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Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Politicians Enriched by the System

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 2, 2016

Partisans on both sides of the aisle spout talking-points that are the mainstays of their party’s platform.  For Democrats, this includes social justice and wealth distribution.  Republicans promote the benefits of capitalism and strong national defense.  History indicates disconnect between these propositions and reality.

Democratic policies have not led to social gains by many within their party, nor to “fair” wealth distribution.  The ongoing unrest in many American cities indicates the high-level of discontent.  The fact that during the past five decades most of these cities have been run by Democrats is telling.  As for wealth distribution, during the Obama administration this has significantly skewed towards wealthy Americans.  For example, a University of California, Berkeley study found that 95% of the income gains from 2009 to 2012 went to the top 1% earners in the United States.  Whether this result is from bad policies or bad intent is irrelevant to those impacted by the disparity.

Republicans preach the benefits of capitalism and a strong national defense.  However, Republican politicians often support crony-capitalism to the benefit of large corporations.  In the early 1960s President Dwight Eisenhower warned of the dangers presented by the “military industrial complex”, however, this warning was ignored.  Also, American interventions in the name of freedom have not fared well with no better example than Bush’s invasion of Iraq.  The consequences of the interventions have not made America safer.

There is often a blurring of what the parties preach and their actions.  For example, Democrat President Lyndon Johnson took America into the Vietnam cauldron.  Barack Obama intervened in Libya.  Crony-capitalism has morphed from the military industry to the green energy, social services, and education industries.  The corrupting results are the same whether policies are promoted Harry Trumanby Republicans or Democrats.

Harry Truman once said: “You can’t get rich in politics and less you’re a crook.”  History has proven that the blunt-speaking Truman has often been correct.  It brings into question the wealth made by the Clinton’s since leaving the White House.  It also questions why Congressmen and Congresswoman have fared so much better than the American people in the past decade.

Frustration with political elites by the American people is growing.  This has been manifested by the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  It is being duplicated worldwide with examples including England’s vote to leave the EU and the recent impeachment in Brazil of its president.  Similar discontent by the people has been the historical norm.  Politicians, whether democratically elected or not, typically enter politics with good intent.  The power of the office then corrupts and personal gain becomes a primary goal.

The indications are that people worldwide have had enough, once again.  Historically this has led to radical change in political structures and significant change to the ruling class.  They are always “interesting” periods of time.

Hillary-Clinton-net-worth-over-timeCongress Net Worth

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Education and Student Debt

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 26, 2016

Marshall McLuhan“The reason universities are so full of knowledge is that the students come in with so much and leave with so little.”  Marshall McLuhan

 

Republicans and Democrats attempt to differentiate themselves via their views of the government’s role in the economy.  With close examination, it is hard to find real differences between them.

Those on the Right promote the benefits of “true” capitalism that allows markets to set prices via supply and demand.  Those on the Left share the view that capitalism is too harsh and that the government needs to step in and smooth out inequities created by markets.  At the extreme Left, socialism is promoted, irrespective of its history of failure.

At the macro-economic level there is little difference between Republicans and Democrats.  Crony capitalism is rampant within both parties.  Republicans typically support large industries and those in the military industrial complex.  Democrats promote social programs that benefit industries including education, social services, medical services, and trial lawyers.  The result of crony capitalism has been a significant increase in governmental spending and a surging United States’ debt over the past 50 years.  This debt is in part responsible for the economic malaise that has been inflicted on the country over the past decade.

An example of crony capitalism and the damage it has done is the educational industry.  Through the US Department of Education, as well as at the state and municipal levels, the funds spent on primary education have been skyrocketing as indicated by the charts below.

Total Educational Spending

Spending Per StudentSat Scores

 

 

 

 

However, the increased spending has not resulted in improved education.  The chart shows how poorly our students are doing in basic reading comprehension.

Student DebtThe problem is more significant at the college level.  The educational industry, with support of the US government and its loan programs, has created the false narrative that all Americans require and deserve a college education, irrespective of whether or not it improves their economic well-being.  As a result, the amount of student debt now exceeds $1 trillion and a significant portion of college graduates cannot make an income level that would allow them to pay off the debt in a reasonable period of time.  Many have been forced to move back into their parents’ houses.

While a market-based economy can be a cruel arbitrator of scarce resources, crony capitalism has proven to be catastrophic to those who have been cajoled into inappropriate economic decisions based on government programs.  It is a major cause of the growing wealth disparity between the ultra-rich and average Americans.

Yes, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have prospered under crony capitalism.  The same cannot be said for most Americans.

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Government is the Problem

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 28, 2016

The Left and Right both believe they have the answers to America’s economic downward spiral.  Those on the Left are sure the problems relate to income inequality, racism and/or too much spending on the military.  My friends on the Right are just as strong in their convictions that the problems are caused by an efficient tax system, excess entitlement programs, illegal immigrants, and of course the Left itself.

To this Blogger the cause America’s economic issues, as well as those of the greater world, is government itself, the world’s largest special-interest group.  The video below share some facts proffering the danger of the growing government elites and their minions that includes:

  • During the past 10 years the number of private sector jobs in America has grown by only 1% while during the same period the number of federal government employees has grown by 15%.
  • Prior to the economic meltdown approximately eight years ago, the US Department of Transportation had only one employee earning over $170,000 annually.  That number is now about 1,700.
  • At the beginning of the economic meltdown the US Department of Defense had approximately 1,700 employees making $150,000 or more annually.  That number is now over 10,000.
  • During the first two years after the beginning of the economic meltdown the number of federal employees earning in excess of $100,000 annually doubled.
  • In 2009 the average compensation package including salary and benefits in the private sector was approximately $61,000 per employee.  During that year the average total compensation package for federal employees was over double that or $123,000.

There are currently about 21 million government employees in the United States, approximately 16% of potential voters.  This is a huge voting-block, especially considering how few votes often separate winners and losers in important elections. However, add to this number families of government workers and the potential influence this voting-block rose enormously.

There is a growing anger and disillusionment among American voters that has not been seen in many decades.  On the Left this is expressed by the surprising strength of Socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries.  On the Right this is seen through the strength that Donald Trump has within the Republican primaries, even though his views have historically been in conflict with basic Republican ideology.

The electorate’s growing disillusionment has occurred during a time of historic growth in government power and spending.  Those who believe that giving more power to government or allowing them to spend more money change this direction ignore historical precedent.

Many Democrats are on enthused by their likely candidate, Hillary Clinton.  Similarly, many Republicans are aghast at the thought of Donald Trump being their party’s standard-bearer.  Here’s a consolation for both: Not to worry, the special interests groups, including those who make a living on the public payroll, will ensure that the Country continues in the same direction that it has been taking for the last 50 years no matter who is president.  Yikes!

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Late Justice Antonin Scalia

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 17, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia passed away last weekend at the age of 79.  His conservative view of the Constitution resulted in Progressives demonizing him.  Irrespective of this, Scalia, a graduate of Harvard Law School, was an eminent Constitutional scholar, believing in a strict interpretation of this document.

Almost immediately Scalia’s death became a political issue.  President Obama wasted no time announcing he would nominate a replacement.  Not to be outdone by this precipitous move, Republicans announced they wouldn’t even consider an Obama nominee, stating that they should be left to the next president.

Republicans in the Senate have the numbers and ability to keep an Obama nominee from being confirmed.  It is therefore hard to imagine why they would respond so ineptly to the Obama challenge.

Obama and his Leftist allies claim foul of the Republicans obstructionist behavior.  However, it was not too long ago when then Senator Obama took a similar approach with the George W. Bush nominee, Alito.  When confronted with this duplicative behavior at a recent press conference, Obama responded with a rather comical two-step stating (video posted below): “I think what’s fair to say is that how judicial nominations have evolved over time is not historically the fault of any single party.  This has become just one more extension of politics.  ….”  Translation, the Democrats current whining is but crocodile tears.

Irrespective of the current political maneuvering, Antonin Scalia will go down in history as a legal scholar and fine jurist.  In honor of the man, we post some of his memorable quotes below.

Constitution – “That’s the argument of flexibility and it goes something like this: The Constitution is over 200 years old and societies change. It has to change with society, like a living organism, or it will become brittle and break.  But you would have to be an idiot to believe that.  The Constitution is not a living organism, it is a legal document. It says something and doesn’t say other things.” (National Review)

Bill of Rights – A Bill of Rights that means what the majority wants it to mean is worthless. (Star-Telegram)

Death Penalty – This is an execution, not surgery.  Where does that come from, that you must find the method of execution that causes the least pain?  We have approved electrocution.  We have approved death by firing squad.  (Student News Daily)

2nd Amendment – Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem.  That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct. (ABC News)

Appointed Judges – As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically. (LA Times)

Democracy – Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law.  That’s what democracy is all about.  It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society. (New York Times)

Good Judge – If you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach.  If you like them all the time, you’re probably doing something wrong. (Romper)

Posted in Politics, Supreme Court | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Former Atty. Gen. Eric Holder uses Race Card to Endorse Hillary

Posted by Steve Markowitz on February 2, 2016

Democratic politicians use the gender and race cards to further their political aspirations.  This has divided the Country into “warring” factions and significantly hindered America’s social progress and economic growth.

In a recent example of race-baiting, former US Atty. Gen., Eric Holder said the following in an advertisement for Hillary Clinton’s South Carolina presidential campaign (emphasis added):

If the Republicans win, we’ll all lose.  They want to roll back the clock on civil rights.  They want to make it harder for African-Americans to vote — not easier.  And they’ve got no plan to deal with gun violence or any of the issues we’re facing in our communities.”

Incredibly, this same Eric Holder refused to review the case of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party in 2009.  The same man, supposedly a champion of the underprivileged, played a key role in Pres. Bill Clinton’s pardon of wealthy financier Marc Rich.

As a chief law enforcement officer of the United States, Holder was cited for criminal contempt by the Congress for withholding documents relating to the fiasco called “Fast and Furious”.  This vote included 17 Democratic Congressman making it a bipartisan vote.

There are many dubious legacies left to the American people by Barack Obama.  Certainly a disastrous foreign policy will be in the forefront.  Not far behind will be a disintegration of race relations in America caused by the President and his party’s lust for power.  This legacy has a champion and it is Eric Holder.

Posted in Democrats, Racism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hillary Clinton on Democrats and Socialists

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 11, 2016

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, is an unapologetic Democrat.  However, that even Matthews is concerned with the Party’s shift the radical Left.

During an interview would likely Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, Matthew stated “I want to try to help you tonight …. Locate yourself politically.”  Then Matthews went on to ask “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” in an obvious attempt to allow separation between herself and Socialists in the Party.  Clinton did not have an explanation and instead said: “Well, I can tell you what I am.  I am a progressive Democrat.

Matthews was clearly troubled by Clinton’s lame response then asked Clinton the obvious follow-up question: “How’s that different than a socialist?

Unlike Clinton this Blogger can answer the question.  There is no discernible difference between the modern Democratic Party and Socialism.  In fact, if the historic heroes of the Democratic Party including Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Humphrey were alive today, they would be unwelcome in the Party they helped create.

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Democrat Offers a Reality Check on Obamacare

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 14, 2014

The 2014 midterm elections are nearly two weeks behind us.  The historic defeat for Democrats and President Obama’s policies continue to reverberate throughout the media.

Today’s Wall Street Journal includes an op-ed, posted in its entirety below, from a lifelong Democrat titled This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare.  Cutting through the scandals and many problems that plagued the Administration during the last six years, Burke Beu, a social service counselor from Denver, Colorado, proffers the view that Obamacare, the President’s supposed signature achievement, is the main culprit behind the Democrat’s recent whopping.

Beu concludes:

I voted for Barack Obama  in 2008, then lost my job in the Great Recession. ….. I survived on part-time jobs while paying out-of-pocket for my health insurance.  I voted for President Obama again in 2012, then received a cancellation notice for my health insurance.  This was due to ObamaCare, the so-called Affordable Care Act.  However, I couldn’t afford anything else.

ObamaCare is a failure. …  It punishes responsible consumers like me and treats younger individuals as fools who are expected to pay the bills while not paying attention.

Now we learn in videos that came to light this week that Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, proudly relied on his perceived “stupidity of the American voter” as the basis for designing ObamaCare.  Such comments, along with the program’s notoriously dysfunctional website and false assurances that people can keep their previous health plans, are insults to every citizen regardless of party.

…, ObamaCare looks and feels exactly like what it is: a health-care plan devised by lawyers and corporate executives rather than true health-care providers.  ….  We claim to be the party of the underdogs, but on ObamaCare we simply catered to a different set of fat cats.

When the next Congress convenes in 2015, Democrats need to work with the new Republican majority, repeal ObamaCare, override a presidential veto if necessary, and start from scratch on health-care reform.

Mr. Beu, a realist, has been on the receiving end of bad policies promoted by Obama and his allies in Congress.  Will Obama listen to middle-of-the-road Democrats like Beu?  Unlikely.  A few days before his first term victory Barack Obama promised to fundamentally change America.  That goal remains his primary focus irrespective of damage that results from his radical-leftist policies.  Mr. Beu, you are but collateral damage.

This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare, By BURKE BEU, Nov. 13, 2014

The disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the catalyst for my party’s midterm thumping.

I grew up in a Democratic family.  I have been a registered Democrat since age 18, a Democratic candidate for statewide office in Colorado and a party precinct captain in that caucus state.  I’ve volunteered for numerous Democratic candidates and contributed to party causes and campaigns.  The 2014 election results were extremely disappointing for me, but hardly a surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Senate Democrats use Nuclear Option Changing Filibuster Rules

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 21, 2013

One unique procedural practice that has been part of the United States Senate since its inception is the filibuster.  Unlike the House of Representatives, through the filibuster the U.S. Senate requires more than a simple majority for various matters to be brought to the floor.  This includes approval of various presidential appointments.

The filibuster was procedure was given to the Senate by the Founding Fathers to offer the minority party more power for certain legislative matters.  The current minority party the Senate, the Republicans, have been using the filibuster to block or delay three Obama judicial appointments.

Today Senate Democrats changed the long-standing rules implementing the so-called “nuclear option” that removed the filibuster from Republicans. That decision was supported by President Obama who justified the action blaming Republicans stating: “A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to re-fight the results of an election is not normal, and for the sake of future generations, it cannot become normal.”

Once again the President has flip-flopped on a significant position for political expediency.  It is interesting to review the words of then Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Harry Reid in 2005 when they were the minority party:

Senator Barack Obama, April, 2005: “Mr. President, I rise today to urge my colleagues to think about the implications of what has been called the nuclear option and what effect that might have on this Chamber and on this country.  I urge all of us to think not just about winning every debate but about protecting free and democratic debate.”

The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse.”

Senator Joe Biden, May, 2005: “Mr. President, my friends and colleagues, I have not been here as long as Senator Byrd, and no one fully understands the Senate as well as Senator Byrd, but I have been here for over three decades.  This is the single most significant vote any one of us will cast in my 32 years in the Senate.  I suspect the Senator would agree with that.  We should make no mistake.  This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power.  It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party, propelled by its extreme right and designed to change the reading of the Constitution, particularly as it relates to individual rights and property rights. It is nothing more or nothing less. …  We have been through these periods before in American history but never, to the best of my knowledge, has any party been so bold as to fundamentally attempt to change the structure of this body.”

Senator Harry Reid, May, 2005: “The filibuster is not a scheme and it certainly isn’t new.  The filibuster is far from a procedural gimmick.  It’s part of the fabric of this institution we call the Senate.  It was well-known in colonial legislatures before we became a country, and it’s an integral part of our country’s 214-year history. The first filibuster in the United States Congress happened in 1790. It was used by lawmakers from Virginia and South Carolina who were trying to prevent Philadelphia from hosting the first Congress.  Since then, the filibuster has been employed hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times.  It’s been employed on legislative matters, it’s been employed on procedural matters relating to the president’s nominations for Cabinet and sub-Cabinet posts, and it’s been used on judges for all those years.  One scholar estimates that 20 percent of the judges nominated by presidents have fallen by the wayside, most of them as a result of filibusters.  Senators have used the filibuster to stand up to popular presidents, to block legislation, and, yes, even, as I’ve stated, to stall executive nominees.  The roots of the filibuster are found in the Constitution and in our own rules.”

******

Then Senator Joe Biden went further asking for divine intervention in future years stating: “I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.  But I am afraid you will teach my new colleagues the wrong lessons.”  It would be curious to hear who Foot-in-Mouth Joe would blame for Reid’s indiscretion.

The Senate rule change is a tactical victory for Democrats allowing the Obama’s judicial appointments to be approved quickly and without making compromises with minority party.  There is some logical justification to allow a President elected by the People to make appointments as he sees fit.  However, this tactical victory has the potential to lead to a more significant strategic victory for Republicans.  Given the dismal failure of Obamacare and the downward spiral of this presidency, the chance of Republicans taking back control of both houses of Congress and the presidency is growing by the day.  Should this occur, it will offer a unique opportunity for Republicans to significantly change the Progressive direction of American politics.

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JFK and the Tea Party

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 21, 2013

It is often proffered that the mainstream media has morphed into a propaganda wing for Leftist politics in more recent years.  However, there is evidence that the Leftist bent of the media has been ongoing much longer, but perhaps previously in a more sophisticated and gentlemanly fashion.

The Boston Globe writer Jeff Jacoby has posted an interesting piece titled would “Democrats Embrace a JFK today?”  Jacoby points out that while Kennedy has been canonized by the Left after his assassination, his politics were anything but Leftist.

When John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States, he championed many policies that are today promoted by the Tea Party.  This included:

  • Across-the-board cuts of the personal and corporate tax rates.
  • Significantly cutting tariffs to promote international trade.
  • JFK once called city property taxes “confiscatory”.
  • As for big government programs, Kennedy said during his 1960 campaign: “I do not believe that Washington should do for the people what they can do for themselves through local and private effort.”
  • During his first inaugural address, Kennedy said: “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  Just image a Leftist like Obama making such a statement.

Kennedy was also a proponent of a strong military.  As president he said: “We must refuse to accept a cheap, second-best defense“.  JFK significantly increased the military budget as a percentage of GDP.

In the decades since his assassination, the mainstream media has created the false narrative that Kennedy was a liberal.  This was a deceptive attempt to take advantage of JFK’s martyrdom legacy to promote the Leftist agenda.  However, JFK distanced himself from liberalism.

Look Magazine called JFK a “young, wealthy, and conservative John Fitzgerald Kennedy”.  During an interview in 1950s, Kennedy was challenged by the media concerning his “true liberal” credentials to which JFK replied: “I’d be very happy to tell them I’m not a liberal at all .…  I’m not comfortable with those people.”  FDR’s widow, Eleanor, went so far as to publicly state that she could not back Kennedy as the Party’s presidential nominee.

JFK’s ideology indeed had more in common with today’s Tea Party than what is now promoted by the radical Left Democratic Party headed by Barack Obama.  It is curious that JFK remains a hero of the Leftist media while the Tea Party only receives its scorn.  This bizarre abuse by the media says a lot about its disingenuous behavior.  The acquiescence of the academic intelligentsia to this dichotomy is one indication of its moral decline.

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Allen West on the Senate and Obama

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 17, 2013

The battle is over.  President Obama has soundly defeated the hapless Republicans in Congress over the US budget deficit and Obamacare

The President was elected for a second term based on his Leftist policies and the promise to continue onward with his signature program, better known as Obamacare.  In addition, the American people gave the President’s party control of the Senate thereby neutralizing the Republican’s advantage in the House of Representatives.  The American people have spoken and must live with the consequences.

As his Blog previously proffered, the Republicans should have acknowledged the realities of not only the political landscape, but also what the American people demanded by the election.  They should have allowed the President’s programs to implode under their own weight.  Instead, Republicans chose a battle they could not win and now pay a political price, humiliation at the hands of the strongest Community Organizer in the nation.

Today President Obama gloated over his victory, as expected from the most partisan president of modern time.  He blamed Republicans for threatening default on America’s debt that “inflicted completely unnecessary damage (to) our economy”.  In addition, Obama said that the Republican’s actions slowed the economy’s growth and set back employers’ plans to hire.  The President is clearly setting the stage to blame Republicans for the ongoing economic malaise caused by his failed policies.  Why not?  Obama never takes responsibility for any of his policies.  Shame on the Republicans for their inept actions.

A Republican with more common sense, former Congressman Allen West, shared his thoughts on the President and the lame body that calls itself the U.S. Senate stating:

allen_westI’m watching the spectacle occurring on the Senate floor.  They have passed the 60 vote threshold for ending cloture.  I want the American people to understand that tonight the Constitutional Republic we know as America has suffered a horrible defeat.  Obamacare is not the law of the land.  It is an edict handed down by a tyrant, not a President.  The US Senate has just voted to affirm a new precedent that the executive branch can amend law without Congressional approval, and Congress allows it.  The waivers, exemptions, and delays implemented by President Obama have delineated a separation, not of powers, but between the political elite and their cronies – and you, my fellow Americans.  This is reprehensible, and we can expect even more bad behavior from a President that continues to spit on our Constitution and in our eyes…and smile.  The incessant government spending continues with no solution for economic growth. Anyone voting for this tonight owes some explaining to Americans….but maybe not. As Obama stated, “I won.”

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