Change? Obama Worse than Bush

The verdict is in, and Barack Obama did not produce the change he promised.  In fact, as he blames all his ills on the last 8 years, it is interesting to compare the Bush years to the Obama years.  Consider the following:

Average Annual Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush: $543,818        Obama: $1,497,601

Total Increase in Public Debt (in millions):

Bush (8 years): $4,217,261   Obama (4 years): $5,990,407

Average Annual Unemployment (Also see here):

Bush: 5.26%                    Obama: 9.2%

Median Household Incomes:

January, 2009: $55,198       August, 2012: $50,678

The Average Annual Price of Gas (not even including 2012):

Bush: $2.14                     Obama: $2.89

Cost of Higher Education (adj. for inflation, not even including 2012):

Bush 2008: $16,661     Obama 2011: $18,497

But isn’t health insurance cheaper now with Obamacare?  No.  In 2012 the amount a family with employer provided coverage pays in annual premiums has increased to about $16,000.  For families with private individual plans, the amount is up to $5,615.  And before you ask why families don’t all just switch to private individual plans, remember that Obamacare taxes medium-large businesses up to $3,000 per employee that they don’t cover.

But we know Obama has handled the economy terribly.  The other thing people elected Obama for was to end the wars.  Obama promised to close Gitmo, which didn’t happen, and to end the war in Iraq.  He ended the war in Iraq by sticking to Bush’s timeline, but that wasn’t the whole story.  Obama intended to continue the war and leave troops in Iraq, but Biden could not negotiate simple immunity for our troops.  Don’t look now, but the Afghanistan war isn’t ending in 2014.  The administration is already negotiating to keep up to 25,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

Let’s look at war by the numbers.

Involvement in Major Foreign Conflicts:

Bush: 2 countries           Obama: 3 countries

Military Spending as % of GDP:

Bush, 2008: 4.4%          Obama, 2011: 4.7%

Average Annual War Spending:

Bush: $99.3 Billion       Obama: $155.1 Billion

Obama boasts of ending the war in Iraq, but how is the peace President doing in Afghanistan?

Average Annual Troop Deaths:

Bush: 606                        Obama: 445

Iraq:  528                         66

Afghanistan: 78              379

But what about Bush’s handling of Katrina?  Surely Obama has done better than that, right?  Former NYC Mayor Guiliani says no.

What about taxes?  Obama boasts about cutting people’s taxes, but most of the tax hikes he passed don’t go into effect until next year.  Obamacare has 20 different tax hikes in it, and many of those affect the poor and the sick.

But Obama saved the auto industry, right?  Actually, the only Detroit major that survived was Ford.  Ford didn’t take Obama’s bailout.  Chrysler did, and is now owned by an Italian company called Fiat.  GM took Obama’s bailout and is now owned by the taxpayers.  This was after Obama spent billions to bailout the unions before letting the two companies go through bankruptcy.  If that’s Obama saving the auto industry, I hope he doesn’t do me any favors.

Add these factors to Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the Black Panther polling case, Solyndra, and the other various scandals and overreaches of the Obama administration, and there is no reason to re-elect Obama.  Except of course if you got an Obama phone and are afraid of losing it.

How Obama Could Still Win:

Several states in play are ties or tossups in the latest polls.  In some, Obama is leading by 3-5%, but 3-5% are either undecided or going third party.  Obama can still win, even with his horrible statistics, if people vote third party or stay home.

I know many out there are voting third party or not voting to protest Romney.  I, like you, am a very libertarian leaning constitutionalist.  I’d love to see us out of the Middle East.  I’d love to see government spending cut in half.  I’d love to see us hold to our 10th amendment.  But Mitt Romney is NOT Barack Obama.

If anything, Mitt Romney is far closer to Reagan.  Despite being hailed as a conservative hero, Reagan is not as conservative as I would have preferred.  In fact, many Ron Paul and Gary Johnson voters would probably not vote for Reagan either.  But Mitt Romney is not the candidate you should be protesting.  You should be protesting Barack Obama.

Consider your goals and which candidate will get us there:

Less involvement in the Middle East: Mitt Romney has a comprehensive energy plan that gets America using its own resources to lower our dependence on OPEC.  Obama spent billions of your tax dollars on green energy companies that went bankrupt, and we are no closer to independence from foreign oil.

Simpler, fairer tax system: Romney’s plan reduces rates in order to remove loopholes and deductions based on the government’s definition of what a good citizen looks like without raising taxes.  Obama’s plan is higher taxes, more redistribution and a more complex tax system designed to pick winners and losers.

Foreign wars: Obama has proven himself to be an interventionalist.  He is not the peace President people hoped for.  He hasn’t closed Gitmo.  He only left Iraq because he was too incompetent to negotiate a way to stay there.  But he is already negotiating to keep 25,000 troops in Afghanistan.  Romney’s approach is to show the kind of strength Reagan did.  What major war did we fight when Reagan was President?  The Cold War, where we sat across the ocean from each other and didn’t pull the trigger for eight years.  Finally, the Soviet Union collapsed under their economic system.

More personal freedom and responsibility: Nothing took us backwards further as a nation than Obamacare.  Obamacare mandates that every American buy private health insurance or pay a tax.  Obamacare takes deciding power away from doctors and patients and gives it to the government.  If you protest Romney, Obamacare is here to stay.  If you vote to protest Obama, we have a shot at repealing this monstrous tax on the sick and the poor.

Does My Vote Count?

If you are thinking of voting third party or not voting because Romney is not as conservative as you’d like, you could be part of the margin that gives Obama four more years to take us down the path towards socialism at hyperspeed.  So where does Romney need your vote the most:

Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona.

But believe it or not, he also needs you in Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maine. If nothing else, vote to tell the liberals in your state that they do not have a mandate.  The country is changing and is leaning to the right.  You will never get the conservative, limited government you want if you let the country fall off the socialist cliff because the most conservative candidate who can win is not conservative enough for you.

When you walk into the voting booth, consider what you want America to look like in 2016.  Do you want to move forward the way Obama does?  Do you really want four more years of this?

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Do Democrats Destroy Cities?

Here’s a little nugget you can chew for a bit. The following list is the top ten cities (over 250,000 population) with the highest poverty rate. The year and the percentage of the population at or under the government defined poverty level is included.

City Name 2009 2010
Detroit, MI 36.4% 32.5%
Buffalo, NY 28.8% 31.5%
Cincinnati, OH 25.7% 27.8%
Cleveland, OH 35.0% 27.0%
Miami, FL 26.5% 26.9%
St. Louis, MO 26.7% 26.8%
El Paso, TX —– 26.4%
Milwaukee, WI 27.0% 26.2%
Philadelphia, PA 25.0% 25.1%
Newark, NJ 23.9% 24.2%

Can you guess what all of these cities have in common? They all have had Democratic mayors for at least the last two decades (note most of the cities have had Democratic mayors for more than 50 years).

City Name Democrat Since
Detroit, MI 1961
Buffalo, NY 1954
Cincinnati, OH 1984
Cleveland, OH 1989
Miami, FL All Democratic Mayors
St. Louis, MO 1949
El Paso, TX All Democratic Mayors
Milwaukee, WI 1908
Philadelphia, PA 1952
Newark, NJ 1907

So, can we conclude that Democrats and their policies have lead to the cesspool cities we see here on the list? Not definitively. The correlation, however, is striking.

It’s no secret that a major component to democratic policies is to enlarge the number of citizens that rely on government handouts. This is accomplished by depressing the economy, creating new entitlement programs or by changing qualifying requirements for entitlements already in place. Regardless of the approach and the “save society” rhetoric, it always boils down to taxing productive members of society and then redistributing that money to the less productive or to the outright unproductive. Those that receive something for nothing, in theory, get used to their situation. They want it, or better yet for the politicians, they need it to continue and will then re-elect the re-distributors. There’s no saving society. How can there be if you’re intentionally depressing the economy to create more dependency? That is a sales pitch. And there’s no genuine attempt at improvement for the individual and his or her situation. Again, how can there be when you re-define or create new programs that allow for or actually promote levels of unproductive behavior? It is money shuffling and nothing more. You and I know it as buying votes. This is all well and good for the politicians but over the longer term, buying votes creates significant problems for society.

The most obvious is, what happens when there are more people living off the government teat than are producing the milk? America is heading for that situation faster than any Liberal or Democrat will admit. The productive know however, and perhaps that is why the partisan rhetoric has been so shrill. But there is a second problem with vote buying that gets very little lip service and it is what leads to large percentages of poverty in our cities. It is known as the Curley Effect. (continued, page 2 link below)

Named after James Curley, a highly successful yet notoriously corrupt mayor of Boston, the Curley Effect describes the conditions wherein taxes or other government policies are targeted to the detriment of particular populations to the point where they head for the hills. In Curley’s case, as a Democrat he excessively taxed well to do yankee “Brahmins”. Curley not only bought Irish votes with the cash but chased the wealthy yankees out of the city. Raise taxes again and again and again and eventually those that can escape will do just that, leaving behind the poor and those reliant on entitlements. Less wealthy people in the city to tax also means less money for upkeep. Add these together and you get city cesspools with large populations of poor.

Although Baltimore, MD, is not on our list, it is another real world example of the Curley Effect running out of control. Steve Hanke and Stephen Walters write,

The city has lost 30,000 residents and 53,000 jobs since 2000, marking the sixth consecutive decade of population and employment exodus. About 47,000 abandoned houses crumble while residents suffer a homicide rate higher than any large city except Detroit. The poverty rate is 50% above the national average…

In modern Baltimore, the (political) machine has exploited class divisions, not ethnic ones. Officials raised property taxes 21 times between 1950 and 1985, channeling the proceeds to favored voting blocs and causing many homeowners and entrepreneurs—disproportionately Republicans—to flee. It was brilliant politics, as Democrats now enjoy an eight-to-one voter registration advantage and no Republican has been elected mayor in 48 years.

But Baltimore’s high property taxes have repelled investment in physical capital for decades. As that capital decayed and became scarce, labor became less productive and less prosperous. In 1950, the city’s median family income was 7% above the national average. Today it is 22% below it.

The practice of buying votes through taxation and entitlements, rather than sound government policy, is ultimately flawed. This is not to imply that all Democratic politicians intentionally try to run a city, a state or society into the ground. Clearly, for love of power, some do. Regardless of individual political motives, the practice inevitably leads to class warfare, population and industry exodus as well as corruption and urban decay. History shows productive Americans will tolerate taxation only to a certain point before they exit in mass or rebel. So for Democrats and Liberals to believe the American people will ultimately allow themselves to be excessively taxed, perhaps into poverty, is as silly and short-sighted as believing American society can be saved with entitlements.

Follow I.M. Citizen at IMCitizen.net

Debunking Obama’s First Ad

With Obama’s first campaign ad of 2012, he has made one thing clear.  He cannot win by being honest about his record.  In his new ad, Obama makes four dubious claims that can easily be debunked.  The ad makes Obama sound like some sort of super President who has changed the country for the better, but it accomplishes this with misrepresentations and outright lies.

Here is the ad:

Go

The first claim that Obama makes is that “some said our best days were behind us”.  This is an easy and unverifiable claim to make.  Who said that?  “Some”.  Actually, no one has said that.  Obama’s deceitful ad shows a picture of the TEA Party, but offers no sources.  Why?  Because there are none.  Obama could have said “Some say blacks are inferior” and showed a picture of the TEA Party and it would be just as dishonest as what he has portrayed here.  This lie is an unfair, intentional smear against his perceived enemies.  The President of the United States is treating an American political group as his enemies.  Frankly, it is the sort of thing one would expect from a Central American dictator, not the President of the United States.

“Today the auto industry is back”.  If by back he means relocated to Italy, that would explain his positive portrayal of what he did with Chrysler.  If by back he means that the taxpayer investment into GM and Chrysler has somehow been paid back, then this too is pure dishonesty.  Yes, the heavily subsidized industry may be pumping out vehicles again, but what about the amount of debt it took to get them there?  This claim is political massage of the facts at best.

“Our troops are home from Iraq”.  If by home he means Afghanistan, then yes this is accurate.  While Obama drew down troops in Iraq, he turned around and surged in Afghanistan.  Obama is correct about our troops being out of Iraq, but even that wasn’t by design.  Obama had planned to keep 3,000-5,000 troops in Iraq until 2013, but could not negotiate a simple immunity agreement to keep Iraqi police from arresting our troops.  This bit of political pandering to the anti-war crowd is dishonest.  It is one more example of Obama taking credit for something beyond his control and contrary to his intention.

“Instead of losing jobs, we are creating them”.  Mix this with Obama’s chart of 4.2 million jobs created and this is the biggest whopper in the ad.  Obama has not created 4.2 million jobs.  His net job growth is negative 2.5 million.  That is a 6.7 million job gap between his claim and the truth.  Contrast Obama’s job performance with Bush, who actually netted a positive 1 million jobs.  In fact, Bush’s most significant job losses were after Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over congress.

Sandwiched between platitudes, Obama filled his ad with outright lies and misrepresentations.  Surely Obama knows that these ads will be fact checked and easily debunked.  Unfortunately, this ad demonstrates his opinion of the American voter.  Yes the ad is full of lies.  But in his opinion the majority of Americans will fall for the platitudes and never check the facts.

Then again, he’s already fooled us once.

Romney Taking Heat Over Position on Auto-Bailout in Michigan

Throughout the media Mitt Romney has taken heat for his position on the auto-industry bailouts.  Voters are noticing, too, as recent polls show that Santorum has taken the lead in the state.  It comes at a particularly bad time as the Michigan primary is just weeks away.

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in the Detroit News criticizing the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers.  In it, he stands by his position at the time of letting the companies go through a managed bankruptcy, which was eventually done by Obama, and touts his Michigan roots as the son of former American Motor Company and Michigan Governor George Romney.  Romney goes on to blast Obama, calling the bailout and subsequent caving to union demands “crony capitalism on a grand scale”. Continue reading

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