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Balancing The Federal Budget Today

By Da King Published: February 27, 2009

Every American presidential administration comes up with a plan to balance the federal budget. The plan is almost always the same. It is a long range plan that will take many years to accomplish, usually ending after the administration proposing it is out of office. Then, when the balanced budget plan fails, the administration can say "hey, we had a plan in place," but the new administration (usually of the opposite party) ruined it."

I've been listening to this song and dance for decades, and only one administration ever achieved a balanced budget, Bill Clinton's. It took him six years to accomplish it, and even Clinton left a huge net federal debt, in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion.

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What A Difference A Day Makes

By Da King Published: February 26, 2009

During tuesday's speech to Congress, President Barack Obama spoke of the need for fiscal responsibility, eliminating wasteful government spending, and cutting the deficit in half, among other things. Republicans and Democrats alike cheered. Sitting directly behind Obama was Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who appeared positively ecstatic with our new President (was I the only one creeped out by Pelosi's cult-like rapture ?) In particular, the Republican side of the aisle cheered (derisively ?) when Obama made a pledge to reduce spending. We'll get back to that in a minute.

But tuesday was tuesday. Let's call it Fiscal Responsibility Tuesday (ladies drink free), because what a difference a day makes. On wednesday, when the whole country wasn't watching the dog and pony show on teevee, Pelosi's House of Representatives passed a huge $410 billion Omnibus spending bill, with 8,570 porky earmarks attached. The price tag for the spending bill was $32 billion more than last year. Clearly, there's no recession on Capitol Hill, and there darned sure isn't any fiscal responsibility. The vote on the bill was largely along party lines. It passed 245-178, with 159 Republicans and 20 Democrats opposed.

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The Health Care Problem

By Da King Published: February 24, 2009

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) has come out with a report pegging U.S. health care costs at $8160 per person this year. The costs are estimated to rise to $13,100 by 2018, which would represent 20% of the entire economy. (link)

The number of uninsured has risen to an estimated 48 million, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The Census Bureau has the entire population of the USA at 305,884,318.

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Obama's "Responsible" $533 Billion Deficit

By Da King Published: February 23, 2009

President Barack Obama has announced some basics of his "fiscal responsibility" plan, which he says will reduce the budget deficit to $533 billion by 2013. Obama, being a politician, spins this as "cutting the deficit in half." You aren't supposed to remember that Obama is ballooning the deficit to begin with.

Here's what it really is: If Obama is successful in pursuit of his goal, he will end his first term with the largest deficit year in the history of the country prior to 2008. He will leave a larger deficit in his last year than Bush left in seven of his eight years, and Obama will run up enormous deficits during every year of his four year term. Obama will oversee four of the five largest deficits in the history of the country. Obama will add as much or more to the debt in four years as Bush, the previous record holder, did in eight years. By 2013, the federal debt would be in the neighborhood of $15 trillion.

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Enemy Combatants Still Have No Rights

By Da King Published: February 22, 2009

After being in office for only a couple days, President Obama issued an executive order that would close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year. At the same time, he issued an executive order setting up a task force to review detainee policy, which would consider the options for apprehension, detention, trial, transfer, or release of detainees. The task force was given 180 days to complete the task.

One month later, it seems the decision on detainee rights is in.

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Another Day, Another $275 Billion

By Da King Published: February 20, 2009

President Obama met with 85 mayors today to tell them to spend their stimulus money responsibly. This strikes me as roughly equivalent to giving 85 alcoholics each a fifth of Jack Daniels and then telling them to drink responsibly. Right. Like that's gonna happen. The last I heard, the partisan breakdown of the group of mayors was 81 Democrats and 4 Republicans. I'm sure NBC will report this tonight as a "bipartisan group of mayors," with Obama "reaching across the aisle" to the Republicans because he gave each of the four a cookie or a glass of punch. I have a suggestion. Let's drop the word "bipartisan" from the political arena. There's nothing remotely resembling bipartisanship going on. The only reason the Democrats let Republicans Arlen Specter or Susan Collins be heard on the Porkulus monstrosity was because they needed their votes to pass it. No more, no less.

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8 Of 10 Best Presidents Oppose Stimulus Bill

By Da King Published: February 19, 2009

Here are the 10 greatest American presidents, according to a 2009 C-SPAN poll of historians:

1. Abraham Lincoln
2. George Washington
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
4. Theodore Roosevelt
5. Harry S. Truman
6. John F. Kennedy
7. Thomas Jefferson
8. Dwight D. Eisenhower
9. Woodrow Wilson
10. Ronald Reagan

With all due respect to JFK, whom I liked, why is he on this list ? What were his great accomplishments ? I think historians are a little swept up in the myth of the man, as opposed to the reality. That "Ask not what your country can do for you" line was outstanding, though. Dubya ranked 36th, btw, one notch ahead of Millard Fillmore (who may have been the only person ever named "Millard").

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Hopenchange, Meet World

By Da King Published: February 18, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is quite pleased that the United States government is approaching foreign policy with a new attitude. He is willing to deal with the USA based upon "mutual respect and equality." Ahmadinejad is all about CHANGE.

As long as it's the United States that does all the changing. (link)

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Tame The Government Beast

By Da King Published: February 17, 2009

It is the nature of government to grow larger and larger if we the people don't keep it in check. We have a Constitution specifically designed by our founders to keep the government in check, but we haven't done a very good job of it.

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Oh, Those Wacky Democrats

By Da King Published: February 16, 2009

Campaign promise:

Reality:

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The Politics Of Fear

By Da King Published: February 15, 2009

In October 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high, over 14,000. From there, the stock market began a year-long slide. By October 2008, the Dow was standing at just over 8,400. For the last four months, the stock market has remained relatively stable, hovering between 7,800 and 9,000. (link) Has the stock market bottomed out already ?

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Stimulus Passed, Catastrophe Averted

By Da King Published: February 14, 2009

America narrowly avoided disaster yesterday, but three patriotic Republicans in the Senate broke with the failed ideas of the past to join Democrats in saving our country. The $787 billion American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill) made it through Congress and will be signed into law by President Obama soon.

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Political Quickies

By Da King Published: February 13, 2009

"I am not in favor of concealed weapons. There has not been any evidence that allowing people to carry a concealed weapon is going to make anybody safer." -- Barack Obama

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Power Slaps Truth Upside Head

By Da King Published: February 12, 2009

Here's Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listening to the voice of the people who think Obama's stimulus bill wastes WAY too much money on non-stimulative pork spending:

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Leahy's Truth Squad

By Da King Published: February 11, 2009

Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) wants to launch an investigation into all the Bush administration's unseemly activities, such as - firing 8 U.S. attorneys, wiretapping without warrants, and misleading the public about those weapons of mass destruction. Leahy would call his investigation a "Truth Commission."

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Be A Patriot, Stick 'Em Up

By Da King Published: February 9, 2009

Moderate Republican Senators Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe are indicating they will defect from GOP ranks and vote in favor of President Obama's $825 billion porkulus bill ($1.1 trillion counting interest), thus giving Obama the 60 vote supermajority he needs to pass it. That makes the Congressional Republican tally on Obama's porkulus package - 219 against, 3 in favor (and Collins is wavering). Hurrah ! It's bipartisanship !

According to the NY Times, Obama congratulated the three Republicans for their "patriotism":

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Reagan's Economic Recovery Worked

By Da King Published: February 7, 2009

I've grown weary of President Obama referring to the GOP's "failed theories." It's time for a history lesson from the one actual Conservative to inhabit the White House in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan. (FYI: 'Republican' does not equal "Conservative." Not in my book. For example, I considered Dubya to be an economic liberal. Party designation is just a meaningless label.)
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Liberal Democrats mostly detest former Republican president Ronald Reagan. The only viable reason I've been able to deduce for their hatred is this:

Reagan's policies worked.

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All Spending Is Stimulus Now

By Da King Published: February 6, 2009

Listening to the Democrats defend their $1 trillion pork-filled stimulus monstrosity, I feel like I've entered a parallel universe. They are literally making it up as they go along. Repubicans object to the bill, saying it isn't a stimulus package, it's mostly a Democratic wish-list spending bill, the largest in history. Then Democrats counter by saying spending IS stimulus. Now we have President Obama himself defending the pork and saying 'government spending is stimulus':

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Only The First Step

By Da King Published: February 5, 2009

President Obama signed the SCHIP expansion into law yesterday amid great Democratic fanfare. As Democrats like to do, Obama pointed out a family that would benefit by his wonderful legislation (this time it was the Secrest family). Unmentioned, of course, were the hundreds of thousands of families to be hurt by the tax increase which pays for the SCHIP expansion. I've written before about how Obama is paying for SCHIP with a 61 cent tax on cigarettes, which studies show falls mainly on the poor, who smoke at much higher rates than more wealthy people do. I don't want to rehash all that again, but Obama made some comments during yesterday's SCHIP victory speech that I can't let pass:

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The Best Man For The Job

By Da King Published: February 4, 2009

On monday, when asked if he still supported Tom Daschle as Health And Human Services (HHS) chief, even though Daschle owed $140K in back taxes until his nomination was announced, President Barack Obama said "absolutely."

On tuesday, after Daschle withdrew his name from consideration, Obama said the following during an interview with Chris Wallace. (link)

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Groundhog Day All Over Again

By Da King Published: February 2, 2009

A famous American weather forecasting animal, the groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil, emerged at Gobbler's Knob this morning and allegedly saw his shadow. As we all know, that means we're in for six more weeks of winter. Sigh.

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