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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, October 05, 2013
Wild Bill for America: Presidential tantrums against honest Americans.....the Democrats must be so proud.
Tags:President Petulant, Barack Obama, presidential tantrums, against honest Americans, Wil Bill for America, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Supposedly the National Park Service decided to allow our World War II veterans to visit their memorial. So who made that decision and why?
According to The Weekly Standard's John McCormack, "Carol Johnson of the National Park Service told me that the White House's Office of Management and Budget 'sends everything down to all other departments.'"
Closing Marine Corps War Memorial
In other words, Obama is demanding the memorial be closed so he can blame Republicans. Obama won't get tough with Iran's mullahs, but he is a bully when it comes to 90 year-old World War II vets. Obama will build a wall around our memorial, but not on our border.
Shutdown Showdown Continues
As the government shutdown enters Day 4, there are signs that Democrats are starting to feel the heat. In the past two days, House Republicans have passed bills to fund veterans' services, the National Guard and the National Institutes of Health. A total of 57 House Democrats have voted for those bills. Yet Senate Democrats refuse to consider them.
Remember that when you are discussing the government shutdown and ill-informed friends or family members try to blame Republicans for denying cancer treatments to sick kids.
House Republicans and dozens of House Democrats are trying to keep the government open. But Obama's liberal allies in the Senate refuse to budge on Obamacare's individual mandate and the special exemption from Obamacare that Obama granted to members of Congress.
Compromise On What?
The polls overwhelmingly show that huge majorities of Americans, Republicans and Democrats, just want everybody to get along. They want more comity in Washington. They want government to work for the people. They want both sides to compromise.
Here's the problem: The "go along to get along" approach, or business as usual in Washington, has resulted in our $17 trillion national debt. That's well in excess of $50,000 per person.
If you take into account future unfunded liabilities for programs like Social Security and Medicare, that figure skyrockets to nearly $90 trillion.
Business as usual has bankrupted us. Something has got to change.
I am often asked why Republicans and Democrats can't just cooperate for the greater good of the country. But cooperation assumes that two sides share the same goal. For example, if both sides agreed that we need to reduce the size of government, an argument over which programs or agencies to cut could be easily solved by a compromise.
That is not the case in Washington today. One side is determined to dramatically expand (Obamacare) an already bankrupt government, and other side is determined to stop the out-of-control spending. Where is the compromise between two opposite goals?
And clearly Democrats are refusing to compromise. As one commentator noted, "Harry Reid and President Obama's single message during this impasse has been 'no negotiation, no compromise.' 'I shouldn't have to offer anything,' Obama said."
If the American people truly want compromise, it's clear that Obama and his Senate Democrat allies are the ones refusing to compromise. They are one who should be blamed by the media for shutting down the government. That's not going to happen. The best we can hope for is that the voters will somehow realize the truth and hold Democrats accountable in November 2014.
Which brings me to my final point. I also hear from many good folks complaining that the politicians in Washington are "only concerned about winning the next election." Of course they are and you should be too. You can't govern the country unless you first win the election! That is how we as a nation decide major issues -- through elections.
I have said this over and over, but it is worth repeating, especially as we watch this shutdown unfold: Elections have consequences.
As a consequence of losing recent elections, there are too many liberals in the Senate blocking every good thing House conservatives are doing. A united Congress can get things done. In the 90s, a GOP House and a GOP Senate eventually forced Bill Clinton to negotiate on welfare reform and reduced spending to achieve a balanced budget.
But because the Democrat majority in the Senate is running interference for him, Barack Obama has no reason to compromise with House Republicans. That is why it is so important for us to win the 2014 elections!
-------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:President Obama, reinforces barricades, World War II Memorial, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: I must confess I had a moment of schadenfreud—taking pleasure in another’s misfortune—when I read that, in late September, the Russians had seized the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, and towed it to the port of Murmansk after Greenpeace personnel had boarded a Russian oil platform, “Priraslomnaya”, in the Pechora Sea.
Russia called the thirty people arrested “pirates” and, if found guilty, they face sentences from ten to fifteen years in prison. Five of them were Russians while the others came from some seventeen nations, including the United States.
Greenpeace is best known for its propaganda tactics, the latest being the trespass of the oil platform, but in 2009, while Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior was docked in Copenhagen, the tables were turned when members of CFACT, a U.S. think tank devoted to debunking environmental claims, boarded it and, while distracting the crew with donuts, hung a banner that obscured the word “Rainbow” with “Propaganda” turning it into the Propaganda Warrior.
A CFACT spokesman said that the piracy charged seemed too severe, but thought lesser charges should apply. Even Russian President Putin said that piracy did not apply, but their actions were reckless. “We can’t help but appreciate the irony. Greenpeace conducts ongoing campaigns for greater government control over individuals. In Russia, they may get a taste of where that leads.”
Greenpeace has incurred the wrath of many with its aggressive, attention-grabbing tactics and, in 1985 French Special Forces sunk the original Rainbow Warrior when it was docked in New Zealand. Ultimately, an international court ruled that France had to pay Greenpeace $8 million. More recently, Greenpeace campaigners who scaled the chimney of the UK’s Kingsnorth coal power plant were acquitted.
While the incidents Greenpeace stages are intended to draw attention to it, most people are unaware of how large the organization is. It has offices in more than forty nations as it pursues its campaigns devoted to global warming, deforestration, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues.
One of its founders, Patrick Moore, became a critic of what he deemed the organization’s scare tactics and disinformation campaigns. In 2005 he said that the environmental movement had “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism” and was devoted to inventing “doom and gloom scenarios” to advance an agenda that is essentially opposed to many scientific and technological advances that enhance the lives of billions around the world.
Greenpeace says it depends on 2.9 million individual supporters and on foundation grants, but a recent article by Nick Nichols, a retired crisis management expert and author of “Rules for Corporate Warriors”, examined the cost of tax exemptions noting that “three tax-exempt Greenpeace organizations in the U.S. reported $39.2 million in revenue and $20.6 million in assets in 2011.” Other environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council also were worth millions and were exempted from taxes.
Consider the furor of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party movement groups seeking a similar tax exemption, it tells you just how agenda-driven the IRS is when it comes to groups that claim they are charitable or educational. Nichols notes that both New Zealand and Canada have stripped Greenpeace of its charity status.
While Greenpeace and comparable Green organizations enjoy tax exemptions that would otherwise generate millions, they are also engaged in a wide range of activities intended to undermine its economic welfare. From opposing coal mining to nuclear energy, these groups do everything they can to deny Americans the benefits of affordable and vital sources of energy. They continue to claim that global warming is going to destroy the planet despite the growing body of information that demonstrates it is a hoax.
Patrick Moore recently lead a demonstration outside the Greenpeace office in Toronto, Canada, regarding the Greenpeace opposition to genetically modified rice, known as Golden Rice for its vitamin A content.
His banner read “Greenpeace’s Crime Against Humanity—Eight million Children Dead. AllowGoldenRiceNow.org.” For lack of sufficient vitamin A, the World Health Organization estimates that up to 500,000 become blind every year and half of them die within a year of becoming blind as the result of this nutritional deficiency that affects an estimated 250 million pre-school children worldwide.
Russia has provided an object lesson in how to deal with these Green “warriors” on oil, coal, and nuclear energy, and other issues that harm people. Having saved Obama from complete humiliation when he proposed bombing Syria, Russia now demonstrates how to deal with propagandists whose love for the Earth excludes the humanity that calls it home.
------------------ Alan Caruba. Alan is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column,"Warning Signs" disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:Greed Peace, CFAT, Russia, object lesson, Alan CarubaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
House Votes to Provide Fairness for Federal Workers
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today applauded House passage of H.R. 3223, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act: “It’s encouraging to see both parties come together to provide fairness for the 800,000 federal workers hurt by this shutdown. Now we should do something about the 800,000 jobs being destroyed by the president’s health care law. That’s why Republicans are working every day to reopen the government and provide fairness for all.”NOTE: This is the 8th bill the House has passed to keep critical parts of the government running in the face of President Obama and Senate Democrats’ refusal to negotiate. The full list is available at speaker.gov/senatemustact. Tags:Speaker, John Boehner, R-OH, US House, passes, Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness ActTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
‘The Democrats have calculated that by prolonging the shutdown, and maximizing the pain, they can bully Republicans into doing whatever President Obama and Majority Leader Reid want them to do. It’s a very cynical game, but Democrats have decided to play it.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Weekly Republican Address, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas says Republicans are eager to end the government shutdown and move ahead with fiscal and economic reforms, but that Senate Democrats and the President continue to refuse to negotiate. Sen. Cornyn, the Senate Republican Whip, says that House Republicans have repeatedly sent over legislation that would fund federal operations, but Senate Democrats have rejected each and every bill. “It has become disturbingly clear that the Obama-Reid shutdown is no longer about health care, or spending, or ideology,” says Sen. Cornyn. “It’s about politics, plain and simple.” Full transcript of the address follows:
“Hi, I’m Texas Senator John Cornyn. Every day, Capitol Hill police officers protect Members of Congress, and our visiting guests, with courage, dignity, and professionalism. Their tireless efforts often go unnoticed; but whenever they’re called upon to act in a moment of crisis, we’re reminded of their tremendous commitment and bravery. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Capitol Hill police for all that they do to protect our collective safety and security.
“Like most Americans, I was disappointed when certain parts of the federal government were forced to shut down because Senate Democrats refused to make any changes whatsoever to the deeply flawed health-care law known as Obamacare. Republicans are eager to end the shutdown and move ahead with the fiscal and economic reforms that our country so urgently needs. But we’re never going to make real progress without greater cooperation from our friends across the aisle.
“House Republicans have repeatedly sent over legislation that would fund federal operations, but Senate Democrats have rejected each and every bill. They’re effectively arguing that the House bills are simply illegitimate, because they contain policy measures that the Democrats don’t like.
“But what normally happens when the two parties disagree on policy is a negotiation. Each side gives up a little and gets a little, and you wind up with a bipartisan compromise. The problem right now is that Senate Democrats are refusing to negotiate. Here’s a partial list of what they have unanimously rejected:
“They’ve rejected a one-year delay in Obamacare’s health-insurance mandate for individuals and families, even though the Administration has already delayed the mandate for employers.
“They’ve rejected a bill that would force Members of Congress to obey the same health-care laws as everyone else.
“They’ve also rejected a bill that would abolish Obamacare’s medical-device tax, even though a majority of their caucus expressed support for repeal back in March. In other words, most Senate Democrats voted against the medical-device tax when it didn’t matter, and then voted to keep the tax when it did.
“Meanwhile, President Obama has threatened to veto a series of individual House bills that would fund our veterans’ programs, and our military-reserve programs, as well as the National Institutes of Health, and the D.C. city government. He’s also threatened to veto a bill that would keep open our war memorials, our national parks, and museums. When Republicans asked Senate Democrats to join with us and pass these bills, they simply said no. The White House recently claimed that somehow they were ‘winning’ and that it ‘doesn’t really matter’ how long the shutdown lasts. Apparently they think the government shutdown is good politics, and they’re in no hurry to break the stalemate.
“It has become disturbingly clear that the Obama-Reid shutdown is no longer about health care, or spending, or ideology. It’s about politics, plain and simple. The Democrats have calculated that by prolonging the shutdown, and maximizing the pain, they can bully Republicans into doing whatever President Obama and Majority Leader Reid want them to do. It’s a very cynical game, but Democrats have decided to play it.
“All Republicans can do is to continue promoting common-sense solutions that would end the shutdown and allow us to move forward. Hopefully our friends across the aisle will eventually get tired of playing politics. Hopefully they’ll remember that neither house of Congress can set the national agenda all by itself.
“Thank you for listening, and may God bless the United States of America.”Tags:U.S. Senator, John Cornyn, Texas, Republican, Weekly Address, government shutdown, Obama_Reid ShutdownTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
There, the Kremlin chief held forth on his vision for Mideast peace, a solution to Syria’s ongoing civil war, and, for good measure, lectured us on how dangerous it was dangerous for any nation to think of itself as “exceptional.” Amerika, you’re no more exceptional, he seemed to be saying, than Russia, Belarus, or even Chechnya.
Following Putin’s debut as an ex-KGB agent turned Timesman, both Iran’s new “president,” Hassan Rouhani and Syria’s boss Bashar al-Assad were captured by American journalists for what was breathlessly billed as “exclusive” interviews. Rouhani’s session was conducted by The Washington Post’s veteran deep thinker, David Ignatius, while Assad parried light jabs from FOX News questioners, the serious and sonorous Greg Palkot (sans helmet) and the always entertaining Dennis Kucinich.
Because President Obama has a known aversion to dealing with foreign crises, this shaping of American public opinion by foreign dictators is a dangerous trend. If all men are created equal, why shouldn’t all opinions by all “leaders” be treated equally? We have our view of world events. The world has different views. Let’s hear from them about their view. Let’s be broad-minded. It can’t hurt to talk, after all.
Except that the people in those “leaders’” countries who disagree with the views expressed by their leaders have an alarming tendency to wind up dead. Pesky journalists in Moscow have been warned by shooting those who asked too many impertinent questions. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died in the ongoing civil war there. And Hassan Rouhani—that self-described “moderate”—never uttered a peep of protest when Iran’s mullahs were shooting down opposition voters in the streets of Tehran in 2009.
We admit we are not doing Google or Lexis/Nexis searches on Rouhani then, but we can be assured of this much: If he had protested the killing of opponents by the mullahs' regime, he would never have been permitted to run for president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
We Americans seem to have been lulled into a stupor. It’s strangely like those years the locusts ate in the mid-seventies. That’s when Jimmy Carter urged us to get over our “inordinate fear of Communism.” Taking Carter’s University of Notre Dame speech as a starter gun, the Soviets and their cat’s paws ran freely in Africa and Latin America.
During the Cold War, there were occasional efforts to alert Americans to their peril. A few rock `em, sock `em movies such as Red Dawn and The Hunt for Red Oktober were screened. But those tended to be independent efforts.
The mainstream liberal view was represented by the novels of John LeCarré. To illustrate this point, Mark Steyn once described his lunch with the late conservative paladin Bill Buckley:Bill was talking of how he’d created Blackie [CIA agent Blackford Oakes] as an antidote to the John Le Carre ethos, in which there’s no good, between east and west, and thus between their respective warriors at the KGB and in the western intelligence agencies. And once you accept this view the conflict is necessarily trivial: it’s just a game between opposing bureaucracies whose machinations and manoeuvres are their own justification. Le Carre was profoundly wrong but a good enough writer that his became the default there’s no bad, there’s just shades of gray and total moral equivalence template of spy fiction, and, because life imitates art, of far too many real intelligence types at the CIA and MI6 toward the end of the Cold War.President Obama was schooled in moral equivalence of East and West. We’ve never asked to see his grades at Columbia or Harvard, but it would be instructive to know at least which courses he took at those Ivy League liberal bastions. He has acknowledged attending Marxist scholars' conferences as a college student, but how many of the actual courses he took would have equipped him to understand American Exceptionalism?
He has expressed decidedly mixed views himself about American Exceptionalism. At his first G-20 Summit, he said he did believe in American Exceptionalism — but quickly added that the Brits and the Greeks doubtless believed their own nations exceptional. More recently, he took to the airwaves to tell us American Exceptionalism might require us to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war.
It would have been nice if our own president had defended this country’s good name from the contemptuous jabs of Vladimir Putin. Mr. Obama might have said that Russia’s culture has enriched the world, but Russian rule has always been despotic.
Our president might have offered the Kremlin’s boss this challenge: If you don’t think America is exceptional, then tell us: When the Berlin Wall fell, which way did your captive people run?
------------------------- Ken Blackwell was a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at Liberty University School of Law. Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council. He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. Both are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, American defeat, President Obama, Russsia, President PutinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The House reconvened at 10 AM and plans a full day addressing individual bills to fund the government. Yesterday the House passed: H.R. 3230 (265-160) — "Making continuing appropriations during a Government shutdown to provide pay and allowances to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who perform inactive-duty training during such period." H.J. Res. 72 (259-157) — "Making continuing appropriations for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes."
This morning at a press conference with GOP leaders, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pointed to a senior administration official’s quote in The Wall Street Journal as further proof of the White House’s strategy to make the government shutdown as painful as possible on the American people: “You know, when we have a crisis like we’re in the middle of this week, the American people expect their leaders to sit down and try to resolve their differences.
“I was at the White House the other night, and listened to the president some 20 times explain to me why he wasn't going to negotiate. Sat there and listened to the Majority Leader in the United States Senate describe to me that he’s not going to talk until we surrender. And then this morning, I get the Wall Street Journal out, and it says ‘well we don’t care how long this lasts because we’re winning.’ This isn’t some damn game!
“The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness - reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under ObamaCare. It’s as simple as that. But it all has to begin with a simple discussion.” The The Wall Street Journal also reported, “President Barack Obama is sticking to his stance that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over the government shutdown or the higher-stakes fight over the federal debt ceiling. The question, for Republicans and White House allies alike: How long will that resolve last? . . . . Said a senior administration official: ‘We are winning...It doesn't really matter to us’ how long the shutdown lasts ‘because what matters is the end result.’”
This amazing quote shows what Democrats’ priorities really are here. They’re looking for a political victory, not concerned about keeping the government open, funding national priorities, or fairness for Americans in our health care system. Indeed, majority Senate Democrats have rejected Republican attempts to pass funding for veterans’ services, our national parks and monuments, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Guard and reserves. They previously voted down bills passed by the House that would have funded the entire government while giving middle-class Americans relief from the individual Obamacare mandate as the White House has given relief to businesses.
Today, House Republicans announced they would work to pass more bills to fund areas of the government but the White House already pre-emptively threatened to veto them, according to Politico.
Frustrated, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Newsmax in an interview, “Their attitude remains the same: They’re not interested in negotiating, and we find that rather curious. . . . They’re willing to negotiate with the Russians, with the Iranians. I don’t know why not with us. If he controlled the whole Congress like he did the first two years of the administration, he’d be able to get his way, but the American people, even though they re-elected him, didn’t give him a blank check. They didn't give him and all the Congress to do his bidding, and inevitably they must deal with the other side. . . . We all work for the same group, the American people, and they expect us to work these differences out and to do the people’s business. It’s been pretty difficult to achieve that when the Senate Democrats and the president say, ‘We’re not going to and shouldn’t negotiate anything.’”
As Leader McConnell said earlier this week, “[B]asically, Washington Democrats shut down the government because they didn’t think middle-class Americans deserved the same kind of treatment as their employers, and because they didn’t think Congress should have to follow the same rules on the Obamacare exchanges as everybody else. These were fair things to ask for. They were reasonable. And if the Democrats who run Washington could have brought themselves to be that sensible, they would have voted to keep the government open. But in the end, they got their shutdown, which they apparently think will help them politically. And they held onto their absolutist position on Obamacare — regardless of the consequences for American families.” Tags:US House, US Senate, Wall Street Journal, democrats, absolutist position, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Eagle Forum Capitol Hill Office: This week’s political news has been fast-paced, urgent, and indeed scary, but how do we cut through the spin of the Obama administration and their mainstream media? The facts are simple. President Obama and his Democratic Senate absolutely refuse to compromise with House Republicans. They are so unwilling to compromise or even work with Republicans that they shut down the federal government and have now resorted to fear-mongering and hyping this government slow-down into more than it is.
President Obama and Harry Reid’s Senate are holding national parks, monuments, buildings, and federal employees hostage until Republicans and the public give in to their demands. This administration and their political pawns have decided that they would rather go to extreme lengths to barricade unsupervised monuments than to allow Congress to represent the will of the people.
In an unprecedented move yesterday, we saw federal workers placing barricades and caution tape around our national monuments in D.C., barring the public and even WWII veterans visiting D.C. These sites are unsupervised and open 24/7 – previous shutdowns have never affected these locations. For the White House to send the U.S. Park Police to restrict World War II veterans from their own memorial is both despicable and embarrassing.
Obama’s White House-orchestrated shutdown is purely political and a petty attempt to strong-arm the American people and their representative Congress. It has served the purpose of hiding the failed opening of Obamacare exchanges this week that were riddled with glitches, shutdowns, and fraud. Nevertheless, the President insisted on shutting down the government, laying off hundreds of thousands of federal employees, and holding our national treasures hostage until he gets his way.
The House of Representatives is listening to the people, and have been trying for weeks to defund, delay, and dismantle Obamacare in any way they can while they voted to keep the government open. The American people have spoken, and they do not want Obamacare wreaking havoc on our American healthcare, with recent polling showing that opposition by as much as 60%. But at every turn, Obama has threatened to veto any legislation that does not fully fund Obamacare, regardless of the impending shutdown deadline.
Since late Tuesday night – several hours into the shutdown – the House has tried to pass funding appropriations for national parks, veterans affairs, and other essentials, only to be tabled (meaning Senator Harry Reid would not even bring them up for a vote) by the Senate Democrats.
President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have shown exactly to what lengths they will go to take over the healthcare industry in America. They will sacrifice federal employees’ jobs, our national parks and monuments, and the daily functions of our government until the American people and the House of Representatives bend to their will. We must not stand for this. It is time for the American people to stand up and cry out against Obama’s political shutdown.
We must stand our ground and hold to our principles. Obamacare is destroying American lives and wreaking havoc on our economy. Fighting this monster is a principle on which we cannot waver. We must not cave to Obama’s demands and exit this shutdown on his terms. This truly is a political staring contest. It’s time for us to follow the advice of Senator Ted Cruz: "Don’t Blink!" Tags:Obama shutdown, don't be fooled, Eagle Forum, Action AlertTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Absurd Shutdown (FUBAR) Policy Blocks Veterans from Visiting the World War II Memorial
by Katie Nielsen, Heritage Foundation: In order to enforce the government shutdown, the National Park Service has fenced off the World War II Memorial and other public monuments in the nation’s capital—and threatened those who entered with arrest.
This meant that for the second day in a row, veterans were denied access to the memorial. So they took this bureaucratic absurdity into their own hands and knocked down the blockades.
(The Park Service has now reversed course and says that veterans can enter the world War II Memorial—but not other monuments.)
The saga is playing out in the shadow of the White House, which reportedly did nothing to assist the veterans.Prior to their visit yesterday, Representative Steven Palazoo’s (R-MS) office sent a request to the White House and the Department of the Interior about the World War II veterans, most of whom were traveling with Honor Flight Network. The Daily Caller reported Palazoo’s request was denied.
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization that transports America’s veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit at their memorials.Do you think the men who risked their lives for our nation should be denied access to their memorials Not only to them but to their fellow comrades that died?
---------------- Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA News Service: The World War II Memorial (open air) was built with donations. I donated, as did others, in the name of my fathers. Both my fathers and my father-in-law served in WWII. My birth father fought and received the Silver Star in the Battle of the Bulge. He later served a combat tour in Korea. My adopted father fought in many different campaigns in the South Pacific. My father-in-law served in the occupation forces of Japan. All of my uncles served in WWII. One of my grandmother was a civilian WWII prisoner-of war transport convoy commander. None of them lived to see the WWII Memorial.
It was estimated by the VA in 2007 that over a 1000 WWII veterans died each day. As of 2012, due to the declining number of WWII veterans, the estimated deaths was 690 per day with a million WWII vets still living -- almost all over 80 years old. An estimated 248,000 of that number died last year. Also, these very senior vets are are only able with assistance to make it just one time to the memorial before they pass on. The gamesmanship by the Obama administration in blocking an open air museum shows a lack of respect for both the military, our veterans, veterans families and those who funded the WWII Memorial. Is the Vietnam War Memorial Wall roped off? Time for rolling thunder to return to Washington, D.C.! As a retired veteran, I must summarize the actions by the Obama administration over the closing of WWII memorial, other memorials and cemeteries as one massive FUBAR decision. Tags:Obama administration, blocking veterans, World War II, memorial, veterans, FUBAR decisionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrats Block Senate From Passing House Bills To Fund National Guard, Parks, NIH, Vets
Today in Washington, D.C. - Oct. 3, 2013
The Senate reconvened at 10:30 AM and began a period of morning business. This morning, Senate Republicans asked consent for the Senate to pass several House-passed bills to keep veterans services and the National Institutes of Health running, to keep parks open, and to keep National Guard members paid, but Democrats objected to all of them.
The House reconvened at 10:00 AM. In spite of the Senate Democrats refusal to consider any House bills except for one Continuing Resolution to fund everything, today will continue consideration of the following individual funding bills: H.R. 3230 — "Making continuing appropriations during a Government shutdown to provide pay and allowances to members of the reserve components of the Armed Forces who perform inactive-duty training during such period." H.J. Res. 72 — "Making continuing appropriations for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes."
Yesterday, the House passed: H.J. Res. 70 (252-173)— "Making continuing appropriations for National Park Service operations, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes." H.J. Res. 73 (254-171)— "Making continuing appropriations for the National Institutes of Health for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes."
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded today to President Obama’s remarks in Maryland.“Republicans have sent bill after bill after bill to the Senate to keep the government open, and Democrats have rejected every one of them – refusing to even talk about our differences. We want to resolve this dispute as soon as possible, but that will require Washington Democrats to realize neither side gets everything it wants. With Obamacare proving to be a train wreck, the president’s insistence on steamrolling ahead with this flawed program is irresponsible. We must provide American families basic fairness and the same exemptions from the law that big businesses have already been granted. It’s time for the president and Senate Democrats to come to the negotiating table and drop their my-way-or-the-highway approach that gave us this shutdown.”
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Nobody wants this shutdown. Democrats say they don’t want it. Republicans certainly don’t want it. So we all agree on that much. The question at this point is how do we resolve the issues that truly divide us? And the point I’ve been making all week is this: the only thing keeping the government from opening back up is the Democrats’ refusal to apply a simple principle of fairness when it comes to Obamacare. To treat everybody the same. Basically all the House is asking for at this point is a level playing field when it comes to Obamacare. That’s about the only thing standing in the way of the government opening back up. And it’s a pretty reasonable request.And if Washington Democrats can’t agree to that, can they at least join us in making sure Veterans programs are funded, that the Honor Flight Veterans can visit the World War II memorial, and that the National Institutes for Health can continue its research? Can they at least agree to that? That’s just the right thing to do. It responds directly to the concerns that a number of our Democrat colleagues have raised. And it’s the same thing this Congress voted to do with the brave men and women of our military.”
Unfortunately, the answer from Democrats turned out to be “no.” As Republican leaders asked one-by-one to approve sensible bills the House has passed,Senate Democrats objected to each of them. Leader McConnell asked consent to pass a bill to continue funding programs for veterans. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) objected. Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) then asked consent to pass a bill funding the National Park Service and the World War II Memorial. Reid again objected. Then Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Vice Chair of the Republican Conference, asked consent to pass a bill funding the National Institutes of Health, something Democrats have expressed repeated concern over. But Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) objected. Then Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-SD) asked consent to approve a bill keeping the National Guard and reserves funded. But once again Durbin objected.
President Obama and other Democrats continue to refuse to negotiate. In an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow yesterday, Leader McConnell said, “The President continues to maintain privately the position that he has had publicly, which is he doesn't want to negotiate about the continuing resolution to operate the government or over raising the debt ceiling. . . . There will have to be a compromise no matter what the President says today because his party doesn't control the entire government. . . . The American people have frequently elected a divided government. When they do that, they don't expect us to do nothing, to not talk to each other.”
The president refuses to negotiate a solution and Senate Democrats refuse to pass bills that would address some of effects of a government shutdown, all of which the'’ve highlighted in recent days. As Leader McConnell said, ‘The House has sent over a number of different proposals, including . . . one to go to conference and have a discussion about this. Senate Democrats voted that down, too. Who’s being unreasonable here?” Tags:Washington, D.C., Senate, houseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Soren Dayton, Red State: The press has been falling over itself to attack Republicans for the shutdown and claiming that they are the source of all the irresponsibility in the process. They have conveniently forgotten several important things about how much the Democrats have broken the budget process in the last couple of years and in this year in particular. I wrote back in January about how the Senate Democrats were dismantling the budget process. While the Senate did pass a budget resolution this year, in many ways the situation has gotten much, much worse. A shutdown is, purely for procedural reasons, a natural and logical consequence of the massive failure of the Senate to do its job.
The budget process starts every year with the President offering his budget in the first week of February. But that’s not what happened. He offered it on April 10, two months after the statutory deadline. In fact, he offered it after both the House and the Senate had passed budget resolutions, so his budget plan was already a moot point. He didn’t do his job, so Congress had to move on without him. (Incidentally, this was the first time that the Senate had passed one since April 29, 2009).
But then the Senate ground to a halt. The Library of Congress offers a very helpful scorecard about how the budget process is proceeding this year that makes it very easy to compare how each chamber did, and how that compares to the past.
This year, the House passed four appropriations bills:
The least controversial of these, Defense and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, totaling $674 billion is over half of the $1.15 trillion that President Obama requested. The Senate could have done something with these and moved the ball forward. The House vote totals prove that these weren’t controversial.
By contrast, the Senate only put a single appropriations bill on the floor, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, nicknamed, appropriately, THUD. This bill cost $54 billion, less than 5% of the President’s proposal. And they brought it to the floor at the end of July, at the last possible minute before the August recess.
This bill was filibustered by Republicans. Why? Because it pretended that the bipartisan sequester didn't happen. It returned to pre-sequester spending. In fact, the spend-thrift Senate Democrats spent even more money than the President wanted: “The vote we just had was symbolically very, very significant,” McConnell told reporters. “There is no question that if cloture had been invoked on this particular appropriations bill, which was even more than what the president asked for, your story line tomorrow would have been Congress on a bipartisan basis walks away from the Budget Control Act.”So that’s the real history, not the mythical one driven by White House talking points, of this year’s budget process. The House started to do its job. The Senate barely got off the ground, and then only operating in a fantasy-land in which the sequester never happened. Sorry for all the wonky details here, but it is really important to see just how much the President and the Senate Democrats have failed in the budget process and how much of this lays at their feet. Tags:Democrats, government shutdown, appropriations bills, budget processTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obamacare went into effect yesterday despite widespread evidence it was not ready to launch, even three years after the law was passed.
The implementation problems are not small. The “exchanges,” websites where Americans who don’t have insurance (or whose employers have dropped their coverage) must buy new policies, had major technical breakdowns in 47 states yesterday.
The faulty exchanges are the least of the mishaps with Obamacare, however. The White House delayed the employer mandate because even three years after the law passed, the administration could not work out how to implement it.
The administration also announced it would not be able to verify individuals’ eligibility for subsidies, opting to hand out taxpayer money on the honor system until at least 2015 rather than delay the law.
President Obama tried to explain away these disasters yesterday as “glitches,” glibly comparing them to bugs in Apple’s new iPhone software. “Like every new law, every new product rollout,” he said, “there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix…Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it…I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”
Americans’ health coverage, of course, is not so trivial as the new coat of paint on the iPhone software. (And unlike their health coverage under Obamacare, people can keep the old software version if they want to.) Clearly, Apple would never ship a product that was seriously malfunctioning the way Obamacare is. The responsible thing for the administration to do would be to delay it.
Such a concession looks unlikely, and instead the Democrats have shut down the government to force this lemon law into effect.
The Obama administration, figuring that Republicans will be blamed for any inconveniences, has taken steps to maximize the pain of the shutdown for civilians. Because every essential function of government has remained open, that means putting the National Park Service on the front lines of the charade.
On the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia, the Park Service closed tour bus turnarounds and scenic pull-offs on the shoulder of the road–but not the road itself, which they also police.
Tour bus turnarounds require no short-term maintenance and there is no reason for the Park Service to close them other than to cause pain to the public. This petty action also made it more difficult for tourist busses to visit Mount Vernon, a private institution, without any conceivable justification.
Even more absurd, the administration has barricaded most of the monuments in Washington. The appalling scene playing out at the World War II Memorial gives you some idea of the thinking that is driving this unnecessary pain. There, the Park Service has erected barricades to prevent veterans of the Second World War from visiting the monument in their honor.
For the last two days, the veterans moved the gates and entered the memorial anyway. But the Park Service told a group of veterans planning an “Honor Flight” next week that anyone who goes beyond the barricades will be arrested. According to the trip’s organizer, when ranger advised him of this possibility, he said, “‘Are you kidding me? You’re going to arrest a 90/91-year-old veteran from seeing his memorial? If it wasn’t for them it wouldn’t be there.’ She said, ‘That’s correct sir.’” Apparently the Park Service plans to crack down after today’s breach of the barricades.
The political motivation behind this abuse of our veterans is obvious. Officials from the Park Service are not normally required to be present when Americans visit the memorial. In fact, it is supposed to be open to the public 24 hours a day, with rangers on-site only for a portion of that time.
Moreover, the memorial was constructed with money raised from private donations, and it operates, according to its website, largely based on a trust fund which pays for its maintenance. There is no reason for it to close.
An American president ordering veterans expelled from federal property is sadly reminiscent of Herbert Hoover’s eviction in 1932 of the Bonus Army, comprised of World War I vets demanding cash bonuses they had been promised.
When Republicans meet with President Obama tonight they should demand that he immediately reopen every federal facility that does not require staff to be present, starting with the World War II Memorial as a sign of good faith.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. Newt and his wife, Callista, host and produce historical and public policy documentaries. The above commentary was shared via his daily email via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, Democrats, Punish Veterans, War Memorial, protecting a Lemon, Obamacare, Fed forecast, Gingrich Productions,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement after the House passed measures to keep critical parts of the government running, including life-saving cancer research, national parks and museums, and District of Columbia schools and services:“Republicans continue to listen to the American people and take steps to keep critical parts of the government running. There’s nothing ‘piecemeal’ about making sure Americans have access to all of their national parks, or continuing life-saving cancer research. Instead of threatening to veto these bills as part of a scorched-earth strategy, the president should back them just as he did our military pay bill. We will pass additional emergency measures in the coming days as we wait for President Obama and Senate Democrats to drop their refusal to negotiate. The sooner they do, the sooner we can resolve our differences and address our country’s challenges.”Tags:U.S. House, keeping Government open, Speaker John BoehnerTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
In 2013 came the budget sequestration - $85 billion in spending cuts. So we increased by $900 billion - then rolled it back $85 billion. We’re still up 90+% over 2008 - not exactly Draconian or austere.
That every penny in this nearly $4 trillion annual pile is vitally important, being spent wisely and well - and in fact isn’t nearly enough - is one of the colossally dubious arguments of all time. Yet many make it.
The Feds have basically built the 2009 “Stimulus” into every subsequent year. They have grown even further their obscene chunk of the GDP. And added nearly $7 trillion to the federal debt. How’s that Huge Government been working?
To expect our economy to recover and grow when the Leviathan takes and spends a quarter of what it creates is asking a bit much. To say it isn’t nearly enough is absurd on stilts.
to paraphrase Clint Eastwood, “When something isn’t doing the job, we’ve got to let it go.” Big Government isn’t getting it done - we’ve got to let a lot of it go.
There are Departments, Agencies, Boards and Commissions that can be closed entirely - with negligible to no negative effect. In fact, it would do quite a lot of good.
Human beings have engaged in commerce for ten thousand years. We did it for 9,900 years without a Department of Commerce. We have been educating our children since we’ve been having them. And we did so until 1979 without a Department of Education.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maybe - maybe - served a purpose once upon a time. It began in 1926 as the Federal Radio Commission - created basically to make sure people didn’t broadcast on top of one another. It was transmogrified into the FCC by the 1934 Communications Act.
Flash forward to today. The FCC is a bureaucracy looking for shreds of relevancy to the modern communications landscape - which has long since left it in the dust. Most of what it does is damaging. And/or redundant - also handled by one or more other arms of the Leviathan. Or it alone does things that could ably be handled elsewhere in the federal web. At this point, the FCC basically just adds a layer of harmful, communications-specific redundancy.
The FCC approves or denies media mergers. But so do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice - just as these two do for all major deals. The FCC looks to ensure media competition - just as the FTC does on all things. The FCC peeks in on homeland security - where we have the FBI, Homeland Security, and myriad other departments. Do we really need to add the FCC to the Frisk Us Parties at airports?
Idle bureaucrat hands are the Devil’s playground. Under President Obama, they have been Disneyland. In duplicative regulatory fashion, and/or with no authority whatsoever or little to no market reason to do so, the Obama FCC has:
Amongst other anti-free market, utterly unnecessary things.
We as a nation need to be looking for many, many ways to cut government (sadly, of course, we really aren't). A good place to hack is a 1930s New Deal holdover Commission whose sector long ago passed it by. A Commission that increasingly looks to illegally assert its non-existent authority - in some vain attempt at relevance, in search of something to do.
We should at the very least dramatically limit the FCC to what it alone handles. Or determine what other departments can do those finite things, re-allot them - and shudder the Commission.
Which would certainly free up the private sector to create a lot of additional coin. And allow for the Feds to take a little less of it.
------------- Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Human Events also published this article. Please feel free to follow him on TwitterFacebook. Tags:Government, doing with less, reality, Seton Motley, Less GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
For Struggling Middle Class Families, The Gold Standard Is No Fairy Tale - It's King Of Conservative Economic Thinking
US gold certificate (1922) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Once upon a time — September 17th — Reuters published a delightfully preposterous blunderbuss of a blog. It served up a one-sided attack on conservatives.
It did so as part of what it calls The Great Debate. Well, a debate has two sides. This was A Great Soliloquy. Here’s the side Reuters declined to publish.
The very distinguished author of that blog, Prof. Charles Postel, author of The Populist Vision, purported to tell his readers why conservatives spin fairytales about the gold standard. The good professor manages to defame both conservatives and the gold standard. He, subtly, misrepresents even fairy tales. And he did not deliver the goods.
Prof. Postel begins, auspiciously, with two astute observations. “Today,” he writes, “gold is king of conservative economic thinking.” And: “Financial magnate Steve Forbes has turned Forbes magazine into a tool of gold advocacy.” Postel then goes off the rails entirely, turning from a blogger into a fabulist.
Alas, Postel fills poor Reuters’ readers’ heads with the most astonishing errors and omissions (contemporary and historical). The conservative position he conjures is a grotesque caricature of reality. He indefensibly impugns the motives of the gold standard’s proponents (my own, presumably, included in his blanket anathema). A few minutes of research would have revealed to him that much of his argument was distorted, exaggerated, or just plain counterfactual.
This writer, a conservative, gladly picks up the gauntlet. (In truth it is more kid glove than gauntlet. Yet honor must be served.)
Debates are two-sided. This is the other side.
This actual conservative insider will reveal the real inside story of why conservatives spin fairy-tales about the gold standard. The real scoop. And the gold standard “fairy tale” is a fascinating subject.
This columnist contributes a weekly column for Forbes’s online edition, Forbes.com, entitled A Golden Age. The gold standard is a regular topic. This columnist also, professionally, is the editor of the thegoldstandardnow.org … the World Wide Web’s top ranking autonomous gold standard policy site. The Lehrman Institute — whose founder and chairman is Reagan Gold Commissioner, scholar, businessman and philanthropist, Lewis E. Lehrman — maintains that site. This columnist also is senior advisor, economics, of American Principles in Action, demonstrably the most influential “action tank” for monetary reform — including the gold standard — at work in Washington today.
The most risible element of Prof. Postel’s argument is his unfounded allegation that proponents of gold are partisans of the wealthy rather than the middle class — of Wall Street rather than Main Street. Postel: “Conservatives are again fervently pushing gold as a means to protect the wealth and power of Wall Street financiers and the corporate elite.”
Not only is this allegation wrong. It is shockingly wrong.
The primary argument being made on the right, in the capital, for the gold standard is its potential to boost creation of abundant good jobs. Only secondarily is it presented as a counter to inflation and nowhere as a means further to privilege the overprivileged. Unlike what Postel implies, few of the serious gold standard proponents are recommending gold as a speculative commodity investment. Most important, virtually all proponents of the gold standard (whether the proponents be the historicist classical or aspirational Austrian) wholeheartedly are committed to the prosperity of workers.
Lewis E. Lehrman, himself a historian of note, repeatedly takes the pro-labor position. For example: “The prudent middle class on Main Street is dispossessed; the reckless on Wall Street, bailed out.”
Another leading proponent of the gold standard is Sean Fieler, chairman of American Principles in Action. He writes in the Wall Street Journal: “In the past four years alone, since the Federal Reserve started aggressively expanding its balance sheet, the declines in the middle class’s real income have been particularly severe.”
Steve Forbes himself, having, apparently, transformed Forbes from a mere “Capitalist Tool” to a “Tool of Gold Advocacy” (Steve, time to design a new tie?), is on record, recently, with this worker-friendly observation: “If the world’s people are to realize their full economic potential, relinking the dollar to gold is essential. Without it we will experience more debilitating financial disasters and economic stagnation.”
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. One of the world’s premier econobloggers, John Aziz, writing from London, repeatedly has addressed the matter of, as he once put it, “Why the Left Misunderstands Income Inequality.” I myself, at Forbes.com, repeatedly have argued that gold equals more and better jobs.
Postel betrays an astonishing unfamiliarity with the monetary reform discourse on the right. He conflates those committed to “audit the fed” with gold standard proponents. This helps him pad an otherwise slender argument — at the cost of collapsing critical intellectual distinctions.
Postel, for instance, misrepresents the focus of Sen. Rand Paul. Sen. Paul’s main financial legislative focus is auditing the Fed. He merely has mentioned a commission twice, in passing. The key proponent of a monetary commission rapidly gaining momentum is Joint Economic Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tx). And … this isn’t a gold commission. It is much broader based and being readied to study, on a bipartisan basis, both fiduciary monetary policy and the gold standard, among other prescriptions.
From the center, the Bank of England, in its assessment of the performance of the world monetary and financial system, in Financial Stability Report Number 13, “Reform of the International Monetary and Financial System,” issued in December of 2011 (not, apparently, consulted by Prof. Postel) found that the fiduciary currency standard propounded by the left either substantially or dramatically underperformed both the Bretton Woods gold-exchange standard and the classical gold standard on all fronts — including robust, middle class supporting, job creation.
As an aside, it is mystifying that so many left wing public intellectuals, exemplified by Prof. Postel, so bitterly cling to a monetary system established, on August 15, 1971, by President Richard Nixon. This writer presumes (perhaps presumptuously) that Nixon is not in Prof. Postel’s pantheon of progressive heroes.
Readers familiar with actual history must have scratched their heads about Prof. Postel’s version. Postel: “But claims that the old gold standard made for a more stable economy have no basis in the historical record. Those years witnessed the terrible depressions of the 1870s and 1890s, and some of the most severe financial busts and economic storms in U.S. history.”
As cnoted by Forbes.com columnist Nathan Lewis (author of Gold: the Monetary Polaris): For some reason, it is conventional wisdom today that the years 1870-1914, the era of the Most Perfect Monetary System Ever Created, was a time of chronic recession and disaster.
But how could that be? The United States was the world’s greatest economic success story of the last two centuries. When did that happen? It didn’t happen during the Civil War and the Great Depression.
That’s why Professor Brian Domitrovic says the usual story you hear about the gold standard years is completely wrong.
The United States actually did not return to a gold standard until 1879. However, by 1870, most of the rubble of the Civil War, including the floating “greenback” dollar, had been cleared up. Between 1870 and 1912, a period of forty-two years, industrial production in the United States rose by 682%.Prof. Brian Domitrovic, himself an award-winning economic historian, had this to say about the baleful influence of one of Prof. Postel’s icons, William Jennings Bryan:One of the reasons the Fed was created in 1913 was to give ear to the concerns, such as they were, of the down-and-out farmers. Yet the doubling of the dollar float did nothing to alter the real economics of farming in a modernized economy. Instead, the effect of the Fed policy was to visit wild gyrations on the price level – and hence the values of assets – on the nation as a whole, which culminated in a Great Depression for everybody, farmer and non-farmer alike.
That the “cross of gold” line continues to be the rhetorical swipe of choice against any advocacy for a collateralized dollar not only plays a role in depriving this nation of the salutary, gold-based monetary system it deserves. It perpetuates misunderstanding of the great achievements of our nation’s industrial revolution and makes common cause with the mistakes of the past.Domitrovic hardly is alone in his assessment of Bryan. As recited in “Historical Beginnings. The Federal Reserve” by historian Roger T. Johnson, (published by The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, revised 2010) "One of [Bryan’s] cabinet colleagues later sneered: ‘I discovered that one could drive a prairie schooner through any part of his argument and never scrape against a fact or a sound statement."
Moreover, Bryan was a Biblical literalist. “Bryan enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public service. Nevertheless, today he mostly is remembered … for Clarence Darrow’s cross examination of his Creationist views in the famous ‘Scopes Monkey Trial.’”
It is a weird thing to see good progressives like Prof. Postel joining arms with a creationist (in, one notes, both the monetary and theological sense of that word), Bryan. Bryan and Postel make an uncanny tag team in defense of the Nixonian monetary legacy. Strange bedfellows indeed.
This columnist finds most poignant, however, neither Postel’s misunderstanding of the gold standard nor of gold’s proponents. Most poignant is his incomprehension of … fairy tales. Postel seems to have cut his collegiate classes in postmodernism. Perhaps he considered that important aspect of philosophy unimportant to a historian. This is a terrible oversight.
Postel fails to grasp the essence of the postmodernist insight as defined, so succinctly and perfectly, by Lyotard: “incredulity toward metanarratives.” Thus Postel, the historian, presents as a cultural anachronism. He betrays a modernist’s presumption that his own metanarrative somehow reflects “truth” while the narrative of his opponent represents a “fairytale.” To be able to hold to such a discredited position with a straight face, Postel must also have cut his classes in modern cognitive psychology.
So, let this columnist, who resides inside the conservative narrative to which Prof. Postel proves only a hostile stranger, now reveal the true reason why conservatives spin fairy tales about the gold standard. Or, rather, let us invite G.K. Chesterton to so. In Fairy Tales (from All Things Considered, New World Chesterton, Sheed and Ward, New York, 1956, p. 188-9) Chesterton, with characteristic charm, reveals the true nature of fairy tales … and the power they exert over conservatives. It is a power they might exert beneficially over all.
If you really read the fairy-tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other—the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales. The whole happiness of fairyland hangs upon a thread, upon one thread. Cinderella may have a dress woven on supernatural looms and blazing with unearthly brilliance; but she must be back when the clock strikes twelve. The king may invite fairies to the christening, but he must invite all the fairies or frightful results will follow. …
This great idea, then, is the backbone of all folk-lore—the idea that all happiness hangs on one thin veto; all positive joy depends on one negative. Now it is obvious that there are many philosophical and religious ideas akin to or symbolized by this; but it is not with them I wish to deal here. It is surely obvious that all ethics ought to be taught to this fairy-tale tune; that if one does the thing forbidden, one imperils all the things provided. …
This, it is submitted, is the real story of why conservatives spin fairy tales around the gold standard. Ignore Prof. Postel’s attempt to turn us into cartoon villains. Call me Snidely Whiplash but … we conservatives, to a man, side with Bob Cratchit … and Tiny Tim. Not Ebenezer Scrooge.
Conservatives, a modern species of classical liberals, simply believe in a natural order. The data persuade us that the gold standard is the most viable path to the creation of a climate of equitable prosperity, most especially for the middle class.
Any Austrian economist can tutor us in the — decisive — utilitarian arguments why the gold standard makes labor (as well as capital) better off. But to put it simply, as President Kennedy so neatly phrased it, “a rising tide lifts all boats.’
Meanwhile, we classical liberals called conservatives, rather than libertarians, spin fairy tales about the gold standard because we believe (at least this columnist believes), with Chesterton, that “if one does the thing forbidden, one imperils all the things provided. … This is the profound morality of fairy-tales; which so far from being lawless, go to the root of all law.”
And tampering with the unit of account is, in our view, “the thing forbidden” that “imperils all the things provided.” Classical liberal conservatives believe that the federal government, in order to promote the general welfare, must maintain the integrity of the definition of the economy’s most fundamental unit of account — the dollar. History shows that only bad things come from fiddling with the dollar’s definition.
We believe that if Uncle Sam solemnly fulfills this duty we all — rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief — are far more likely to thrive than if the government “does the thing forbidden.” Principled arguments can be asserted that there may be better ways than the gold standard to foment equitable prosperity. The empirical evidence for this proposition presents as deeply unpersuasive. But at least such an argument has more integrity, and interest, than maligning our motives and relying upon concocted history.
So here’s the story. Conservatives spin fairy tales about the gold standard, dear Reader, because our reading of history shows gold to be unrivaled as a mechanism by which working families may prosper. We propose it to constrain the powerful and privileged and to lift humanity out of this “Little Dark Age” and onward to a Golden Age.
Where they all lived happily ever after.
----------- Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. This article first appeared in Forbes. Tags:Ralph Benko, Gold Standard economics, conservatvesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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