Rahm Emanuel and Team Obama say: Open that can of worms.

But when Obama’s gloom and doom about the economy prompted others to say maybe we should prioritize and focus more on the economy and wait on health care and these other projects, President Obama now says the crisis is “not as bad as we think.”

He even trotted out Rosy Romer and a bunch of others on the Sunday talk shows to tell us so.

So lets wait.  Lets’s wait to see if the economy is improving before we bet the kids’ future by spending all the borrowed money we can muster to fix health care and everything else.

If Bernanke is right and the rebound is ahead this year: show me.

Or tell me how, when and by whom this humongous tax and debt bill will be repaid?

The thing about a crisis is: it really can be a can of worms if it is handled without measured steps.  By opening the current economic can of worms with a full throttle assault on America’s former self and proposing what is really a wholesale change to socialism, the president may have bitten off too many worms at once.

The “Tea Party Protests” are just the first sign of trouble….

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/1
6/no-duh-white-house-worried-abou
t-bailout-backlash/

Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

On Bernanke: Recession Will End This Year
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
316/ap_on_bi_ge/bernanke60_minutes

******

Washington Times Editorial:
Crisis is Obama’s Mantra
http://www.washingtontimes.com/
news/2009/mar/16/obamanomics/

Obama Can’t Govern Until He Kills More Positions
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB12
3716137102835601.html

 Obama’s TV Talking Heads: Sunday Surrogate Disaster