Wednesday Chronicle

Raw Deal With Silver Linings

Jan. 2, 2013

The Foundation

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” –Thomas Jefferson

Editorial Exegesis

No 'grand bargain,' but a deal nonetheless

“The Senate-White House [fiscal cliff] compromise grudgingly passed by the House is a Beltway classic: The biggest tax increase in 20 years in return for spending increases, and all spun for political purposes as a ‘tax cut for the middle class.’ … [T]he tax rate on capital gains will rise to 23.8% (including the 3.8% ObamaCare surtax), the highest rate since 1996, and at a time when business investment is mediocre. … The estate tax deal is a reprieve only compared to the 45% that Mr. Obama wanted and the 55% that would have hit without a deal. Republicans still had to agree to a rate increase to 40% from 35%, and the $5 million exemption is a pittance for 50 years of work and thrift. … As for small business, the overall tax increase this year is substantial. The new listed top rate of 39.6% doesn’t include the phaseout of deductions that will take the actual rate to 41% or so for many taxpayers. Add the ObamaCare surtaxes on investment income (3.8%) and Medicare (0.9%), as well as the current Medicare tax of 1.45% (employee share), and the real top marginal tax rate on a dollar of investment income from a bank savings or money-market account will be about 46%. Throw in state taxes, and the marginal rates in many places will be in the mid-50%-or-higher-range. … Keep in mind that this entire exercise was also supposed to promote ‘deficit reduction.’ But the bill’s special-interest favors give away much of the new tax revenue that Mr. Obama says he wants, and the bill’s estimate of $620 billion more revenue over 10 years is probably too high as the rich change their behavior to avoid the higher rates. In any event, this bill increases spending by at least $30 billion by extending extra jobless benefits for another year. It also postpones for two months the automatic spending cuts that were set to begin this week, so in February we can all witness the delights of another phony showdown that will result in more phony deficit reduction. … [W]e hope the GOP has learned, after two failed attempts, that Mr. Obama is not someone with whom it can do a ‘grand bargain.’ … House Republicans should pursue their own agenda and let Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats pursue theirs. Mr. Obama has his tax triumph. Let it be his last.” –The Wall Street Journal

Upright

“All the debate over spending is starting to remind me of the movie Jaws. We have some people who believe there is this big threat headed our way, but the authorities all tell us not to panic – but instead of the mayor of Amity Island telling us the beaches are safe, President Obama is telling us we’ll grow our way out of this deficit. … People don’t want to listen. But Math is coming. It’s $16 trillion in debt and growing, and one day it will rise out of the water, and even those ignoring it will finally be afraid and gasp, ‘We’re going to need a bigger boat.’ No, you idiots! Haven’t you been listening? We need a smaller boat. One we can actually afford.” –columnist Frank J. Fleming

“[Obama] jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers. The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas' Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million. … And that doesn’t include the price tag for the massive security operation required to move the president or the cost of the cargo plane that follows Air Force One around. The Obamas could have saved taxpayers millions by returning from Hawaii together after Christmas and then resuming their vacation at one of the many ritzy resorts that lie outside of Washington. If the beach is a must, even a trip to Florida would have been far less expensive.” –White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler

“The year we just endured was supposed to be the year when this country finally got serious about solving the big structural problems that have prevented our economy from reaching its full potential. Or was that 2008? It’s hard to remember. … So now it’s 2013. The national debt exceeds $16 trillion as the government borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends because doing otherwise would ‘balance the budget on the backs of …’ somebody. … Meanwhile, spending continues its unstoppable march to the next galaxy. Not even the Mayan apocalypse could slow it. We just hope that when it gets there, some benevolent alien race sees it, takes pity on us and teaches us an advanced alien means of controlling it. We need something new, as moving ‘forward’ seems to mean, among other things, abandoning our ancient human method, the one we used to call ‘math.’” –New Hampshire Union Leader

“If you don’t want to have a gun in your home or in your school, that’s your choice. But don’t be such a damn fool as to advertise to the whole world that you are in ‘a gun-free environment’ where you are a helpless target for any homicidal fiend who is armed. Is it worth a human life to be a politically correct moral exhibitionist?” –economist Thomas Sowell

Essential Liberty

“It is said that the 2nd Amendment follows hard upon the 1st so as to serve as its bodyguard – providing the added incentive of coercive force by a wary citizenry to guarantee that those initial cherished liberties, expounded by our Founders, did not go the way of the 10th Amendment. The 2nd Amendment, interpreted as the right to bear arms by a free people, has not escaped that yawning chasm that has opened up between the political Right and Left, and the rationale behind this stratification falls along the same familiar tensions of individual vs. collective. The nature of men, having proved insufficient in wisdom for the eradication of evil, must then paradoxically utilize the equalization of deadly force to not only suppress the jaundiced glint in our neighbor’s eye but the tyranny that arises when men esteem the chimera of ordered equality over liberty.” –columnist Glenn Fairman

Insight

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” –German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” –British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Demo-gogues

The BIG Lie: “Well, I have to tell you, David, if you look at my track record over the last two years, I cut spending by over a trillion dollars in 2011.” –Barack Obama (Actually, federal spending increased by $147 billion in 2011.)

Belly laugh of the year: “I’m not driven by some ideological agenda. I’m a pretty practical guy.” –Barack Obama

Another lie: “[Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure that we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they’re behaving is that their only priority is making sure that the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.” –Barack Obama

Just raise taxes: “Revenues have to be part of the equation in turning off the sequester, as well as spending cuts.” –Barack Obama

Nice sentiment; try doing it: “We cannot let Washington politics get in the way of America’s progress. We’ve got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward.” –Barack Obama

Loading our children with debt: “[Republicans using the debt limit to negotiate is] somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, ‘I’m going to shoot my child if you don’t do what I want done.’ You don’t want to shoot your child. There’s no Republican leader that wants to default on our debt – that I’ve talked to – so that ought to be non-partisan.” –House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Pot and kettle: “The House of Representatives is operating without the House of Representatives. It’s being operated with a dictatorship of the Speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the House of Representatives to get what they want.” –Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

Dezinformatsia

Gun grabbers: “Repeal the Second Amendment, the part about guns anyway. It’s badly written, confusing and more trouble than it’s worth. … Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right. Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. … Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that ‘prying the guns from their cold, dead hands’ thing works for me. Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.” –columnist Donald Kaul

Good riddance! “If [America] doesn’t change its gun laws I would, as a concerned parent first … seriously consider deporting myself.” –CNN’s Piers Morgan, who is British (A petition to deport Morgan over his anti-gun stance has tens of thousands of signatures.)

Tolerance: “My point … about gay rights, for example – it’s time for an amendment to the Bible.” –Piers Morgan

Newspulper Headlines:

Hey, It’s Not the End of the World: “After Mayan Apocalypse Failure, Believers May Suffer” –LiveScience.com

Shortest Books Ever Written: “Those Courageous Liberals” –Commentary website

Questions Nobody Is Asking: “Will 2013 Be the Year We Finally Address Climate Change?” –Salon.com

Answers to Questions Nobody Is Asking: “Affleck Says No to Senate Run” –Politico.com

News You Can Use: “How to Beat Winter Vomiting Outbreak” –Daily Express (London)

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto)

Village Idiots

Blame the Constitution: “As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.” –Louis Michael Seidman, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University

Even the idiots are displeased: “[Obama] has taken all the Bush changes – he basically put them into the establishment, [and] he has codified them. That is what is sad. So we are going into the second administration that is living outside the law and does not respect the law and foundations of our system and he is a constitutional lawyer, you know. … It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere.” –director Oliver Stone

“As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken. But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience to the Constitution, with all its archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions.” –Georgetown “constitutional law professor” Louis Michael Seidman

“The question for today, as the Republican party fighting, infighting, spills over onto the national stage, is whether they’ll go back to the center-left positions of Eisenhower and start winning elections again, or if they’ll double down on stupid to satisfy the Kochs, the Adelsons, the Murdochs, and the Limbaughs of their party. … I’m betting they’re gonna double down on stupid, ‘cause that’s where the money’s comin’ from.” –leftist radio talk show host Thom Hartman

“Stop saying, ‘I support the troops.’ I don’t. I used to.” –filmmaker Michael Moore

Short Cuts

“The White House received over sixty thousand signatures from gun rights advocates demanding that CNN’s host Piers Morgan be deported for slamming the Second Amendment. A counter-petition was circulated in Britain refusing to take him back. He is on the phone with the president to see if Anglo-Saxons are covered under the Dream Act.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“Americans. It took us 40 years to get rid of Piers Morgan. Please don’t send him back. … Americans. Was the second amendment not introduced to protect you from the tyranny of the British? Piers Morgan in other words.” –BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson

“A Michigan lawyer has been arrested for manufacturing crystal meth in his office. I hope the fact that this guy’s a lawyer doesn’t send the message that somehow all meth dealers are sleaze balls.” –comedian Jay Leno

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team