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When Obama came into office, he would often publicly complain about CEOs being paid too much.  “What gets people upset — and rightfully so — are executives being rewarded for failure,” he said at press conference in early 2009.  Later he opined that “the compensation packages that we’ve seen over the last decade at least have not matched up always to performance.”

It’s a complaint Democrats have made repeatedly over the years, as though they have a better way than the free market to determine the right compensation package.  But what if we were to hold Obama — the nation’s chief executive — to his own standard? CEO Obama set extremely modest goals for growth — well below the average of all the economic recoveries since World War II. In fact, had Obama’s economic recovery been merely average, GDP would be more than $2 trillion bigger than it is today.  And each time the economy underperformed, Obama pointed fingers, blaming everything from a tsunami, a cold winter, the Arab Spring, gas prices and budget cuts to George Bush.  All the while he’s ignored the harm that his own policies have done: ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, massive EPA regulations, new labor costs, higher taxes and a failed Keynesian stimulus. Absent those shackles, the economy would have almost certainly recovered from the deep recession fast and furiously.  And for this lousy performance, Obama gets a $400,000 salary (more than twice the average for all CEOs), roughly $1.5 million in annual pension benefits, free room and board, gourmet chefs, generous expense accounts and paid vacations. IBD’s Andrew Malcolm discovered that Obama’s vacations alone have cost taxpayers more than $70 million, so far.  Most CEOs could only dream of living so well. Does anyone think Obama’s compensation matches up to his performance? 

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Every dollar the government takes is another dollar used unproductively. Every dollar removed from the private sector and wasted in the hands of bureaucrats is a dollar that will not be used to purchase goods, to pay for services or to meet a payroll.

Every dollar the government ever takes — today, tomorrow and forever — is an attack on jobs and the economy. Instead of sitting around trying to think of new ways to vote away someone else's money, Washington leaders should finally begin to address the real crisis that has threatened us long before the current handwringing: spending.  With a $16 trillion national debt and well over $1 trillion annually in deficits, we barreled over the edge of fiscal insolvency long before this month.

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President Obama blames the surprise fourth-quarter drop in economic output on Hurricane Sandy and political factors.  But new evidence shows Obama & his Democrats’ own policies may be responsible for the first real GDP contraction since the Great Recession.  While it's no secret ObamaCare and sweeping new financial regulations have set corporate America and small businesses on edge, the level of anxiety and its impact on the economy have been hard to quantify.  However, a valuable new economic indicator measures both.

The latest data from the U.S. Economic Policy Uncertainty Index,  assembled by University of Chicago and Stanford economists, reveal business angst over government action at "extremely elevated levels" compared with recent history.

And it's costing the economy trillions of dollars in growth and millions of new jobs. 

A surge in the index, which tracks policy uncertainty back to 1985, typically foreshadows a decline in business investment and economic growth and employment.  Scott R. Baker, a Stanford Ph.D. economist and researcher who helps run the index with economics professors Nick Bloom and Steven J. Davis, explains that U.S. companies are increasingly wary of new tax and regulatory policies coming out of Washington and are shelving expansion plans.  He says there's been a "structural shift" in uncertainty under the Obama administration.  "We've definitely seen a big increase in uncertainty about health care and financial regulatory regimes and energy and climate regulations," Baker told IBD during a recent interview in Palo Alto, Calif. "And this certainly is harmful to a recovery."  Bankers hit by new Dodd-Frank rules complain the financial crisis has been replaced with a "regulatory crisis" that's frozen capital for all industries.  "The regulatory agencies have hundreds of major new rules to write," American Bankers Association President Frank Keating complained in a letter to the White House. "With so much uncertainty, no bank in America today can develop a rational business plan."  He added, "We are being frozen in place by increasingly dangerous regulatory minefields."

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Additional Information Energy: When gas prices hit $4 a gallon in 2008, candidate Barack Obama said it was due to previous failed energy policies. Now that prices are heading still higher, President Obama calls it progress. Already, pump prices are higher than they've been in previous years, suggesting they will top $4 soon and possibly reach an unprecedented $5 this summer.

President Obama is starting to notice the political implications. "Progress" isn't exactly how Obama described the country's energy picture in 2008, when gas prices were closing in on $4 a gallon. Then, it was a clear sign of "Washington's failure to lead on energy," which was "turning the middle-class squeeze into a devastating vise-grip for millions of Americans."  "For the well-off in this country," Obama said in May 2008, "high gas prices are mostly an annoyance, but to most Americans they're a huge problem, bordering on a crisis."  In August that year, he declared rising energy costs to be "one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced" and that gas prices "are wiping out paychecks and straining businesses."

While Gibbs is right that domestic production has climbed in the past three years, Obama's policies had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Oil coming from offshore wells was in the pipeline, so to speak, during the Clinton and Bush years, when those permits were issued. And the oil pouring out of North Dakota is the result of drilling on private lands.  Obama, in fact, has made it clear for years that he has no real interest in boosting domestic production.  When President Bush announced plans in 2008 to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling, Obama dismissed it, saying "it would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years."  "Offshore drilling," he said, "would not lower gas prices today, it would not lower gas prices next year and it would not lower gas prices five years from now."  In a big energy speech he gave in August 2008, Obama argued that "if we opened up and drilled on every single square inch of our land and our shores, we would still find only 3% of the world's oil reserves."

And while in office, Obama's done everything he can to limit production (Obama…have you heard of Supply vs. Demand???) — slow-walking offshore permits, killing the Keystone XL pipeline, making it even harder to get oil out of federal lands. 

Obama’s war on coal causing prices to “necessarily skyrocket”

Last week PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the electric grid for 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) held its 2015 capacity auction. These are the first real, market prices that take Obama’s most recent anti-coal regulations into account, and they prove that he is keeping his 2008 campaign promise to make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

The market-clearing price for new 2015 capacity – almost all natural gas – was $136 per megawatt. That’s eight times higher than the price for 2012, which was just $16 per megawatt. In the mid-Atlantic area covering New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and DC the new price is $167 per megawatt. For the northern Ohio territory served by FirstEnergy, the price is a shocking $357 per megawatt.

Why the massive price increases? Andy Ott from PJM stated the obvious: “Capacity prices were higher than last year's because of retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting largely from environmental regulations which go into effect in 2015.” Northern Ohio is suffering from more forced coal-plant retirements than the rest of the region, hence the even higher price.

These are not computer models or projections or estimates. These are the actual prices that electric distributors have agreed to pay for new capacity. The costs will be passed on to consumers at the retail level. House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) aptly explained: “The PJM auction forecasts a dim future where Americans will be paying more to keep the lights on. We are seeing more and more coal plants fall victim to EPA’s destructive regulatory agenda, and as a result, we are seeing more job losses and higher electricity prices.”  The only thing that can stop this massive price hike now is an all-out effort to end Obama’s War on Coal and repeal this destructive regulatory agenda.  The Senate will have a critical opportunity to do just that when it votes on stopping Obama’s most expensive anti-coal regulation sometime in the next couple of weeks. The vote is on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res 37, to overturn the so-called Utility MACT rule, which the EPA itself acknowledges is its most expensive rule ever.  This vote is protected from filibuster, and it will take just 51 votes to send a clear message to Obama that his War on Coal must end. 

Of course, Obama could veto the resolution and keep the rule intact, although that would force him to take full political responsibility for the massive impending jump in electricity prices.

I have a form set up at to make it easy to contact your senators on this crucial issue.  Read more: 

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Additional Information What metric will the newly established Reasonable Profits Board use to decide what counts as "reasonable"? For some reason, Kucinich's bill is silent on this.  Maybe we can lend a hand. Let's take a look at the raw numbers. Exxon Mobil made $30 billion in 2010. That certainly seems unreasonable. But Chevron only made $19 billion, which is less than AT&T cleared that year. And ConocoPhillips, at $11 billion, made less than GE. So what's unreasonable here?

Well, let's look at profit margins instead. Surely oil companies are making a killing when you use that measure. Trouble is, Exxon's profit margin last year was only 8.6%. Chevron's was 9.7%. Sunoco's was a tiny 0.7%.  Coca-Cola, meanwhile, had a return of almost 34%, Microsoft's was 30%, Google's 29% and Apple's 21.5%. If 8% is unreasonable, then Kucinich and Co. had better get cracking on a bunch more Reasonable Profit Boards.
              In any case, to the extent oil industry profits are "too high," it's the direct result of liberal policies that put massive amounts of oil off limits and kept prices artificially high.  Now to be fair, this idiotic law is backed by just a handful of far-left liberals in the House. It's not like any prominent mainstream Democrat would propose something so dumb.  Er ... except that Barack Obama promised to do pretty much the same thing when he was running for president. And as recently as last fall, he declared that companies "don't have some inherent right just to — you know, get a certain amount of profit."

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One bright spot of Barack Obama’s re-election was knowing that unemployment rates were about to soar for the precise groups that voted for him and his Democrat policies – young people, unskilled workers and single women with degrees in gender studies. But now Obama & the Senate Democrats are sullying my silver lining by forcing house Republicans to block an utterly pointless tax-raising scheme in order to blame the coming economic Armageddon on them.  Democrats are proposing to reinstate the Bush tax cuts for everyone … except “the rich.” (Why do only tax cuts come with an expiration date? Why not tax increases? Why not Obamacare? How about New York City’s “temporary” rent control measures intended for veterans returning from World War II?)

Raising taxes only on the top 2 percent of income earners will do nothing to reduce the deficit. There’s not enough money there – even assuming, contrary to all known history, that the top 2 percent won’t find ways to reduce their taxable income or that the imaginary increased government revenue would be applied to deficit reduction, anyway.

Apart from Obamacare, it’s difficult to think of a more effective method of destroying jobs than raising taxes on “the rich.” This isn’t a wealth tax on useless gigolos like John Kerry – it’s an income tax on people who are currently engaged in some profitable enterprise. Their business profits, which could have been used to hire more employees, will instead be used to pay the government.

But Republicans are over a barrel. Unless Republicans and Democrats reach an agreement, the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year. By pushing to extend the tax cuts for everyone except “the rich,” Democrats get to look like champions of middle class tax cuts and Republicans can be portrayed as caring only about the rich.

And when the economy tanks, the Non-Fox Media will blame Republicans.

The economy will tank because, as you will recall, Obama is still president. Government rules, regulations, restrictions, forms and inspections are about to drown the productive sector. Obamacare is descending on job creators like a fly swatter on a gnat. Obama has already managed to produce the only “recovery” that is worse than the preceding recession since the Great Depression. And he says, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The coming economic collapse is written in the stars, but if Republicans “obstruct” the Democrats by blocking tax hikes on top income earners, they’re going to take 100 percent of the blame for the Obama economy.

You think not? The Non-Fox Media managed to persuade a majority of voters that the last four years of jobless misery was George W. Bush’s fault, having nothing whatsoever to do with Obama.

The media have also managed to brand Republicans as the party of the rich, even as eight of the 10 richest counties voted for Obama. And that doesn’t include pockets of vast wealth in cities – Nob Hill in San Francisco, the North Shore of Chicago, the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Back Bay of Boston – whose residents invariably vote like welfare recipients. Seven of the 10 richest senators are Democrats. The very richest is the useless gigolo.

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As quantified, and explained by Alexander, “the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.” 

The two “D’s,” debt and dependency, are taking America down the path towards bankruptcy & doom. You already know about the debt-bankruptcy, but you may not have realized quite how bad the dependency has gotten. 

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Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill 

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Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster and former citizen of the Soviet Union knows what life is like under socialism and he’s not feeling it.  He’s not “Feelin’ the Bern” that young people are claiming in the United States and he posted a dire warning to fanatics of Bernie Sanders and his brand of socialism:  I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism… Posted by Garry Kasparov on Tuesday, March 1, 2016  I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd. 

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But the Federal Trade Commission and the Government Accountability Office have repeatedly investigated the oil industry for collusion or price gouging after previous price spikes. Each time they've found the same thing: The industry is highly competitive, and GLOBAL supply and demand, not collusion, set the price of oil.  It's the same with speculators. As IBD reported last month, a September 2011 study from the Institute for International Finance found no "clear causal link between financial investment (Speculators) and commodity prices" while the link "between commodity prices and fundamental supply and demand factors is indisputable."

An earlier investigation by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission found the same thing. Not that Obama, or his fellow Democrats or their friends in the mainstream press, will ever explain any of this.  It's also not true Obama is powerless to affect prices.

If he announced an aggressive plan to tap into the nation's vast supplies of oil — enough to last 200 years without imports — the oil market would respond right away by lowering prices. When President Bush said he was going to lift the presidential embargo on offshore drilling, oil prices immediately fell by $9 a barrel.  Obama could also lift the government's boutique fuel rules that have Balkanized the country's gasoline market and pushed up prices, rein in his out-of-control EPA, and work to strengthen the dollar.

To be sure, Obama isn't entirely to blame for high prices — they're also the result of decades of federal mismanagement that have kept huge supplies of oil off limits.  But there's no question that Obama is far more to blame than are the oil companies or speculators currently bearing the brunt of public anger. 

Government policies have driven up the price of oil, which has boosted oil companies' total profits. But their profit margins — the best measure of industry profitability — remain modest.

As of the third quarter of last year, the oil industry earned just 6.7 cents per dollar of revenue, less than the average for all manufacturing of 9.2 cents (see chart).

This year, even after a spike in prices, the oil industry ranks 90th in profitability out of 215 industry groups. "Big Oil"? How about "Just Average Oil"?  This is just one of the tricks used by the left to tar the industry, which employs 9.2 million people and accounts for 7.7% of the total U.S. economy.

As for "billions in subsidies" — oil gets $4 billion a year, a drop in a very large bucket, and far less than the $29 billion-plus a year for so-called alternative energy.  Hit the oil industry with higher taxes and punish them with regulations — as the Obama administration proposes to do — and you will hurt economic growth and kill potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Further, Obama's charge that oil companies pay "a lower tax rate" than "most other companies" is simply false. Oil and gas companies in 2010, the last year for which all data are available, paid 41.1% of their net income on income taxes. That compares with 26.5% for other industrial companies listed by Standard & Poor's.  And it doesn't include oil industry payments of rent, royalties and leases to the government, which have totaled $100 billion since 2000. Nor does it include $2 trillion in oil industry investments since 2000.

Demonizing profits is foolish. Profits signal companies that they need to produce more. Profits encourage the industry to use the most efficient, clean methods possible, and to boost pay for their workers and dividends for their investors. Aren't these good?

Mutual funds today own an estimated 30% of all oil shares, while pension funds hold 27%, individuals 23% and IRAs 14%. Basically, anyone who owns a mutual fund or a broad retirement portfolio almost certainly owns oil shares. They all benefit from higher profits.  As turns out, Big Oil isn't some abstract entity. It's you.

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First, no one sends tax dollars to the oil industry. Yes, the industry gets tax breaks. But they're the same write-offs used to offset the costs of doing business that Washington has made available to every industry.

There's no transfer of money from taxpayers to industry. No corporate welfare. The policies that Obama maligns as subsidies simply allow businesses to keep more of their own money.

Despite Obama's clear implication, there are no subsidies or tax breaks carved out specifically for Big Oil. It gets no direct government spending and no loan guarantees. Those are reserved for politically correct, politically connected green energy companies, the Solyndras that go out of business, fail to produce a single kilowatt of energy, or both.

What Obama is agitating for are policies that discriminate against big oil companies. He wants to treat them differently, to punish them for no other reason than they've become a favorite villain of the political left that's socked with new taxes after being stripped of write-offs every other industry would still get.  He's a bit late to the party, though. Policies that discriminate against Big Oil are already on the books. For instance, every taxpayer that qualifies is eligible for a tax deduction of 9% on income derived from manufacturing, producing, growing or extracting in the U.S. — every industry, that is, except oil and gas, where the deduction is 6%.

There's also the intangible drilling-costs deduction — the industry's version of the research-and-development deduction that every other American company can take advantage of. Under this policy, companies that explore for and produce oil can deduct 100% of drilling costs associated with exploration operations.  But integrated companies — those "Big Oil" companies that explore, produce, refine and distribute and are lumped under pejorative "Big Oil" — are able to deduct only 70%.

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The first thing to know is that Scandinavia is inhabited by Scandinavians, a hardworking, responsible people who have had high levels of social trust and cohesion for a very long time.   Sweden was such a free-market success story that Republicans should be citing it in their debates. It started as a poor country in the late 19th century, then achieved takeoff under a dynamic capitalist system into the middle of the 20th century. Its boom coincided with the time when its taxes were lower than in the U.S. and the rest of Europe.  The socialist golden years weren’t so golden for economic performance. Entrepreneurship plummeted. Job creation and wages sputtered. The Scandinavian story the past few decades has been a turn against socialism. 

To get around the apples-to-oranges GDP per capita comparisons due to the differences in the cost of living between nations, the World Bank has created a GDP Purchasing Power Parity scale, in which GDP is “converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.”  “An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as the U.S. dollar has in the United States,” under the World Bank’s calculations.  Using this system, Sweden and Denmark would fall between the 38th-ranked state — Missouri — and the 39th-ranked state — New Mexico. That’s right. Americans in 38 states are better off than the citizens of Sweden and Denmark, while only 12 states are worse off. So if Sanders had his way, a lot of Americans, including the many in populous states such as  New York, California, Texas, Florida and Illinois, would be worse off.  This sound appealing to you?  It does to Sanders. He’d rather that most Americans become poorer if it meant there’d be more of that delusional equality that the Democrats are continually agitating for. 

In Venezuela, a relatively well off, oil-fueled democracy where voters installed the democratic socialist administration of Hugo Chavez in 1999, there are now toilet paper shortages, rampant inflation, social unrest and other telltale signs of economic calamity.  In the name of equality, bureaucrats looted the nation’s wealth and confiscated whole industries. The press has been effectively muzzled. 

At one time, Sweden, a small nation, had the fourth-largest economy in the world. That was in 1970. Twenty-five years later, the economy had tumbled to 14th and the private sector stopped creating jobs, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data. This wasn’t caused by Sanders’ demonic duo of capitalism and free markets. It was caused by the very policies he idolizes.  “Sweden got rich first with free trade and an open economy, before we had the big government,” Swedish economist Johan Norberg explains in a new YouTube video.  “In the 1950s, Sweden was already one of the world’s richest countries, and back then, taxes were lower in Sweden than in the United States.”  It was only after that, says Norberg, “did we start expanding the government dramatically.”  “And do you know what happened then? We started losing,” says Norberg.

“It all ended in a terrible crisis.”  As we have noted before, Sweden has been repealing its welfare state post-crisis. Norberg says the country has become “successful again, but only after a new reform period, with more deregulation and free trade than in other countries.” Taxes have been cut, school vouchers allocated, and the pension system partially privatized as Sweden distances itself from its welfare-state past.

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Yet that's the culture Friedman chose for his memorable, influential "Free to Choose" PBS series, that expounded to Americans at the dawn of the Reagan era the critical importance of economic freedom.  In that 1980 series, Friedman showed how the strength of free markets could transform Hong Kong, once an impoverished enclave of rocks on the South China Sea, into a wealth-creating global powerhouse.  Americans and others saw that series and realized that free markets were the only way out of communist tyranny — and the only way out of the democratic-socialist malaise of the Carter era — ushering in an explosion of Hong Kong imitators by the 1990s.

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Source: Douglas A. Irwin, "The Ultimate Global Antipoverty Program," Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2014. 

From 1990 to 2011, the percent of the world's population living in extreme poverty fell from 36 percent down to 15 percent. Why? Douglas Irwin, economics professor at Dartmouth College, says the answer is simple: capitalism!!  The drop in poverty over the last quarter-century is the greatest drop in poverty in world history, writes Irwin, and it is due to the fact that developing countries implemented business-friendly economic policies.  Adam Smith had the better description of capitalism -- a "commercial society" in which all men could participate in markets.

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Before the pilgrims left Europe, they planned to live in a communal society.  Within 3 years, their socialistic experiment proved to be lacking in every way.  (Democraps)Progressives claim they are “progressing” or “moving forward” to a better society. In reality, the system (Socialism,Progressivism,Communism,Communalsim,Utopia) they embrace already failed in America 400 years ago.  Bradford and the investors composed a set of bylaws for the colony. For the first seven years, the colony would live in a communal system. The bylaws required all goods, food, clothing, and profits be placed in a “common stock”. Anyone needing supplies could take them from this community supply.  According to the bylaws, at the end of seven years the investors would receive their payment. At that time, the “adventurers” and the people would equally divide all capital and profits.  This included houses, land, goods and livestock.  Bradford recorded the colonists’ experiences in Of Plymouth Plantation. He described how their society failed by 1623. But more importantly, he told how they fixed it. The healthy, younger men resented others benefiting from their labor. They considered it unjust. The older men found the handouts to be humiliating and disrespectful.  The women felt force to serve men other than their husbands.  They equated it to slavery. Many husbands refused to tolerate such treatment of their wives.  (solution!) With the goal to “raise more corn, and obtain a better crop than they had done”, each family would farm their own crops on their own land.  The Governor “allowed each man to plant corn for his own household.”  He gave each family their own plot of land.  The pilgrims were free to benefit from the fruits of their labor. This motivated them to work harder than ever. As a result, they produced even more crops than they imagined.

“This was very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could devise, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better satisfaction.”  The women felt their chains removed. They freely and willingly became equally productive citizens along side their husbands.   Progressives honestly believe Utopia can be achieved by spreading the wealth around. Bradford’s documentation of the Plymouth Colony illustrates that a communal system failed with less than 100 people. With a nation of 350 million, it would be a complete disaster.  The Plymouth community turned things around and benefited with pure capitalism. When people are free to not only produce, but to keep the results of their work, the entire society benefits. 

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New letters obtained by the 

Washington Free Beacon,  reveal that Hillary Clinton couldn’t wait for Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” affectionately dedicated to “Lucifer,” aka: Satan, to be released. “When is that new book coming out–or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation? I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille and need some new material to throw at people,” wrote Hillary Clinton to the author Alinsky, who taught about overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with communism, teaching the amoral “ends justify the means” philosophy and destroying America’s middle class.   Saul Alinsky, considered the “father of community organizing,” i.e., rabble-rousing, or agitating, is literally worshiped by progressive leftist communists and socialists, devoted his life to organizing a revolution against the American system he believed to be unfair and oppressive.  Alinsky’s basic guiding principle was to take power from the Haves and give it to the Have-nots, which nowadays is referred to “wealth distribution,” or promoting “income equality.”  “I miss our biennial conversations,” Clinton wrote Alinsky, indicating a much closer relationship with the fellow progressive Marxist than had been previously admitted. “Do you ever make it out to California? I am living in Berkeley and working in Oakland for the summer and would love to see you,” she wrote Alinsky. “  Alinsky’s secretary wrote back Clinton, since Alinsky was out-of-town, including several copies of “Rules for Radicals,” writing (bold added), “Since I know his feelings about you I took the liberty of opening your letter because I didn’t want something urgent to wait for two weeks. And I’m glad I did.”   According to David Horowitz, a former Communist, who wrote extensively about Alinsky in “Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution — The Alinsky Model, Alinsky was “the practical theorist for progressives who had supported the Communist cause to regroup after the fall of the Berlin Wall and mount a new assault on the capitalist system.”   It was Alinsky who wove the inchoate relativism of the post-Communist left into a coherent whoe, and helped to form the coalition of communists, anarchists, liberals, Democrats, black racialists, and social justice activists…”!

A perfect example of this agenda was on display Thursday, when Ed Schultz, 

who’s literally on the payroll of big unions, directly glorified socialism.   “We need to take a page out of the country, Germany,” Schultz bloviated. “Here’s some good socialism for you!” he said enthusiastically.   Schultz was attempting to make a case on Thursday that U.S. taxpayers  (not free..) should bailout student loans, concluding that since taxpayers bailed out Wall Street, it only makes sense that taxpayers should bailout student loans. After all, two wrongs apparently do make a right, in the mind of one of the remaining MBNC apparatchiks hosts who hasn’t recently been fired.   Schultz was praising Germany, saying, “This week, Germany abolished all tuition fees, not some–All! A college education is now free in this country. Free!”  As Newsbusters  points out, giving specific examples, Schultz has a long history of praising socialism.  Forcibly taking & spending other people’s money.. by IRS confiscation aka..stealing.  

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No one is forced to use the service of Wall Streeters. Financial exchange is voluntary.  “Wall Street,” broadly defined to include investment banks, Silicon Valley venture capital, private equity funds and other types of participants in capital markets, create value by matching investors and savers and helping companies to obtain needed capital in the most efficient way.  They do a good job and are paid well if they succeed in directing savings to their highest and best use. They subtract from potential value and are paid poorly if they direct savings to low and poor uses.  Warren Buffett counts among the world’s richest because of his acute ability to match his shareholders’ capital with investment opportunities. It is strange that no one criticizes Buffett when he is doing what Wall Street does, while polishing his anti-greed image by currying political favor from Omaha, Neb.  Wall Street (including Buffett) intermediates between saving and investment because savers, such as contributors to retirement accounts or buyers of insurance policies, have little expertise in matching their savings to investments.  Business investors create new business and expand established ones, but they are not specialized in seeking out savers to fund their plans.  In Europe and Japan, banks play the role of Wall Street. They decide who gets investment finance and who does not. In many cases, these banks are closely tied to related businesses or to state and national governments.  Like their Chinese counterparts, they are inclined to allocate capital to lower-return but politically attractive uses.

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Three months ago, newly coronated Dutch King Willem-Alexander told his country that the "classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century" was over. It would be replaced by a "participation society" because the "arrangements" the nation was operating under "are unsustainable in their current form."  Among the changes is a requirement that welfare applicants must prove they have actively looked for a job for at least four weeks before they can receive benefits.

"And once they begin to receive benefits they will either have to work or perform volunteer community service," says the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner.  Other savings will be found when youth services, care for the elderly and job retraining are kicked down to the local level, which is better equipped to be more efficient with other people's money. 

The king warned that "the necessary reforms" will "take time and demand perseverance." But he assured the nation that they will "lay the basis for creating jobs and restoring confidence."  We don't want a king in this country. But we could use a chief executive who understands the situation as Willem-Alexander apparently does.  Read More At Investor's Business Daily: Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook 

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“I just wanted to thank so many on the other side after all these years, for finally acknowledging publicly that ninety-eight percent of the Bush tax cuts helped the middle class.”  
~Representative Louis Gohmert (R-Texas)  

Democrats made the Bush tax cuts permanent for approximately 99% of Americans. 

To reinforce the point, note that higher tax rates were set to automatically take effect on January 1.  Accordingly, if Obama and fellow Democrats had done nothing, the Bush tax cuts that they’ve spent the past decade demonizing would vanish at the stroke of midnight. 

By way of contrast, back in May 2003 Congress enacted the cuts by the slimmest of margins, 50 to 50 in the Senate (with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the tiebreaking vote) and 231 to 200 in the House.  Among Democrats, the Senate ratio was 46 to 2 against, while the House ratio was 198 to 7 against.  Ten years later, despite an election that improved their party balance in both the Senate and House, as well as a re-elected President and a Republican party in disarray, Democrats sought only a tax hike on a tiny portion of Americans.   Thus, ten years of supposed liberal ascendancy has come to mean almost complete permanence of Bush tax cuts that originally faced nearly unanimous Democratic opposition. 

Events in Syria provide additional vindication for President Bush. 

Alarmed by the sudden possibility that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad might use chemical weapons, Obama warned, “If you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable.”  Considering that Assad already faces brutal execution from his own officials if he attempts to flee Syria, and from opponents should they topple his regime, Obama’s weak admonition probably doesn’t top his list of concerns. 

Nevertheless, as Foreign Policy Initiative Executive Director Jamie Fly observed this week in The Wall Street Journal, Obama’s “lead from behind” manner has left the U.S. reactive rather than proactive toward the sudden Syrian WMD threat: 

“When the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi fell last year … thousands of conventional weapons proliferated because of American and European unwillingness to back an external stabilization force.  The Obama Administration, failing to learn the lessons of Libya, is reportedly planning for a light-footprint approach should the Assad regime fall.”  

As a result, according to Fly, the threat lies not in use by Assad, but by other agents if he falls.  In other words, precisely the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, who had used WMD on multiple occasions against domestic and external foe alike. 

So far, however, there is little ridicule of Obama for assuming the presence and potential threat of Syrian WMD.  Weapons, by the way, that may have arrived via Iraq.  Accordingly, ominous threats in that theater provide a new context through which events ten years ago are viewed. 

Of course, Obama’s vindication of Bush hardly ends there.  Guantanamo Bay remains open.  The Patriot Act was recently extended.  The Iraq troop surge was repeated in Afghanistan.  Budget deficits that Obama labeled “unpatriotic” while campaigning in 2007-2008 have been quintupled.  And so on.   Meanwhile, Bush’s public likability rating continues to ascend. Expect that to sustain as Obama’s second term proceeds.

Those temporary rates were enacted in 2001, when only 28 House Democrats supported them, and in 2003, when only seven did.  But with the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" — did liberals think about that title? — 172 House Democrats voted to make the Bush income-tax rates permanent for all but 0.7% of taxpayers — individuals earning more than $400,000 and couples earning more than $450,000. 

Turn to Pages 411-413 of his 2012 Economic Report of the President, published by the Council of Economic Advisers. They show that "the math," as Obama is wont to say, in fact does add up for tax cuts. 

After President Bush in late May 2003 signed the largest tax cut since President Reagan — including dropping the top marginal rate to 35% from 39.6% — government receipts from individual income taxes rose from $793.7 billion to a peak of $1.16 trillion in 2007, when the mortgage crisis began, a 47% jump.

Stronger economic growth expanded the tax base and brought in so much revenue that Bush more than halved the deficit over that period. The budget gap plunged to $160.7 billion from $377.6 billion, according to the president's report.  (even with the war on terror in AFG & IRAQ)

Perhaps the most impressive statistic appears on Page 412, one that undercuts Obama's core argument against continuing the Bush tax cuts. 

The post-tax-cut surge in economic growth and tax revenues helped drive down the deficit from 3.5% of gross domestic product in 2004 to 2.6% in 2005, to 1.9% in 2006 and to a manageable 1.2% in 2007.  Based on Bush fiscal policies, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected budget deficits of 0.7% to 1.5% of GDP for the years 2008 through 2011. The CBO even predicted surpluses for the subsequent years through 2018.  What derailed the forecast was the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008.  This financial anomaly threw the economy into a deep recession, beginning in December 2007, and forced a collapse in federal tax revenues.

As a result, the deficit-to-GDP ratio shot up to 10% in 2009 and has remained around that level, thanks to record Obama & his Democrats overspending.  (The recession technically ended in June 2009.)

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If you think George W. Bush adding $4 trillion to the National debt in eight years was an embarrassment, a travesty and a disgrace but you have no problem adding $6 trillion to the National debt in only four years, you might be a socialist — and a world-class hypocrite, too.

If you actually said “You didn’t build that” to business owners because you think bridges, roads, highways, airports, schools and hospitals led to their success but you don’t understand that business owners and taxpayers paid all the taxes that paid for government to build all those things in the first place and government ought to be thanking us, you might be a socialist.

If you call yourself a “champion of small business” while you demonize small-business owners in every speech and media interview, try desperately to raise their taxes and eliminate their tax deductions, and in just your first four years as President passed more than 60,000 new rules, regulations and mandates that make it impossible to run a lemonade stand in America anymore, you might be a socialist.

If you think the “White House party crashers” are terrible people because they crashed your White House state dinner without an invitation but you want to give instant citizenship to millions of uninvited “illegal immigrants” who crashed our border, you might be a socialist.   

If you think it’s terrible that a college or law student has to pay $9 per month for her own contraception but you see no problem with colleges and law schools — run by your most loyal leftist intellectual supporters — charging that same student $50,000 per year to attend that school so ultra-liberal professors can be paid $250,000 per year for teaching one course per week, you might be a socialist.

If you think anyone who doesn’t read The New York Times is dumb and ignorant but think it’s OK that the Democratic-controlled Congress passed a 2,000-page healthcare bill without reading it, you might be a socialist. 

Remember when Obama said, “I just want to spread the wealth around”? If income redistribution works, if tax-and-spend is a model for America, why are Greece and Spain bankrupt basket cases threatening to bring down the entire European Union? Greece and Spain have both been led by Socialist Party politicians. They both have big taxes, big spending, big unions, big governments — just like Obama wants. Yet both Greece and Spain have unemployment rates above 26 percent and youth unemployment above 56 percent.

With that record of devastating failure, why did Obama just raise U.S. income tax rates to the levels of Greece and Spain? Greece’s income tax rate is 40 percent. Spain’s top rate ranges from 40 percent to 50 percent. In America we just raised the top rate to about 40 percent, plus add in Obamacare taxes, plus add in State and local taxes, and, of course, Obama took away deductions, too. Can you even imagine? We chose to emulate Greece and Spain right at the moment of disaster, at the moment of devastation, at the moment of 26 percent and 56 percent unemployment — right as they are headed into economic oblivion. With Obama’s re-election AND his Democrats we chose Greece and Spain.

By the way, with high income taxes and value added taxes (a national sales tax), why are Greece and Spain both bankrupt and insolvent? Why would Obama want higher taxes for America, when Greece and Spain prove the model doesn’t work? Each country is going through a national nightmare. Thousands of trees are missing… because citizens can no longer afford to pay for electricity or fuel to heat their homes, so each night they go into parks and forests to cut down trees for firewood. Families are digging through dumpsters for food. Government employees go unpaid for months. This is what socialism and high taxes get you. And we chose Obama for another four years? Maybe we should check whether American voters are as smart as a 5th grader.

All those Greek voters elected socialist politicians because they promised fat pensions, free healthcare and lavish early retirement. Does that sound familiar? Now, they face unimaginable poverty for years to come. This proves that when politicians promise chocolate cake with no calories, they should be put in prison for fraud.

Cuba has been a Marxist state since before I was born. Its leader, Raul Castro, is a proud communist. Yet Cuba recently passed the most sweeping reforms in its history. Castro is slashing more than 1 million government jobs, cutting entitlements, encouraging more private sector entrepreneurship, giving more power to private companies and reducing state spending.

One of the trademark features of Cuba’s socialist system — the universal monthly food ration — will be phased out. Castro said the ration given all Cubans since 1963 had become an “unsupportable burden” for Cuba’s bankrupt and crumbling government.

So get this: A Cuban communist leader is cutting 1 million government jobs and eliminating Cuba’s version of food stamps. Meanwhile, Obama keeps adding government jobs and food stamp use is setting all-time records in America; 47.7 million Americans are on food stamps. Tell me again: Who’s the communist and who’s the capitalist?

Even Russia’s Vladimir Putin (then serving as prime minister) seemed to have learned a common 5th grade history lesson on socialism, when during a 2008 speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he stated: “In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state role absolute… In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly.”

Putin and Castro have learned their lessons from experience. But Obama AND his Democrats? It sounds like he needs to attend re-education camp. Or at least do over the 5th grade.