Thought of the Day – May 8, 2013

Today’s thought is a lolapaloozer! It is from Thomas Sowell, our resident genius economist, thinker and one half of the Twin Towers of Stanford University (the other half is Victor Davis Hanson):

“If you don’t stop and think, it doesn’t matter whether you are a genius or a moron. Words that stop people from thinking reduce even smart people to the same level as morons.”

From Townhall column http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/05/08/words-that-replace-thought-n1588497/page/full

Think about this as you watch Benghazi unravel. God bless America!

Thomas Sowell – An Educator Speaks About Education

An Excellent Spirit reads what Thomas Sowell writes. In his latest Townhall column,  Professor Sowell takes a look at teachers and what they are teaching our children. “Many years ago, as a young man, I read a very interesting book about the rise of the Communists to power in China. In the last chapter, the author tried to explain why and how this had happened. Among the factors he cited were the country’s educators. That struck me as odd, and not very plausible, at the time. But the passing years have made that seem less and less odd, and more and more plausible. Today, I see our own educators playing a similar role in creating a mindset that undermines American society.”

An Excellent Spirit has written about the sad state of American education and what can be done about it. Here and here. For a complete list of our articles on education, go here.

Sowell, one of the most sought after professors at Stanford, knows whereof he speaks. He has been in academia most of his celebrated life. He points out that schools, from the founding of the Republic, were considered our most important institution to teach our children our history and the knowledge they would need to understand and perpetuate the Republic. “Schools were once thought of as places where a society’s knowledge and experience were passed on to the younger generation. But, about a hundred years ago, Professor John Dewey of Columbia University came up with a very different conception of education — one that has spread through American schools of education, and even influenced education in countries overseas. Dewey, the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System that allows school libraries to function could have stopped with that most helpful contribution, but he was interested in something more sinister. “John Dewey saw the role of the teacher, not as a transmitter of a society’s culture to the young, but as an agent of change — someone strategically placed, with an opportunity to condition students to want a different kind of society.”

Dewey knew that teachers were by and large disaffected liberal ideologues. He was one and Columbia University was a hotbed of radicalism and anti-American fervor. Dewey and his ilk, by then strongly ingrained in the educational academia took advantage of the coming power of teacher’s unions to seal the deal and totally dominate and pervert the American Educational System, from top to bottom. The results have been catastrophic. An Excellent Spirit has written on the sad state of our children’s and grandchildren’s education. Here. We have reported on the awful fall in the ranking of our children’s quality of education and the concomitant fall in their ability to compete in the job market with now better educated foreign students. The actual ratings are appalling. Geographic.org publishes its rankings shown here. There are many other rankings from many other sites. One thing they all agree on it that The United States of America no longer leads the world in educating our children. In fact as the Geographic.org report shows, we rank far down the list in all three disciplines. Our “three R’s” have become three X’s.

There are many Internet sites available for our readers to make sure their children learn about our heritage and the values that made America strong and a leader in the world these last 225 years. One such site is WallBuilders, David Barton’s anointed, fearless Christian organization that does yeoman work in standing for education and educational curriculae across America. David has written several books An Excellent Spirit highly recommends: The Jefferson Lies and America’s Godly Heritage are two essentials. Go there and purchase books, videos and David’s writings. Every child should read The Light and The Glory, by Peter Marshall and David Manuel. This book was published in 1980 and has been a beacon of truth and facts about the founding of the United States and what our Founding Fathers intended.

WallBuilders Founder and CEO David Barton

Back to Thomas Sowell. “A century later, we are seeing schools across America indoctrinating students to believe in all sorts of politically correct notions. The history that is taught in too many of our schools is a history that emphasizes everything that has gone bad, or can be made to look bad, in America — and that gives little, if any, attention to the great achievements of this country. If you think that is an exaggeration, get a copy of “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn and read it. As someone who used to read translations of official Communist newspapers in the days of the Soviet Union, I know that those papers’ attempts to degrade the United States did not sink quite as low as Howard Zinn’s book. That book has sold millions of copies, poisoning the minds of millions of students in schools and colleges against their own country. But this book is one of many things that enable teachers to think of themselves as “agents of change,” without having the slightest accountability for whether that change turns out to be for the better or for the worse — or, indeed, utterly catastrophic.”  As assigned reading, as part of the academic curriculae in America, any book can become a best seller. When students must read and are tested on the content, it sticks in their minds. When their professors, teachers and aides recommend and laud these books, a climate is created. When that climate is repeated year after year. You get the results that American education is getting.

Sowell himself is the author of over 30 books, innumerable articles and papers. He was educated at Harvard, Columbia and University of Chicago. He is one of our foremost authors, economists, philosophers and social theorists. Here

Thomas Sowell concludes his article, “This misuse of schools to undermine one’s own society is not something confined to the United States or even to our own time. It is common in Western countries for educators, the media and the intelligentsia in general, to single out Western civilization for special condemnation for sins that have been common to the human race, in all parts of the world, for thousands of years. Meanwhile, all sorts of fictitious virtues are attributed to non-Western societies, and their worst crimes are often passed over in silence, or at least shrugged off by saying some such thing as “Who are we to judge?” Even in the face of mortal dangers, political correctness forbids us to use words like “terrorist” when the approved euphemism is “militant.” Milder terms such as “illegal alien” likewise cannot pass the political correctness test, so it must be replaced by another euphemism, “undocumented worker.” Some think that we must tiptoe around in our own country, lest some foreigners living here or visiting here be offended by the sight of an American flag or a Christmas tree in some institutions. In France between the two World Wars, the teachers’ union decided that schools should replace patriotism with internationalism and pacifism. Books that told the story of the heroic defense of French soldiers against the German invaders at Verdun in 1916, despite suffering massive casualties, were replaced by books that spoke impartially about the suffering of all soldiers — both French and German — at Verdun. Germany invaded France again in 1940, and this time the world was shocked when the French surrendered after just 6 weeks of fighting — especially since military experts expected France to win. But two decades of undermining French patriotism and morale had done their work.

American schools today are similarly undermining American society as one unworthy of defending, either domestically or internationally. If there were nuclear attacks on American cities, how long would it take for us to surrender, even if we had nuclear superiority — but were not as willing to die as our enemies were?” Emphasis ours.

Thank you, Thomas Sowell for saying what needed to be said. In this desperate time of Fiscal Cliff’s and Taxmageddons. With the threat of war, nuclear war and cyberspace abyss staring all of us in the face, there are voices that the American people can trust, thinkers and truth tellers. In order to know what America should do, its citizens must first understand the times in which we live, the threats to our liberties and safety and those who would harm our families. Thomas Sowell is an “Essential”. Stay tuned.

Happy New Year – 2013!

An Excellent Spirit returns after a two-week hiatus to wish our readers a Happy, Blessed, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year. We do so sadly, knowing as we do that 2013 promises to bring America and the world few of the desirable qualities of peace, prosperity and life, given how 2012 is ending. The recent Election has done tragically little to resolve the polarization and the class warfare we experience daily. The so called Fiscal Cliff has produced yet another deal that kicks America’s can farther down the road into our grandchildren’s future. Here Those in Congress and our re-elected President have shown the world that they are interested only in their prosperity and not ours. The post Election climate has given almost no hope that issues like Benghazi, Iran’s march to acquire a nuclear weapon, the threat of cyber warfare or an Electro Magnetic Pulse induced nuclear winter can be met by America, much less the confused world we live in. America cannot even solve our debt and spending problems.

That is why we often turn to humor. God’s Word tells us that “A merry heart maketh like a medicine”. Proverbs 17:22 continues, “but a crushed spirit dries the bones”. We Americans have yet to realize that the Washington tango will do little more than dry America’s financial bones, so humor is all we have left to pass the time we have left before the bill comes due. This Jewish World Review piece by Deborah J. Saunders paraphrasing our beloved “national pastime” gives a hint of what we mean. It deals with the Romney campaign’s dashed hopes for a better future.

After reviewing the political year in a parody of “Casey At The Bat” Saunders concludes,

“Oh, somewhere in this welfare state, large crowds are having fun.

John Boehner isn’t crying as Obama crows, “I won.”

He’s racing toward the fiscal cliff — while voters scream and shout.

What D.C. pol can break the fall? Mitt Romney has struck out.”

At best, Ms. Saunders’ parody is an indication of the troubles America faces in 2013 and beyond. At worst, it is a chilling prophesy that our real problem is that few Americans really know what we face and still fewer Americans show signs of caring as we begin 2013.

An Excellent Spirit has taken the time to seek the Lord for His wisdom and His will for us in 2013. It gives us no joy whatsoever to report the ominous news that is everywhere we look as 2012 ends. We would prefer parody, but we lack the talent of Ms, Saunders, so we begin our tour of American prospects entering 2013 with the Fiscal Cliff. The deal that was struck hours ago proves that no one in our government has a shred of intention of taking any of the many necessary steps our government must take to prevent America from becoming a debtor nation, vulnerable to the predatory vultures to which all debtors are prey. We go from there to the Middle East where Israel, increasingly isolated by American foreign policies, could trigger Armageddon, as the only option it may have to being “wiped off the map”. From there try to get your head around the increasing violence in America as hundreds of children are killed, maimed and forever traumatized in Connecticut, even as our “just and humane” society prepares to kill another million or so children in the womb in 2013.

Fortunately, An Excellent Spirit has access to observers and sources much wiser than we. Thomas Sowell. has this latest Random Thoughts in Jewish World Review. Professor Sowell covers a few more items that do not bode well for America’s future. “The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good. Some people are wondering what takes so long for the negotiations about the “fiscal cliff.” Maybe both sides are waiting for supplies. Democrats may be waiting for more cans to kick down the road. Republicans may be waiting for more white flags to hold up in surrender.”

Professor Sowell a brilliant economist makes a point that no one else seems to be making: “Everybody is talking about how we are going to pay for the huge national debt, but nobody seems to be talking about the runaway spending which created that record-breaking debt. In other words, the big spenders get political benefits from handing out goodies, while those who resist giving them more money to spend will be blamed for sending the country off the “fiscal cliff.”

Finally, Sowell who is a great thinker and writer, takes on foreign policy and Israel, as an Angel going where fools tread with impunity, “When Barack Obama refused to agree to a requested meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the leader of a country publicly and repeatedly threatened with annihilation by Iran’s leaders, as the Iranians move toward creating nuclear bombs — I thought of a line from the old movie classic “Citizen Kane”: “Charlie wasn’t cruel. He just did cruel things.” Read the whole thing. Here

Maybe it is because Americans no longer are paying attention. Perhaps analogies like Sowell’s to “Citizen Kane” and Saunders’ to “Casey at the Bat” are no longer relevant in a culture that has gone from being the world leader in educating our children to 18th or 20th. Maybe we, the People, have become so complacent and “entitled” that we no longer value liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We clearly do not value life, unless it is our own and no one else’s.

In the hiatus we have had since mid December, An Excellent Spirit has searched our hearts, minds and spirits for a positive sign that America would prosper and it’s people could rejoice in a nation that God Almighty exalts because of our righteousness. We have found little upon which to hang our hats in the news, the goings on in our nation’s capitol or the condition of the world. The only thing we can point to is But God!

Psalm 2 asks a question that men have asked for ages. Why do the nations rage,
and the people plot a vain thing? (Psalm 2:1) The Psalm continues, The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
 and cast away Their cords from us.” Reading Thomas Sowell is a lot like reading this Psalm. Professor Sowell knows that there is wisdom against which no prevarication nor denial will prevail. It is God’s wisdom in His Word. Psalm 2 continues:

“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King
on My holy hill of Zion.”

 “I will declare the decree:
the Lord has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You
 the nations for Your inheritance,
and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron;
 You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

An Excellent Spirit has diligently looked and we have not liked what we have seen. It is as if the whole earth, even those in our churches, temples and mosques deny the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His Son Jesus, and fail to heed His instruction to all of us:

Now therefore, be wise, O kings; 
be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear,
 and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
 and you perish in the way,
 when His wrath is kindled but a little. 
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Emphasis ours.

We, at An Excellent Spirit pray for, wish and hope for a Happy 2013, a year that is blessed by the Most High God. We have faith in our God, in His Son our Savior, in His Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Guide and in His people who seek His Peace on Earth as it is in Heaven. Our families and our children and grandchildren can only be blessed by Our God Who blesses not by man nor government nor institution, but by His Grace, Mercy and Love!

As Aaron prayed for Israel, we pray for God’s people in America and in the world over:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His Peace”  (Numbers 6:24-26)

Shalom, brothers and sisters and let us all Bless the God who blesses America! Happy 2013!

The Hidden Cost of Living – The Blessings of The Season

An Excellent Spirit, in the spirit of Christmas, is bringing our readers perspectives that we believe will bless them. Knowledge is a blessing. Understanding is a blessing. Knowing the will of God, Creator and Father of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ is a blessing. Knowing Jesus as Savior and God as Father and the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of all Truth is the greatest blessing of all.

That brings us to this Jewish World Review column by Thomas Sowell. In it, Professor Sowell does what few economists and economic forecasters and absolutely no politicians or lamestream media do. He tells the truth. The title of the piece might give us a hint. Taxing the PoorProfessor Sowell is one of the foremost economists in America and when he talks, we listen. “With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.”

Thomas Sowell, Stanford Professor, Economist, Author and American Icon

How is that, you ask? Sowell explains: “While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle. If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, ‘If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.’ One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.” Emphasis ours.

We all have heard the word inflation. We all have experienced the loss of purchasing power and the rise in prices. We are in such an extreme time now as the prices we pay for gasoline, electricity, food and all staples rise and then rise some more. Knowing, experiencing and enduring, however, do nothing to help us do something about inflation. That is where Thomas Sowell’s column comes in. He gives us understanding and that can lead to freedom!

Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for. Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.”  We are not accusing anyone, but are we not printing money, propping up our economy and spending our own wealth and that of our children and grandchildren today in the same manner.

An Excellent Spirit has reported on Quantitative Easing (QE 1, 2 &3) hereProfessor Sowell gives us an historical example of how this killer of wealth works. “Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.

A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth.” Thank God there are no Adolph Hitler’s in America today, but the math is the same and the consequences on generations yet to come may yet spawn another maniac unless we do something to get this silent killer under control.

The real victims of inflation are our children, the elderly and the poor.

People putting up Christmas trees and wrapping presents; people struggling to buy those trees and presents; people who will not have many of either, all are the victims of inflation. Professor Sowell explains: “Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960. If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value. Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest. That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both.”

Last time we looked, that is exactly what QE 1, QE 2 and now, QE 3 are doing to everybody. We learned today that the Federal Reserve is doubling down on QE 3. Here  So what we have now is more government spending of more of our wealth, or worse, the money we are borrowing from China, to cure a problem that is of their own making. Spending. Professor Sowell continues, “It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it. No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money. Emphasis ours.

In our Election coverage, An Excellent Spirit wrote on the changes that have come to our country. Here Most will recall the appellation “The Food Stamp President” hurled at President Obama. Sowell, no fan of the President, talks to the “takers” when he says, The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits— food stamps, housing subsidies and the like— if their income goes up. Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent— far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways. Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.” As usual, Thomas Sowell has given us the finest present we can get in this Christmas Season, understanding. It will last, not fade and it could even lead us to a better country, if enough of us get it.

God’s Word is our greatest present in any Season. Proverbs 4 says, “Hear, My children, the instruction of a Father,
And give attention to know understanding; for I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law. When I was my father’s son,
tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain My words;
Keep My commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of My mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.  She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” (Proverbs 4:1-9)

Wisdom and Understanding. God’s greatest gifts to His children in any Season. Seemingly in short supply these days, but thanks to Thomas Sowell and to God, America is blessed. Stay tuned.

The Fiscal Cliff – Who Gets Hurt? Who Cares? Part 2

Part Two – More Fiscal Cliff From Thomas Sowell, Daniel J. Mitchell  and Patrick Buchanan

Yesterday An Excellent Spirit began our latest look at the imminent Fiscal Cliff and the consequential Taxmageddon with Thomas Sowell. Today, we continue with Thomas Sowell and other economic and political commentators. Our question remains, “do “we” care about all this noise or are have “we” been drugged, lulled and lied to sleep so that “we” will accept and endure anything that “they” tell us, as long as “they” bring “us” our daily fix of whatever it is “we” use to kill “our” pain. Any examination of the mood and tolerance of the American people is difficult, as the assault upon “our” senses is constant and our perceptions change as fast as the weather. That said, An Excellent Spirit ventures where angels fear to tread with the help of messers Sowell, Mitchell and Buchanan.

We have examined Professor Sowell’s Fiscal Cliff Notes I, in which he made the case that “taxing the rich” would not make even a small dent in the economic crisis we are in, despite the perception of the American people that it would. Today, Thomas Sowell starts us off with his Fiscal Cliff Notes II in Jewish World Review (simultaneously run in Townhall). Here “One of the big advantages that President Obama has, as he plays “chicken” with the Congressional Republicans along the “fiscal cliff,” is that Obama is a master of the plausible lie, which will never be exposed by the mainstream media— nor, apparently, by the Republicans. A key lie that has been repeated over and over, largely unanswered, is that President Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich” cost the government so much lost tax revenue that this added to the budget deficit— so that the government cannot afford to allow the cost of letting the Bush tax rates continue for “the rich.” It sounds very plausible, and constant repetition without a challenge may well be enough to convince the voting public that, if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives does not go along with Barack Obama’s demands for more spending and higher tax rates on the top 2 percent, it just shows that they care more for “the rich” than for the other 98 percent.”

Stanford Professor Thomas Sowell

What Sowell is telling us is that the rich have had it. They will be taxed and taxed more until they cannot be taxed more, because the American people have bought completely into the socialist mantra that the rich’s “fair share” is more as long as the “poor” have any need whatsoever.  Tax increases for the rich, therefore, are a done deal. Whatever the consequences, the rich that stay in America will pay more. This is despite the facts that Sowell shows are reported by President Obama’s own economics report. “What is remarkable is how easy it is to show how completely false Obama’s argument is. That also makes it completely inexplicable why the Republicans have not done so. The official statistics which show plainly how wrong Barack Obama is can be found in his own “Economic Report of the President” for 2012, on page 411. You can look it up. You may be able to find a copy of the “Economic Report of the President” for 2012 at your local public library. Or you can buy a hard copy from the Government Printing Office or download an electronic version from the Internet. For those who find that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” they need only see the graphs published in the November 30th issue of Investor’s Business Daily.  What both the statistical tables in the “Economic Report of the President” and the graphs in Investor’s Business Daily show is that (1) tax revenues went up— not down— after tax rates were cut during the Bush administration, and (2) the budget deficit declined, year after year, after the cut in tax rates that have been blamed by Obama for increasing the deficit.” Not as amazing as all that, An Excellent Spirit has been telling our readers about these facts for months. Here

What it means is that we are going over this “cliff” whatever”the cliff” is and we will do so at the choice of “our” President and Congress, whom “we” just re-elected to represent “us’. Daniel J. Mitchell of Townhall Finance.com has this cogent analysis. Here  “I’m very concerned about both the fiscal cliff and its possible replacements. It will be bad news if we get an automatic tax hike on January 1, and it will be bad news if that tax increase is replaced by an even more odious plan concocted by the White House. But the cliff is not our biggest fiscal problem. Here’s some of what I wrote for today’s New York Post about the fiscal cliff, along with a warning that we have a much bigger problem down the road.” Mitchell then emphasizes: “…it’s a fight that has important implications, particularly since some of the tax increases will have a significantly harmful impact on incentives to work, save, invest and create jobs. In a competitive global economy, for instance, it is bizarrely self-destructive to increase the double taxation of dividends and capital gains. …This is all bad news, but it is not a crisis. If we go over the cliff, it simply means the economy will grow a bit slower and politicians will spend a bit more money. And the sequester actually would be (modest) good news, since it means the burden of government spending would be “only” $2 trillion higher 10 years from now, rather than $2.1 trillion higher. And even if Obama prevails in the fight, that simply means that we get a different mix of tax hikes and spending rises at a faster rate. Sure, that’s bad for the economy, but it’s not the end of the world. The real crisis is the ticking time bomb of entitlement programs and the welfare state. This bomb won’t explode this year or next year. It may not even explode for another 20 years. But at some point America will experience a Greek-style fiscal collapse if these programs are not reformed.”

Daniel J. Mitchell of Townhall Finance.com

Great! Not only are “we” going over the cliff, now we will land somewhere in Greece as a people. All of “our” hard work and taking care of everybody, all the time, will result in our being bankrupt like Greece, dependent on whom we do not know to bail “us” out while our streets burn, our children riot and our unions, teachers and government workers get paid with whatever is left of our homes, retirement accounts, Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. Only those who “they” can depend on to re-elect “them” will be entitled to the remaining money “we” have or can make. Then, when “we” have no more, “we” will be like them, penniless and demanding someone else give us what “they” have earned. What echo’s in our ears is Margaret Thatcher’s oft quoted statement: “The trouble with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money.” What happens then? Greece is what happens then. Welcome to Greece, America.

Mitchell spells this out for us. “A lot of people get upset about the national debt, which is somewhere between $11 trillion and $16 trillion, depending on whether you include money the government owes itself. Those are big numbers — but if you add up the amount of money that the government is promising to spend for entitlement programs in the future and compare that figure to the amount of revenue that the government projects it will collect for those programs, the cumulative shortfall is more than $100 trillion. And that’s after adjusting for inflation. Some politicians claim this huge, baked-into-the-cake expansion of government isn’t a problem, because we can raise taxes. But that’s exactly what Europe’s welfare states tried — and it didn’t work. Simply stated, even huge tax hikes won’t stem the flow of red ink in the long run if government keeps growing faster than the private economy. This is the fiscal problem that demands attention. Absent real entitlement reform, such as block-granting Medicaid to the states, the burden of government spending will consume ever-larger shares of our economic output with each passing year. That, America is not the Cliff, it is The Abyss!

Patrick J, Buchanan of Townhall.com

As we have said, no one tells “us” the truth and the only way we can remain free is to know the truth. Pat Buchannan, that relic of the Nixon years and acerbic commentator recently said this in a Townhall piece. “Two years ago, Obama had to eat crow and extend the Bush tax cuts. Now it’s payback time. And behind their arrogance lies a belief that the GOP cannot say no. For if the Bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cuts expire on Jan. 1, Americans will face the highest tax hike in history.

— Every family earning up to $100,000 would see 2 percent of its income lopped off, as the employee half of the Social Security tax rises from 4.2 to 6.2. percent. The discretionary income of Middle Americans would be ravaged.

— The federal tax rate on capital gains will rise from 15 percent to a maximum 24.7 percent, a jump of 60 percent.

— The federal tax rate on interest and dividends will triple from 15 percent to a maximum 44.7 percent.

— Where $5 million of an estate can now be passed on to one’s heirs non-taxed, that will be cut to $1 million. And the death tax rate would shoot from 35 percent to a neo-Marxist 55 percent.

Even Senate Democrats fear this would force a selloff or breakup of family farms and family businesses at death. Yet somewhere, the radical socialist Saul Alinsky, who inspired the young community organizer, is smiling. Why does Obama see himself in the catbird seat, though his demands are intolerable to the GOP and, absent a deal, he risks taking the country over the cliff Jan. 1? Obama believes that if we go into the abyss, he can paint the Republican Party as having imperiled the economy and imposed tax increases on the middle class, just to spare America’s top 2 percent from a modest increase in its contribution to debt reduction.

And Obama has a hole card. If those tax hikes hit Jan. 1, he will be able to posture as the rescuer of the 98 percent by proposing to the new Congress an Obama tax cut that restores the Bush rates for all couples earning less than $250,000. He will also be able to dictate to Boehner & Co. the tax rate on estates, dividends and capital gains that he will accept or not accept. The Bush tax cuts would be replaced by the Obama tax cuts, as the GOP is cursed from coast to coast for taking us over the cliff. Obama believes he will then be seen as pulling the nation out of the pit into which the GOP had plunged it, simply to spare its fat cats a needed haircut.”

As Buchanan points out, the winner of an election wins something, even when the country is in a mess. They win the people (that’s “us”) telling the other side (that is the losing Republicans), no more gridlock. And that means you, Republicans! The polls show that this is the case and one thing President Obama is good at: reading the polls. Here and hereBuchanan gives us a hint of what is driving the President’s strategies. “In “Rules for Radicals,” the Alinsky rulebook and Obama playbook, the first rule is, “Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have.” Clearly, many Republicans think that if they do not yield, Obama will let the country go over the cliff, blame them and portray himself credibly as the man who saved the nation from Republican intransigence over a small tax hike for the rich that most Americans support.” So far, so good. Obama ‘s strategy seems to be winning the day while losing the fiscal future of the country. “Yet Obama is not without risk here. As America heads toward the cliff, there could be panic selling of stocks, bonds and assets to avoid higher taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains in 2013. The economy could tank. Obama could become the Democrats’ Herbert Hoover.” As An Excellent Spirit has pointed out, this sell off by the rich is already happening with some of the President’s most well known supporters leading the way! Here

Warren Buffet – the Billionaire Who Watches Over Obama

Buchanan concludes by putting forth an interesting strategy for dealing with all this. “As for John Boehner, he must know that if he yields too much, his caucus will rebel and his speakership will be at an end. What to do? Forget the deal. Walk away from the talks with Geithner. Pass an extension of the payroll tax cut, and send it to Harry Reid. Pass the Bush tax cuts, and send them to Harry Reid and say:

“Harry, you are going to have to pass this extension of the tax cuts, or kill them, or send us a counteroffer. Do nothing, and you, not we, will take America over the cliff.”

When Sen. Edmund Ross rose to cast the decisive vote in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, he said, “I looked down into my own political grave.” Reviled by the radicals of his era, Ross yet made it into JFK’s “Profiles in Courage.” We are at such a moment. Not bad, Pat. But what of Mitchell?

Mitchell, an economist, says, “In other words, the solution is to follow Mitchell’s Golden Rule. That’s the only way to make sure that the burden of government spending shrinks relative to economic output. Fortunately, that simply requires some modest spending restraint to address the short run problem and some intelligently designed entitlement reform to solve the long run challenge.” Not being politically savvy, he does not see the sheer lunacy of the left, just numbers fixing numbers.

Sowell, also an economist, sees things a little differently. “The bottom line is that Barack Obama’s blaming increased budget deficits on the Bush tax cuts is demonstrably false. What caused the decreasing budget deficits after the Bush tax cuts to suddenly reverse and start increasing was the mortgage crisis. The deficit increased in 2008, followed by a huge increase in 2009. So it is sheer hogwash that “tax cuts for the rich” caused the government to lose tax revenues. The government gained tax revenues, not lost them. Moreover, “the rich” paid a larger amount of taxes, and a larger share of all taxes, after the tax rates were cut. That is because people change their economic behavior when tax rates are changed, contrary to what the Congressional Budget Office and others seem to assume, and this can stimulate the economy more than a government “stimulus” has done under either Bush or Obama. Yet there is no need to assume that Barack Obama is mistaken about the way to get the economy out of the doldrums. His top priority has always been increasing the size and scope of government. If that means sacrificing the economy or the truth, that is no deterrent to Obama. That is why he is willing to play chicken with Republicans along the fiscal cliff.”

The thing is, all three of our experts are right. Mitchell knows the numbers and how to follow the numbers to fix the numbers. Buchanan knows the politics and how to be patient and force the aggressor to back off until you have him in the corner he has created by his aggression. Sowell is both economically and politically brilliant. Thomas Sowell understands that the end game is how much the American people (“us”) can stand before “we” start another revolt, a “tea party” if you will. With the Election just over, “we” have a way to go before “we” will come to understand what these three men know and begin to put it all together. Let “us” pray that “we” don’t take too long. The damage to “us”, “our” children and this nation is adding up quickly and Greece is quickly becoming our present, not our future. God bless America!

The Fiscal Cliff – Who Gets Hurt? Who Cares?

An Excellent Spirit has been writing about The Fiscal Cliff and Taxmageddon since the first day of our publication on July 9, 2012. Here  and here. Today and tomorrow, we are going to take a look at what is likely to happen a few short weeks away after January 1, 2103 and at the real question: Do Americans really care? Do “we” know what the fiscal cliff or taxmageddon are? If “we” did, what would “we” do? What could “we” do?

Part One: What Is The Fiscal Cliff? 

An Excellent Spirit begins with one of our favorite and best sources, Stanford University Professor Thomas Sowell. In a column appearing today in both Townhall and Jewish World Review, Sowell gives us information that only an economist could. “First of all, despite all the melodrama about raising taxes on “the rich,” even if that is done it will scarcely make a dent in the government’s financial problems. Raising the tax rates on everybody in the top two percent will not get enough additional tax revenue to run the government for ten days. And what will the government do to pay for the other 355 days in the year?”

Good question. Another good question is do the American people know or care? Even if “we” knew, is it not more likely that even the most conservative and activist of “us” would just sit back and wait for the inevitable disastrous dénouement and then get on with the business of coping with what “we” are powerless to change? That, unfortunately is what America has come to. Government by the consent of the governed is no more a reality than helium inflated dirigibles flying through space piloted by Buck Rodgers or Captain Video. A distant memory completely dispelled by what is ever increasingly occupying our days and nights with “reality” TV or Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows for our children to watch every night.

Thomas Sowell, as he usually does, brings clarity to the discussion, even as he informs us of the size of the problem. “All the political angst and moral melodrama about getting “the rich” to pay “their fair share” is part of a big charade. This is not about economics, it is about politics. Taxing “the rich” will produce a drop in the bucket when compared to the staggering and unprecedented deficits of the Obama administration. No previous administration in the entire history of the nation ever finished the year with a trillion dollar deficit. The Obama administration has done so every single year. Yet political and media discussions of the financial crisis have been focused overwhelmingly on how to get more tax revenue to pay for past and future spending.”

Now, An Excellent Spirit know that most Americans do not care and do not want to know, but on the chance that a few of our readers do want the facts, Sowell is a source we trust. “The very catchwords and phrases used by the Obama administration betray how phony this all is. For example, “We are just asking the rich to pay a little more.” This is an insult to our intelligence. The government doesn’t “ask” anybody to pay anything. It orders you to pay the taxes they impose and you can go to prison if you don’t. Then there are all the fancy substitute words for plain old spending— words like “stimulus” or “investing in the industries of the future.” The theory about “stimulus” is that government spending will stimulate private businesses and financial institutions to put more of their money into the economy, speeding up the recovery. But the fact that you call something a “stimulus” does not make it a stimulus. Stimulus spending began during the Bush administration and has continued full blast during the Obama administration. But the end result is that both businesses and financial institutions have had record amounts of their own money sitting idle. The rate of circulation of money slowed down. All this is the opposite of stimulus.”

Thank you, Professor. “We” knew there was something wrong with “our” understanding or “their” truthfulness. It is nice to know the problem is both “us” and “them”. Now, “we” know that someone will bring up “our” need to invest in the future. Sowell anticipates that. “What about “investing in the industries of the future”? Does the White House come equipped with a crystal ball? Calling government spending “investment” does not make it investment any more than calling spending “stimulus” makes it stimulate anything. What in the world would lead anyone to think that politicians have some magic way of knowing what the industries of the future are? Thus far the Obama administration has repeatedly “invested” in the bankruptcies of the present, such as Solyndra.” That is fine, “we” heard something about “Solyndra” and it was not good. Now, “we” understand a little. But, what can “we” do about any of this? Don’t “we” have to rely on those “we” send to represent “us”?

 

Thomas Sowell makes short work out of that fantasy as well. “Using lofty words to obscure tawdry realities extends beyond the White House. Referring to the Federal Reserve System’s creation of hundreds of billions of new dollars out of thin air as “quantitative easing” makes it seem as if this is some soothing and esoteric process, rather than amounting essentially to nothing more than printing more money. Debasing the value of money by creating more of it is nothing new or esoteric. Irresponsible governments have done this, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years. It is a way to take people’s wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all. All the pretty talk about how tax rates will be raised only on “the rich” hides the ugly fact that the poorest people in the country will see the value of their money decline, just like everybody else, and at the same rate as everybody else, when the government creates more money and spends it. If you have $100 and, after inflation follows from “quantitative easing,” that $100 dollars will only buy what $80 bought before, then that is the same economically as if the government had taxed away one-fifth of your money and spent it. But it is not the same politically, so long as gullible people don’t look beyond words to the reality that inflation taxes everybody, the poorest as well as the richest.”

Next, after we go over the Cliff or not, is the battle to raise our spending limit so the President and Congress can spend more of the money “we” don’t have on programs “we” don’t need. 

That is where we end the first part of the lesson of the Fiscal Cliff.  If the people who are affected most by the decisions being made in the White House and Congress and the Federal Reserve do not look at what happens to them as a result of the actions of the actors on stage, what is all the noise about? Really!

 We will be back tomorrow with some more information and questions.

Thoughts from Great Thinkers

 Thomas Sowell

An Excellent Spirit has posted on Stanford Professor Thomas Sowell many times. In the aftermath of the recent Election, this Townhall column appeared today. The piece is about a recently published book by Stephen Moore entitled “ Who’s the Fairest of Them All?” The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America”, Encounter Books (October 9, 2012). Professor Sowell does more than just tout this work. At just 136 pages, the book is said by Sowell to too late to make a difference in the past Election. “If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, “Who’s The Fairest of Them All?”, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide. The point here is not to say, “Where was Stephen Moore when we needed him?” A more apt question might be, “Where was the whole economics profession when we needed them?” Where were the media? For that matter, where were the Republicans?”

Sowell then reviews the recent history of both Democrats and Republicans on the subject of taxing the rich. As this is about to hit America with a jolt in 2013, both the book and Sowell’s piece are timely and, as usual, say what needs to be said, even if no one is listening. As he did with his book, The Housing Boom and Bust, Thomas Sowell spells out with clarity the economic realities America faces and the consequences of following failed policies. Read the whole thing and get a copy of this book and read it. Perhaps, then, Americans will be prepared to act once we are over the Fiscal Cliff, hurtling into the Abyss. God bless America. “We” Americans will need all the blessing “we” can get. Hard times are coming, if Thomas Sowell is right. Stay tuned.

Frank Gaffney

In this Townhall column, Frank Gaffney, another source preferred by An Excellent Spirit, writes on the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood and the failed, desperate policies of the Obama Administration in the Middle East. “During the so-called “Arab Spring,” the Obama administration insisted that the United States risked being on the “wrong side of history” if it remained aligned with secular despots like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Recent events have made clear that there is a wrong side for freedom in the Mideast all right and, thanks to Team Obama’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, we’re on it.” Read the whole thing here.

After reviewing the whole sordid mess that President Obama and his re-election inattentiveness have created in the Middle East (to say nothing of the Fiscal Cliff and other issues), Gaffney asks a question that An Excellent Spirit has asked some time ago. “The question occurs – and must be insistently asked in congressional hearings into the Benghazigate scandal and the larger failed practice of embracing Islamists of which it is a symptom: To what extent are individuals with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood who are working in or serving as advisors to the Obama administration contributing to these clearly counterproductive national security policies? Five Members of Congress – Republican Representatives Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Lynn Westmoreland and Tom Rooney – presciently raised this concern last June, and were roundly criticized for doing so (including by some in their own party). They appear to have been vindicated in their warnings that such influence operations are putting us on the wrong side of history. We cannot afford to remain there, to the benefit of our enemies and their jihadist agenda.” Here is a round up of our past articles on the subject.  We especially draw our readers attention to two of the earliest articles on “America’s Iron Lady”.

 Victor Davis Hanson

 An Excellent Spirit has many articles on Stanford’s other “twin tower” of wisdom. Here Today, this column in PJ Media, gives our readers Hanson’s take on the Election and what it means to America in the near future. Hanson’s analysis covers ten topics including the lamestream media (The Mainstream Media Still Rules), the populist appeal of Obama, attack ads that destroyed Mitt Romney, the “cocoon” of Fox News and right wing talk radio and much more. Be sure to read the whole thing. His conclusion is, as usual, to the point. “A final take on the election: Mitt Romney was a glittering Sir Galahad who, given his impressive horse, armor, and lance, along with his decency and piety, assumed that he could win a joust in a fair charge against the other team’s knight. Instead he waded into a sudden fray where he was swarmed, mobbed, cut off, pulled off his magnificent steed, had his matchless armor yanked away by a mob of foot soldiers, and then, once stripped clean, was clubbed and maced beyond recognition.”

An Excellent Spirit will have much more on the factors that played out in the Election. We have already posted on it. Here and here  We will revisit the subject once full data on the Election are available and broken down. Stay tuned.

The Future of the Republican Party

An Excellent Spirit, like the Most High God is no respecter of political parties, candidates or even pundits. That said, An Excellent Spirit has made no secret of our admiration for Thomas Sowell. We have posted on Professor Sowell many times. Here We read this recent Townhall column with anticipation, especially as it dealt with demographics and the future of the Republican Party and our nation. In the aftermath of the disastrous result for Mitt Romney and all Republicans, Professor Sowell makes some telling observations. “Some media pundits see in the growing proportion of non-white groups in the population a growing opposition to the Republican Party that will sooner or later make it virtually impossible for Republicans to win presidential elections or even to control either house of Congress. But is demography destiny? Conventional wisdom in the Republican establishment is that what the GOP needs to do, in order to win black votes or Hispanic votes, is to craft policies specifically targeting these groups. In other words, Republicans need to become more like Democrats. Whether in a racial context or in other contexts, the supposed need for Republicans to become more like Democrats has long been a recurring theme of the moderate Republican establishment, going back more than half a century. Yet the most successful Republican presidential candidate during that long period was a man who went completely counter to that conventional wisdom– namely, Ronald Reagan, who won back to back landslide election victories. Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).”

While this is accurate and true, it should come as no surprise to those of “us” who know our history. What should be of concern is whether there are enough of “us” who make the economy in our country to outvote those of “them” who take that economy in entitlements, needs, and just plain corruption and incompetence.

Professor Sowell is not only a great thinker, writer and commentator; he is an even greater economist. His book, The Housing Boom and Bust, Basic Books, 2009 is one of the most astute, clear and accurate treatises on the financial meltdown we suffered in 2007-2009 that led to most of our problems that became a tsunami called Barack Obama. Thomas Sowell says that as long as most Republicans keep on doing what they have just finished doing once again in 2012, none of the post mortems, recriminations, analyses and punditry will make any difference. “None of this seems to have caused any second thoughts in the Republican establishment. So long as that remains the case, demography may indeed be destiny— and that destiny could be Democratic administrations as far out as the eye can see. If non-white voters can only be gotten by pandering to them with goodies earmarked for them, then Republicans are doomed, even if they choose to go that route.”

Sowell continues by asking “Why should anyone who wants racially earmarked goodies vote for Republicans, when the Democrats already have a track record of delivering such goodies? An alternative way to make inroads into the overwhelming majority of minority votes for Democrats would be for the Republicans to articulate a coherent case for their principles and the benefits that those principles offer to all Americans. But the Republicans’ greatest failure has been precisely their chronic failure to spell out their principles– and the track record of those principles– to either white or non-white voters.” Wow! That is telling it like it is!

Professor Sowell, after pointing out how few Americans know the facts, for instance that under conservative Republican Presidents, the gap between black and white incomes narrowed. He also notes that this was “not because of Republican policies designed specifically for blacks, but because free market policies create an economy in which all people can improve their economic situation.” Emphasis ours.

Then Professor Sowell puts the nail in the coffin of Democrats and “progressive economists. “Conversely, few policies have had such a devastating effect on the job opportunities of minority youths as minimum wage laws, which are usually pushed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. But these facts do not “speak for themselves.” Somebody has to cite the facts and take the trouble to show why unemployment among minority youths skyrocketed when minimum wage increases priced them out of jobs. The loss of income from an entry-level job is only part of the loss sustained by minority young people. Work experience at even an entry-level job is a valuable asset, as a stepping stone to progressively higher level jobs. Moreover, nobody gains from having a huge number of idle youths hanging out on the streets, least of all minority communities. Labor unions push minimum wage laws to insulate their members from the competition of younger workers, and Democratic politicians are heavily dependent on union support. For the same reason, Democrats have to go along with teachers’ unions that treat schools as places to guarantee their members jobs, rather than to provide the quality education so much needed to rise out of poverty.” Clear and unequivocal words from a clear, tell it like it is thinker, Thomas Sowell. 

“What Democrats cannot say under these conditions is what Republicans are free to say– even if Republicans have seldom taken advantage of that freedom to make inroads into minority voting blocs. Inroads are all they need. If the black vote for Democrats falls to 70 percent, the Democrats are in deep trouble.”

An Excellent Spirit has been saying similar things for a long time, although we never say it as clearly or authoritatively as Thomas Sowell. We pray that our readers, especially our African American and Hispanic readers will start to read Thomas Sowell and others so that their information will not be so tainted by the progressive mindset as to keep them enslaved, out of work and dependent on someone other than God and their own God given strengths and talents. Stay tuned. There will be more.

The Obama Confidence Scam on Benghazi

Thomas Sowell is perhaps our best and clearest thinker. He has debated and deflated the best academicians and politicians of the left for a half century. Professor Sowell has this Townhall article today, “Cooling Out” The Voters. It is on the coming Election and Benghazi. Sowell begins by letting us in on the inside baseball of confidence game methods. “Confidence men know that their victim — “the mark” as he has been called — is eventually going to realize that he has been cheated. But it makes a big difference whether he realizes it immediately, and goes to the police, or realizes it after the confidence man is long gone. So part of the confidence racket is creating a period of uncertainty, during which the victim is not yet sure of what is happening. This delaying process has been called “cooling out the mark.”

In case An Excellent Spirit’s readers are wondering, the confidence game is the Election and the events that could cost the Obama team defeat. The mark is “us”. “We” have been treated as the mark and nothing will change that. And, by “cooling” “us” out, the good Professor is referring to the systematic distortions, lies and liars who have been speaking to the public for the past 6+ weeks about what actually happened in Benghazi Libya when Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

After discussing the example of the Clinton White House’s skillful avoidance of Impeachment over his lies about Monica Lewinsky, Thomas Sowell gets down to it: “We are currently seeing another “cooling out” process, growing out of the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi on September 11th this year. The belated release of State Department e-mails shows that the Obama administration knew, while the attack on the American consulate was still underway, that it was a coordinated, armed terrorist attack. They were getting reports from those inside the consulate who were under attack, as well as surveillance pictures from a camera on an American drone overhead. About an hour before the attack, the scene outside was calm enough for the American ambassador to accompany a Turkish official to the gates of the consulate to say goodbye. This could hardly have happened if there were protesting mobs there. Why then did both President Obama and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice keep repeating the story that this was a spontaneous protest riot against an anti-Islamic video in America? The White House knew the facts — but they knew that the voting public did not. And it mattered hugely whether the facts became known to the public before or after the election. What the White House needed was a process of “cooling out” the voters, keeping them distracted or in uncertainty as long as possible.”

The good Professor even gives us motive and reason for our government playing this cynical, mendacious game with “us”. “The White House had to know that it was only a matter of time before the truth would come out. But time was what mattered, with an election close at hand. The longer they could stretch out the period of distraction and uncertainty — “cooling out” the voters — the better. Once the confidence man in the White House was reelected, it would be politically irrelevant what facts came out.”

Exposing the scam played upon “us”, Professor Sowell concludes, “From the time it took office, the Obama administration has sought to suppress the very concept of a “war on terror” or the terrorists’ war on us. The painful farce of calling the Fort Hood murders “workplace violence,” instead of a terrorist attack in our midst, shows how far the Obama administration would go to downplay the dangers of Islamic extremist terrorism. The killing of Osama bin Laden fed the pretense that the terrorism threat had been beaten. But the terrorists’ attack in Libya exposed that fraud — and required another fraud to try to “cool out” the voters until after election day.”

Thank you, Thomas Sowell, “we” needed that! Read the whole thing here.

Wisdom To Guide Us On Election Day

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men” Those words were spoken by Plato over 2,000 years ago and they could not be more true today.

It is clear that our Founders knew a lot that we have forgotten. 

It looks like Our Founders had to deal with Lamestream Media too!

 

“We” are being taken down the wrong path by those who lead “us”. VOTE on November 6th!

What If President Obama Is Re-elected?

An Excellent Spirit saw this Tea Party post from Patriot Action Network’s Michael Childs  It is called “The Obama Plan” and the short embedded Romney campaign video is worth watching before you vote on November 6th

Thomas Sowell is one of the clearest thinkers in America today. Sowell has written much on President Obama, most of it sharply critical. Coming from a Stanford Professor, however, his understanding of Barack Obama is better than most. In his recent Townhall column, “Obama’s Dreams” Sowell writes about Obama and his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father”.  “After reading Barack Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father,” it became painfully clear that he has not been searching for the truth, because he assumed from an early age that he had already found the truth — and now it was just a question of filling in the details and deciding how to change things. Obama did not simply happen to encounter a lot of people on the far left fringe during his life. As he spells out in his book, he actively sought out such people. There is no hint of the slightest curiosity on his part about other visions of the world that might be weighed against the vision he had seized upon. As Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School has pointed out, Obama made no effort to take part in the marketplace of ideas with other faculty members when he was teaching a law course there. What would be the point, if he already knew the truth and knew that they were wrong?” Read the whole thing here.

From all this it should be clear that the Obama we have seen these last four years is Obama-Lite compared with the Obama we will see if he is re-elected. Pray for America! Before You Vote on November 6th!

Thomas Sowell – Random Thoughts

By now, our readers know that An Excellent Spirit is a fan and follower of Thomas Sowell. Professor Sowell is one of the brightest, clear thinkers in America today. In this Townhall column, the Professor bring us some Random Thoughts. We begin with this question that many Americans should ponder before you vote: “Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many countries during the 20th century set out to “spread the wealth” — and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts.”

Then Sowell, the Economics Professor opines, “Economist Edward Lazear has cut through all of Barack Obama’s claims about “creating jobs” with one plain and inescapable fact — “there hasn’t been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President Bush left office.” Whatever number of jobs were created during the Obama administration, more have been lost.” Interesting statistic. But that’s Thomas Sowell. He is interesting about important questions. 

Here is another gem: “The question to be asked of people in the media, and that they should ask themselves, should be: “Is your first loyalty to your audience or to your ideology?” The same question should be asked of educators, especially those who see themselves as “agents of social change,” even though that is not the job description under which they have been hired and paid.”

He has a lot of these not so random thoughts. “If you believe Barack Obama and others who oppose what they call “tax cuts for the rich,” you might want to consider what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” If you want to see some documented facts about tax rates and tax revenues, there is a box titled “Tax Cuts” on my web site (www.tsowell.com). Click on it.” Finally, there is this: “One of the most foolish, and most dangerous, things one can do is to take love for granted, instead of nurturing it and safeguarding it as the prize jewel of one’s life.”

There is more. Read the whole thing and think about what Professor Sowell says before you vote! 

President Barack Obama – “Phony in Chief”?

Thomas Sowell has little love for President Obama. The difference between Sowell and most of the President’s detractors is that Sowell publishes his reasons for what he says. “When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be “civil” in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them. Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a ‘phony.’ ”

Professor Sowell calls them like he sees them, labeling President Obama “Phony in Chief”. Referring to Obama’s 2007 speech in which he mis-stated the facts and fired up racist sentiment in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Sowell takes the President apart. “Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our Commander in Chief who is Phony in Chief.A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see. In his speech — delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn’t use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience — he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit. Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does. Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans — predominantly black — “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama. If you want to know what community organizers do, this is it — rub people’s emotions raw to hype their resentments. And this was Barack Obama in his old community organizer role, a role that should have warned those who thought that he was someone who would bring us together, when he was all too well practiced in the arts of polarizing us apart.”  Hurricane Katrina was important, but it should not have been exploited by the left. “Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined. Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer. Nor can Barack Obama claim that he wasn’t present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn’t there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years. Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against — repeat, AGAINST — the legislation which included the waiver. When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief.” Emphasis ours.

Oh, by the way, do any of “us” think the lamestream media will cover this one? Don’t hold your breath. Stay tuned. There will be more.

Is President Obama a Con Man? Ask Thomas Sowell

An Excellent Spirit has posted many times on the brilliant Stanford Senior Fellow, Professor Thomas Sowell. Professor Sowell has another article on President Barack Obama. His latest, this National Review piece, “Barack Obama – Confidence Man” is a stinger. “Much puzzling behavior by Barack Obama falls into place when we go behind the image that he projects (““Obama 1”“) to the factual reality of the man’s whole life and thrust (“Obama 2”). Obama himself is well aware of the nature and importance of his image. In his own words, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” An 18th-century philosopher put the matter bluntly: “When I speak, I put on a mask. When I act, I am forced to take it off.” Many of Barack Obama’s actions as president of the United States reflect neither political expediency nor an attempt to promote the best interests of the American people. Take, for example, his bowing low from the waist to foreign leaders. No president of the United States had ever done that before. It gained Obama nothing with the voters, nor was there any reason to think that he expected it to. Why then did he do it? What did it accomplish? It brought the United States down a peg, in the eyes of the world, something that he has sought to do in many other ways.”  Emphasis ours.

Sowell has studied President Obama carefully and it shows: “It is not just the United States, but the Western world in general, including Israel, that needs to be brought down a peg, from the standpoint of the ideology prevalent among the people with whom Barack Obama has allied himself consistently for decades.” The good Stanford Professor goes on to explain, “How has Obama gotten away with so many things that are foreign to American beliefs and traditions? It is partly because of a quiescent media, which shares many of his ideological views and is focused on the symbolism of his being “the first black President.” But part of his success must be credited — if that is the word — to his own rhetorical talents and his ability to project an image that many people accept and welcome. The role of a confidence man is not to convince skeptics, but to help the gullible believe what they want to believe. Most of what Barack Obama says sounds very persuasive if you don’t know the facts — and often sounds like sheer nonsense if you do. But he is not trying to convince skeptics, nor is he worried about looking ridiculous to informed people who won’t vote for him anyway. This is a source of much polarization between those who see and accept Obama 1 and those who see through that facade to Obama 2.” An Excellent Spirit has said it before: Obama says he is our 4th greatest President. The lamestream media says he is the smartest President ever. We highly doubt both approbations, but in any case would pay to see President Con Man Obama debate Professor Bubble Buster Sowell. In the final analysis, this Election may well come down to whether America sees President Obama for what he is, Con Man, Apologizer and Appeaser with a mission of taking America down or Christ like savior who can move mountains, inspire thrills and faints and stay above all truth, facts and inconvenient realities like a failed foreign policy or a failed, non-existent economic policy. America’s future as a nation and a people hang in the balance. God, please bless the United States of America in its hour of decision.

An Excellent Spirit has told our readers that Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, the author of dozens of good books on economics and a brilliant columnist and commentator for over 50 years.

Thomas Sowell: Obama Versus Obama

As promised, An Excellent Spirit is bringing our readers information, columns and videos that we believe every American is entitled to see before “we” vote in what has been called the election of our lifetime. You can see it below. Coincidently, or not, today in Townhall, Thomas Sowell had a column entitled, Obama Versus Obama. “Many voters will be comparing Mitt Romney with Barack Obama between now and Election Day. But what might be even more revealing would be comparing Obama with Obama. There is a big contrast between Obama based on his rhetoric (“Obama 1”) and Obama based on his record (“Obama 2”). For example, during the 2008 election campaign, Obama 1 spoke of “opening up and creating more transparency in government,” so that government spending plans would be posted on the Internet for days before they passed into legislation. After he was elected president, Obama said, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” This Obama 1 sounds like a very good fellow. No wonder so many people voted for him. But then there is Obama 2. He passed a mammoth ObamaCare bill so fast that even members of Congress didn’t have time to read it, much less the general public. It was by no means posted on the Internet for days before the vote, as promised.” This is exactly what An Excellent Spirit has posted in our Before You Vote pieces. Yesterday we had these two  posts showing President Obama before his election and after. We will continue to do so right up to November 6th.

Professor Sowell has more. After dealing with the issues of transparency, Obama’s use of Executive Orders to avoid Congress and more, he concludes, “One of the most dangerous examples of a lack of transparency was inadvertently revealed last March when Obama 2, unaware that a microphone was on, told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that, after he is reelected, and never has to face the voters again, he will have the “flexibility” to make a deal with Russia on missile defense systems. In other words, Obama will be able to make a deal with a country that has been America’s most implacable and most formidable adversary for more than half a century — a deal he couldn’t make if the voters knew about it before the election. Think about that chilling prospect, and what it reveals about the real Obama.” Read the whole thing carefully and then look at Part 2 of Obama Versus Obama. “What if we put aside Barack Obama’s rhetoric, and instead look exclusively at his documented record over a period of decades, up to and including the present?” Professor  Sowell continues, “This is not the Barack Obama that most voters saw and elected President of the United States in 2008. What they saw was a carefully crafted image of a bright, articulate, energetic and genial fellow who would heal our racial and partisan divides. His likability was high and remained so, even after many became disappointed with his policies.” President Obama’s “geniality has carried him over many rough spots.” Sowell concludes, rather sharply, ” But have you ever heard of a grumpy confidence man? Geniality is a prerequisite for the job. What many regard as a failure of Obama’s foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, may well be one of his biggest successes. His desire to redistribute wealth domestically is part of a larger ideological vision that includes a redistribution of power internationally. Obama has long said that the United States plays too large a role internationally. His policies suggest that Islamic countries need a larger role. The troubling question is whether he still sees his own role as “a spy behind enemy lines” in the White House.”

This is why An Excellent Spirit has begun Before You Vote. Before Americans vote, they must see what the lamestream media will not tell “us”, before “we” vote.  Remember in November! And VOTE!

 

Redistribution Is Un-American

Professor Thomas Sowell, of Stanford University’s Hoover Institute has this on President Obama’s desire to redistribute American’s money by taking it from those who make it and give it to those who he says need it. “The recently discovered tape on which Barack Obama said back in 1998 that he believes in redistribution is not really news.” Prof. Sowell continues, “Those who talk glibly about redistribution often act as if people are just inert objects that can be placed here and there, like pieces on a chess board, to carry out some grand design. But if human beings have their own responses to government policies, then we cannot blithely assume that government policies will have the effect intended.”

Thomas Sowell is among the greatest thinkers and economists of his time. His review of the history of wealth redistribution includes a look at the failed Communist Soviet Union. He rightly observes, that in America, today, “People in industry are not inert objects either. Moreover, unlike farmers, industrialists are not tied to the land in a particular country. If confiscatory policies can produce counterproductive repercussions in a dictatorship, they are even harder to carry out in a democracy. A dictatorship can suddenly swoop down and grab whatever it wants. But a democracy must first have public discussions and debates. Those who are targeted for confiscation can see the handwriting on the wall, and act accordingly. Among the most valuable assets in any nation are the knowledge, skills and productive experience that economists call “human capital.” When successful people with much human capital leave the country, either voluntarily or because of hostile governments or hostile mobs whipped up by demagogues exploiting envy, lasting damage can be done to the economy they leave behind.” Here is a video that shows the President’s position on the issue. Then look at these quotes from Political Outcast. 

“With the collapse of Communism, we recognized that markets are going to happen. But having said all that, I insist—and this I think I’m inheriting what was probably the best part of the dream of both my father—my African father, my white American mother—I think that the best legacy of theirs, my inheritance, is the notion that we collectively can decide on our fate.” These are the words spoken by Barack Obama on August 11, 1995, pointing to what he views as a silver lining in the collapse of Communism, because the collapse of Communism was a bad occurrence in his eyes.”

“I actually believe in redistribution.” These are the words spoken by Barack Obama on October 19, 1998, at Loyola University.

“Now, what we’re doing, I want to be clear, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned”—and now breaking from the TelePrompTer—”I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” These are the words spoken by Barack Obama, then President, on April 28, 2010, in a speech at Quincy, Illinois. This is who Obama is, and yet he is liked by most of America.”

Then take a look at this, by Edward Morrissey of The Fiscal Times, “Why doesn’t the President want to join Romney in a broad, philosophical discussion about economic policy and outcomes? Perhaps it’s the latter that scares Obama most. The stimulus bill spent $800 billion in borrowed money, which arguably has been redistributed from future generations that have to repay that debt, as the Obama administration and a Democratic Congress added mountains of new regulation aimed specifically at businesses and investors to achieve “fairness” in health care and credit distribution.  Instead of touching off a boom in economic growth and job creation, we have seen the civilian labor participation rate hit its worst level since 1981 as workers fall out of the workforce. Both the median household income and hourly earnings have dropped faster during the Obama recovery than it did during the recession that preceded it. Census Bureau data shows that start-up jobs per 1,000 Americans during the Obama administration have fallen far below the level seen in the last 25 years, a sign of deep trouble in the engine of the US economy. In almost every measure, we’re not just treading water in a stagnant redistributionist economy – we are actively falling behind. Mitt Romney may not have made an elegant argument back in May about the differences between redistributionary economic and regulatory policies and free-market approaches, and the willingness of the electorate to hear it. However, his effort to keep pressing that debate while his opponent tries to evade it shows that Romney has the better argument – and elegant or not, the outcomes make this debate absolutely critical to our nation’s future.

An Excellent Spirit strongly believes that President Obama, before Americans go to the polls in November should tell Americans whether he still favors redistribution of wealth. If he does, An Excellent Spirit sincerely hopes that Professor Thomas Sowell and Edward Morrissey and other free market capitalists will have the opportunity to debate the concept with our “smartest President ever”.  We would pay to watch that. Stay tuned. There should be more.

Middle East Update – Friday September 14, 2012

Violence Spreading Today.This, from  Arutz Sheva 7, reports that violence spread throughout the Middle East today. “Anti-American violence is spreading across the Middle East, with mobs rioting at US missions in Tunisia, Sudan and Morocco. Throughout the Middle East, United States embassies have been warning American citizens to avoid crowded places, and to “remain alert at all times.” Even demonstrations that appear to be peaceful “can turn suddenly violent,” the embassy alert warned citizens living in Arab countries throughout the region.” Read the whole thing. Link  Jerusalem Next Riot” The violence is spreading to Jerusalem. Artuz Sheva also carried these stories today. Link  Riots by Muslims that began on September 11, 2012, have now reached Sudan and even Jerusalem, where demonstrations were held after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City. The protests began peacefully with several hundred people demonstrating on the plaza that holds both the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, chanting, “With our blood and our soul, we will sacrifice for you our Prophet.” But clashes broke out between a part of the crowd and Israeli police as the demonstration moved out of the Old City, with security forces firing tear gas and stun grenades that injured at least five people, an AFP correspondent said. Several policemen were reportedly hurt. “Israel police are dispersing rioters at Damascus Gate, rocks and stones are being thrown at them,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. An AFP correspondent at the scene said demonstrators appeared to be trying to head to U.S. diplomatic premises in east Jerusalem, with Israeli police, some on horseback, seeking to prevent the protest from moving. “Anti-American violence is spreading across the Middle East, with mobs rioting at US missions in Tunisia, Sudan and Morocco. Hundreds of protesters rioted outside the U.S. embassy in Tunisia on Wednesday night. Police in the capital of Tunis were forced to fire teargas canisters at the mob when some 300 rioters stormed the American embassy compound. The rioters, however, were pushed back. Up to that point, the demonstration had been relatively peaceful, with demonstrators brandishing black and white Salafi Muslim banners. Go to the link and get more, updated news anytime. Stay tuned.

God And Jerusalem – Thomas Sowell

“Who would have thought that God and Jerusalem would become controversial issues at this year’s Democratic National Convention?” This is the first sentence in Thomas Sowell’s piece today in Townhall. He continues, “A nuclear Iran can do a lot more damage to Israel than the Japanese did to the United States. Moreover, it is well on its way to being able to produce more than the two bombs that were enough to force Japan to surrender in 1945. Israel is in a desperate situation — and there is no way that Barack Obama does not know that.” Emphasis ours. The quote that caught our attention is, “But you don’t need a crystal ball to predict Barack Obama’s hostile attitude toward Israel, despite all of Obama’s lofty words saying the opposite. All you need to know is the man’s ideological history and the long line of ideologues who have helped him shape that ideology. These include Professor Edward Said, spokesman for Palestinian terrorists, under whom Obama studied at Columbia University. Emphasis ours. Professor Sowell is one of the most astute observers of US policy we have. It is truly ominous when he sees trouble ahead. Read the whole thing. (link)

Who Will “They” Blame For This? Since January, 2009, with the inauguration of President Obama, the media and the Administration has blamed everyone but the President and his Administration for every crises, problem and incident we have had. It was and is and always will be the fault of President Bush. The Rich. Wall Street bankers, those who have been bailed out and those who have donated tens of millions to Obama’s campaigns. The Pro-life lobby who have declared a “war on women” despite the fact that women have lost almost a million jobs under this President. The Congress, the Republicans and the USA! USA! patriots that “cling to their guns and Bibles”. An Excellent Spirit asks who will they blame for this mess? Thousands of U of Texas students and North Dakota U students evacuated due to bomb threats; increased Middle East violence in Sudan, Lebanon and Tunisa added to Libya and Egypt. Why can no one in our government do anything but blame someone else, some other party or President. Is there no taking responsibility for “their” record or actions now four years into “their” occupation of the White House? Or can all they do is make sure the media is focused on “them” and jet to Las Vegas for another campaign stop. Read this by Brietbart. This article by Rich Galen in CNS News is right on point. “I went back and read President Obama’s speech in Cairo from July, 2009 – six months after he had taken office and three months before he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for … The speech (which you can read in its entirety on the Secret Decoder Ring page) is heavy on suggesting that George W. Bush was to blame for the torn relationships between the U.S. and the Muslim world and Obama’s approach would be to treat each nation as an equal. It’s a pretty good speech, for all of that. But there’s one thing: Obama couldn’t give that speech today. Cairo is no longer safe enough for an American President to appear in a public arena. Well done, Mr. President.” Read the whole thing and ask yourself, who is left to blame except the President and his failed foreign policy. And domestic policy (HHH Mandate; Buffet Rule; Solyndra and electric cars) and domestic policy (no jobs, fiscal cliff and taxmageddon). Stay tuned America. It is “our” nation in “their hands.

Entitlement Reform Per Thomas Sowell

An Excellent Spirit has posted on the necessity of reforming our entitlement society, culture and, most important, economy. Make sure to go to the link in the article to the anointed talk that Pastor David Smith gave at Gateway Church. Entitlements do mean something. Our entitlement culture means that America is not grateful. To God! For all God has done in and for America and Americans. We should be grateful! 

Professor Thomas Sowell who An Excellent Spirit has quoted repeatedly has weighed in. His recent Townhall article on entitlement reform is right on target, as usual. “It is understandable that people heavily dependent on these programs would fear losing their benefits, especially after a lifetime of paying into these programs. But nobody in his right mind has even proposed taking away the benefits of those who are already receiving them. Yet opponents of reforming these programs have managed repeatedly to scare the daylights out of seniors with wild claims and television ads such as one showing someone — who looks somewhat like Paul Ryan — pushing an elderly lady in a wheelchair toward a cliff and then dumping her over.” (Link)

Prof. Sowell gives Americans a stark assessment on entitlements. America wants to honor our agreement with our elders and we will. But, America cannot keep going as we are in future generations. “If there were not a single Republican, or none who got elected to any office, arithmetic would still end “Medicare as we know it,” for the simple reason that the money in the till is not enough to keep paying for it. The same is true of Social Security.” He tells it like it is and like it will be for future generations, if we do not radically change the way America does business. “Neither Social Security nor Medicare has ever had enough assets to cover its liabilities. Very simply, there has never been enough money put aside to do what the government promised to do.”

Thomas Sowell, candidly concludes, “It is today’s young people who are going to be left holding the bag when they reach retirement age and discover that all the money they paid in is long gone. It is today’s young people who are going to be dumped over a cliff when they reach retirement age, if nothing is done to reform entitlements. Yet the young seem not to be nearly as alarmed as the elderly, who have no real reason to fear. Try reconciling that with the belief that human beings are rational.” Read the whole thing.

November is coming. Americans have to choose what kind of nation, what kind of economy we will have in the future. Americans choose our future and that of our children and their children. It is time we had the facts before we made our choices. Stay tuned.

More Wisdom From Thomas Sowell

An Excellent Spirit has sung the praises of Professor Thomas Sowell of The Hoover Institute at Stanford University before. The man just keeps giving us reasons to do so. This article in Townhall.com is his latest gem. Prof. Sowell explains America’s continuing inability to get any workable solution to our health care insurance challenges better than we have ever heard it done. “Too many political “solutions” are solutions to problems created by previous political “solutions” — and will be followed by new problems created by their current “solutions.” There is no free lunch. In the case of health insurance, there is not even an inexpensive lunch.”

Typically, Sowell hits the problem at its core. “There is no inherent reason for employers to be involved, in the first place. The fact that some guy manufactures furniture or plumbing fixtures in no way qualifies him to understand insurance for his employees. Including him in the loop adds another unnecessary layer of bureaucratic costs. Political risks are the biggest risks.”

It is too bad that America can’t get Thomas Sowell in Congress or as Secretary of Commerce or something. Imagine that? Someone who actually knows the problem and has a good idea or two of how to solve it. For Americans benefit, not for his own.