Senator

Some Schooling for Reverend Obama

by Bill O'Connell on February 3, 2012

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While wiping his feet on the First Amendment by trying to force Catholic institutions to bend to his will and force them to provide services that go against their core beliefs, President Obama took time to lecture us on the Bible, and twist it to fit his reelection campaign. This outrage doesn’t get a pass.

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Obama: The Payroll Tax Cut and Taxing the Rich

by Bill O'Connell on December 11, 2011

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With the economy in shambles and his campaign sound bites and early interviews as president coming back to haunt him, President Obama has ramped up the class warfare rhetoric. Let’s put the lie to these strategies.

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Morgan Freeman, Meet Frederick Douglass

by Bill O'Connell on September 28, 2011

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Photo by Luke M. Schierholz

In a recent interview on Piers Morgan Tonight, Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman, once again, laid down the charge that has no proof, that the Tea Party is racist. I like Morgan Freeman. I think he is a great actor. But with this display, I also think that he needs to get out of the Hollywood bubble that includes such deep thinkers as Michael Moore and Janeane Garofolo, and actually visit a Tea Party gathering, (they are very safe places to go to). Here is his thinking. The Tea Party is opposed to Barack Obama, therefore the Tea Party is racist. Game. Set. Match. Gee, that was easy. Does Morgan Freeman know who Herman Cain is? How does he explain that one?

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It’s Labor Day, Not Union Day

by Bill O'Connell on September 5, 2011

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Photo by photobunny

It would be an understatement to say that unions have had some setbacks recently, so what’s wrong with hogging a holiday all to themselves as they lick their wounds?

The Marathon County Labor Council originally tried to ban Republican lawmakers from Monday’s parade, but it backed down when the Wausau mayor threatened to refuse insurance costs and other expenses to the public event.

While it is true that organized labor was behind the establishment of Labor Day, when you consider that at their peak in the 1950s, unions only represented a little over a third of  all workers, it never would have happened without a lot of non-union support to get them more than the fifty percent needed to pass any legislation. So just how did we get in this mess?

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Gun Confiscation Movement (Part 1 of 3)

by Bill O'Connell on May 28, 2011

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While we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom this Memorial Day weekend, let us not ignore the efforts of our own government to take away our rights under the Second Amendment.

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It’s the Spending, Stupid!

by Bill O'Connell on April 14, 2011

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To no one’s surprise, President Obama followed his lame first attempt at a budget with the same tired class warfare “taxing the rich is the solution plan”. The problem is spending. This problem is not going to get fixed until we: a) stop spending more; b) start spending less; and c) spend less than we take in until the debt is paid off. Yes, I said paid off. We are the wealthiest country on earth. We should be able to live within our means and not have to borrow to keep a bloated, inefficient, unaccountable government in Washington growing and growing.

Let’s take a look at the facts. The following three charts show how much of Adjusted Gross Income is earned by the most productive 1%, 5%, and 10% (the blue bars) and what share of total income taxes they pay (the red bars). This is over a twenty year period:

 

Share of Income vs Share of Tax Burden of Most Productive 1 Percent

 

Share of Income vs Share of Tax Burden

 

Share of Income vs Share of Tax Burden of Most Productive 10%

 

What is clear from all three of these graphs is that over the past twenty years if you look at the trend lines, while the most productive amoung us produced more, the share of the tax load they paid grew even faster. So let’s stop the sleight of hand about how many dollars the changes in tax law affect Mr. Obama personally and let’s be clear, to use Mr. Obama’s favorite phrase, there was no tax cut voted in December, the vote just maintained the status quo. So, Mr. President, level with the American people. Just what percentage of total income taxes do you want the most productive 10% of Americans to carry? Since you feel 70%, the amount they carry today, is not enough, what do you think is fair? 80%? 90%? 100%? Should the most productive 10% of Americans pay all of the income taxes while the other 90% pay none? Stop dancing around and be straight with the American people and tell us how much of the total pie is fair for the most productive to pay?

But we don’t have enough revenue because of the Bush tax cuts, you say. Okay, let’s put that one to rest as well.

 

Federal Government Revenue over Time

 

It is clear that the tax revenue collected hit its peak after the Bush tax cuts. They fell off after the start of the recession, which is expected, but it appears they bottomed in 2010 and the Bush rates were extended (not increased, not decreased). It’s the spending, stupid!

Trying to raise more money through raising tax rates runs into Hauser’s Law. As I explain in Liberty’s Lifeline, W. Kurt Hauser looked at eighty years of revenue data and concluded that tax revenues will not exceed 20% of GDP no matter how high the rates. If spending continues at 24% of GDP where it is now, we will be digging a hole out of which we will never escape. It’s the spending, stupid!

Instead of leading, President Obama, came out yesterday with Budget 2.0, and basically made a campaign speech instead of a serious policy statement demonstrating leadership. Here is Charles Krauthammer’s analysis:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR0E3trOF-k

President Obama ran for office with the promise of bipartanship. He promised to change the tone in Washington. He has not even been able to change his role from campaigner-in-chief to chief executive and instead has become punter-in-chief. He punted his responsibility to put together a budget to a bipartisan commission. He didn’t like the yucky medicine his commission offered up and so he dismissed their recommendation. He now talks of a new bipartisan commission.

He also likes to follow the instructions of his mentor Saul Alinsky, “pick a target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.” He did it to the members of the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address after the Citizens United v FEC decision by calling them out as they sat immobile in front of him. He repeated it yesterday by inviting Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders to this speech and then attacked them.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JjGGnwe6UQ

When I started writing this blog in 2008 it was primarily because I saw the candidate Obama as someone with no executive experience, a few years in the Illinios senate where he voted mostly present, less than a full term as a U.S. Senator before he bailed out to run for president, and the author of a couple of books and I was stunned that people across America actually believed this man, who may be great guy to have a beer with or play a game of basketball or golf, could actually handle the job. Well, as another of his mentors, Reverand Wright, once said, our chickens are coming home to roost. I would much rather have Jimmy Carter sitting in the Oval Office today than this man, and that’s saying something.

It’s about the spending, Mr. President, and if you don’t understand that, wake up Joe Biden and give him a turn at the wheel. It’s time to take your responsibility seriously and make some tough decisions. Right now 2012 is a pipe dream for you.

 

That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours. Please comment below.

 

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Hit and Run Politicians

by Bill O'Connell on April 7, 2011

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Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps not having lived in the rarefied air of academia or politics, I have a more roll up the sleeves, get some dirt under the fingernails approach to what a job entails. Today it seems that politicians like to get in front of the cameras, fire off a sound bite and then go do something more interesting.

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Forever Entitled

by Bill O'Connell on March 31, 2011

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“I always use the word extreme, that’s what the caucus instructed me to do the other week, extreme cuts and all these riders, and Boehner’s in a box but if he supports the Tea Party, there’s inevitably [be] a shutdown.  – Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)

In an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, Senator Marco Rubio said:

Every generation has had to confront and solve serious challenges and, because they did, each has left the next better off. Until now.

It brought to mind the movie Generation Zero, that chronicles the origins of the great financial meltdown that we have experienced. In that movie they point to one of the contributing factors the transition in power from those who lived through the Great Depression and World War II to the Baby Boomers, who knew little deprivation in their lives. Now as these boomers, of which I am one, took the reins of power, caution was thrown to the wind.

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Public Sector Unions: Right or Wrong?

by Bill O'Connell on February 23, 2011

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To hear the progressives talk about the public sector unions in Wisconsin and other locales you would think collective bargaining was enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We have a right to bargain collectively. The unions are fighting for their rights. The Bill of Rights was won through the fighting of a bloody revolution. The right for all citizens to vote was won through the passage of an amendment to the Constitution. So, naturally, the right of public sector unions was won through a similar groundswell of popular support, right? No. Actually it was started by one man, fighting for his political life, in the shadow of Tammany Hall.

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Ron Paul Fires Up the House

by Bill O'Connell on February 11, 2011

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Congressman Ron Paul, a perennial favorite of CPAC, the annual convention of the American Conservative Union, packed the house and then lit it up with his speech of liberty and libertarianism.

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