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Obama marginalizes 1.2 million tax-paying Americans

30 Apr

During a townhall meeting in Arnold, MO on April 29, 2009, President Obama made the following comment in response to a question on Social Security-

 

What we face long term, the biggest problem we have is that Medicare and Medicaid — health care costs are sky-rocketing, and at the same time as the population is getting older, which means we’re using more health care — you combine those two things, and if we aren’t careful, health care will consume so much of our budget that ultimately we won’t be able to do anything else.  We won’t be able to provide financial assistance to students; we won’t be able to help build green energy; we won’t be able to help industries that get into trouble; we won’t have a national park system; we won’t be able to do what we’re supposed to do on our veterans.  Everything else will be pushed aside because of Medicare and Medicaid.  That’s the problem that we really confront.

That’s why I’ve said we’ve got to have health reform this year — (applause) — to drive down costs and make health care affordable for American families, businesses and for our government.  (Applause.) 

So, you know, when you see — those of you who are watching certain news channels that — on which I’m not very popular — (laughter) — and you see folks waving tea bags around — (laughter) — let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we’re going to stabilize Social Security.  Claire and I are working diligently to do basically a thorough audit of federal spending.  But let’s not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act, because that’s just a fraction of the overall problem that we’ve got.” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/29/Retrospective-in-Missouri/)

Mr. Obama, the issue over which the April 15th Tea Parties were held is not healthcare, nor was it over the stimulus package.  It has been estimated that 1.2 million Americans exercised their first amendment rights to assemble peaceably, and the seek redress from the government for their grievances.  And at least for those attending the Birmingham, AL tea party, all 8,000 strong, the cause was even more basic- we want to restore our constitutionally based republic. 

You mentioned in you response that if healthcare costs continued to sky-rocket, the federal government would not be able to provide financial assistance to students.  Where in the constitution is it mandated that the federal government provide financial assistance to students?  You stated that the federal government would not be able to help build green-energy.  Where in the constitution is it mandated that the federal government provide for green, or any other color, energy?  You stated that the federal government would not be able to help industries in trouble.  Where in the constitution is it mandated that the federal government is to assist troubled industry?  You stated that the federal government would not be able to have a national park system.  Again, where in the constitution is the federal government mandated to have and maintain the national park system? 

The only point you did make in the entire line up was the responsibility the federal government does have to our military, to provide for the common defense of the nation.  Taking care of our veterans is an obligation of the federal government despite the position of your administration that vets returning from combat should be watched closely to insure that they do not become home-grown terrorists.

No, Mr. Obama, the tea parties were not about healthcare, but about a federal government that has well exceeded the size and scope that is mandated by the U. S. Constitution, and the fact that we reject unconstitutional federal authority in favor of state and local authority.  You have marginalized the 1.2 million citizens, and I look forward to the day when that number doubles, then triples, and becomes a real threat to your administration.

More on Energy Solutions

15 Jul

In an article of the same name, Dan Scandling comments on the new Manhattan Project for Energy Independence as outlined by two members of congress, Randy Forbes and Frank Wolf.  While I might applaud the desire, and even give a one-handed clap for the seven goals outlined, energy independence, and security, are right around the corner, and can be done with existing resources.  At today’s rate of consumption, we have a 240 year supply of oil from oil shale, and a 250 year supply of liquid fuel from coal.  We don’t have to spend millions and millions of dollars and wait 10 years to achieve independence, we can do it today by tapping these vast resources.

Mind you, I have no problem with alternative forms of energy; my home is not going to be powered by a gas generator anytime soon, unless someone can figure out a muffler system that works better.  Cars are not going to be powered by wind generation or nuclear fusion, and the trucking industry is not going to transport your goods and mine to market by way of solar power.  However, if we can identify those resources that best fit a specific need, and make them specialists to that need, we might make really good progress; Gas for cars, regular and bio-mass diesel for trucks and trains, solar and wind for the home, and bugs that poop oil for the farm.

The Cost of Gas as a Percentage of Median Income

6 Jul

I probably had better things to do tonight, but I decided to start pulling statistics from several sources, including the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Senate website, and the House website, and here is what I came up with.

In May 1981, the price of a gallon of gasoline was the equivalent of .0072% of annual median income.  By the end of the Reagan presidency that percentage had dropped to .0036%, with a slight up-tick to .0040 by May of 1989.  From that time until 2003, the percentage hovered around .0036, sometimes up by .001, and sometimes down by a lesser margin.  In 2003, when we “went to war for oil,” the percentage started going up, and today is at .0074% of annual median income.

Two points: If we went to war for oil, one would think that the percentage would drop with the benefit of the US now getting all that oil from Iraq.  Fact is, that wasn’t the reason, it that isn’t the result.  Second, is that really the issue?  We can parse the data to show which party had control of the White House, the Senate, or the House, but in the end, none of that matters either.  What really matters is that we are not keeping fuel prices down by increasing oil supplies, which will best be done right here in the US.  If we pull ourselves off the world market and start producing our own oil from the 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in CO, UT, and WY, we gain energy independence, and we put 22 million barrels of oil a day back on the world market for the world to consume.  Prices go down, employment goes up, national security is enhanced, energy independence is realized, and we are a better country for it.

So, for those of you who prefer to sit around whining about the price of a gallon of gas, I ask you to do one of two things:  Shut up, or do something about it.  If you are not going to step up to the plate and make a difference by making your voice heard to the people who can make a difference, your house of representatives, then please stop whining and be content with the high prices.  On the other hand, if you are a person of character, open your mouth and start talking to your representatives.  Write letters, sign petitions, heck, buy a t-shirt so I can afford to keep sending them to your reps for free.  Just do something!!!!

Patrick Henry- Give me Liberty!

5 Jul

“No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
 
“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

“I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort.

“I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves.

“Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.  

“It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish?  What would they have?  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”