News tagged as 'barack obama'

Why Bill Clinton Wants President Obama to Lose

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

It doesn’t take a genius to see that former President Bill Clinton wants President Obama to lose in November.

Clinton, who never liked Obama, is still angry over the way the President “played the race card” against him when he was campaigning for Hillary in the 2008 South Carolina primaries.

More importantly, say what you will about Bill Clinton’s policies and characters, Bill Clinton is of heartland America and understands all of America in ways Barack Obama never will. Clinton sees Obama as an arrogant left wing ideologue who lacks the political instincts to adjust his policies when circumstances warrant.

When Clinton was hit hard in the 1994 mid-term Congressional elections and the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time in four decades, Clinton got the message. He dropped Hillary’s government run health care proposals and tacked hard to the right.

In contrast, when the Tea Party movement fueled the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections, President Obama doubled-down to the left. Inspirational “Hope and Change” vanished, replaced by the  blame shifting and downbeat negative attacks that have marked his Presidency ever since.

Earlier in the week, President Clinton praised Mitt Romney’s “sterling” business record, a direct repudiation of Obama’s ill-advised efforts to portray Romney’s years at Bain Capital as “vampire capitalism.” Yesterday, Clinton was back on the Obama campaign bus–sort of–endorsing the incumbent President and faint heartedly saying a Romney Presidency would be “calamitous.”

No one, of course, thinks that’s what former President Clinton really means. His intentions are clear. He will do just enough to raise money for President Obama so that loyal Democrats won’t call him a turncoat. The Clintons look forward to helping President Obama open the doors of the Barack Obama Presidential Library some wintry Chicago day in 2014 . Meanwhile, on November 7, 2012, you can bet the entire Clinton machine, after having helped Romney secure a victory with their luke warm support for Obama, will turn their attention to the main prize once more–a Hillary Clinton run for President in 2016.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and ElectionDayTeaParty.com, and a Breitbart News Contributor. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Ryan Budget a Small, Timid Step in the Right Direction

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

Last month Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, Chairman of the Budget Committee, unveiled a proposed budget for FY 2013 and beyond that actually cuts spending. Given the hue and cry that followed from the White House and Democrats in Congress, it would be easy to conclude that Ryan has proposed drastic cuts. He hasn’t. His plan is a small, timid step to reverse decades of unconstrained spending by pandering politicians of both parties.

A comparison of President Obama’s proposed budget to Ryan’s proposed budget for the next five years, from FY 2013 to FY 2017 shows that while Obama’s current plan continues his pattern of financially reckless extremism, Ryan’s modest cuts do very little to bring the federal government’s expenditures into the kind of balance consistent with our “fiscal constitution.”

In FY 2011 the federal government spent $3.6 trillion, exactly 24% of the $15 trillion of GDP created in the United States during the same twelve months. That’s a record peacetime high, the result of three years under an Obama Administration characterized by financially reckless extremism  and a  Democrat-controlled Senate who, for 1000 days, has deliberately violated one of their core duties by not passing a federal budget.

To put the scale of Obama’s profligacy in perspective, consider this: During his three years in office, the amount he’s increased spending—(the current 24% of GDP is an additional 4% of GDP higher than the 20% of GDP the federal government spent in George W. Bush’s last year) equals the average annual federal peacetime budget during the 142 years between 1789 and 1931 when politicians lived by our “fiscal constitution.”

When I speak of the “fiscal constitution” I mean the universal agreement among politicians and the populace that during peacetime, the federal government could only make expenditures for which a corresponding tax revenue can be identified. Our Founding Fathers unanimously felt that the federal budget should be treated in the same way as the family budget. Current consumption should be paid for by current tax revenue, and never by incurring debt. Debt should only be used to finance defense expenditures during times of war

Under President Obama’s budget, spending in FY 2012 will increase to $3.8 trillion, while Congressman Ryan proposes to hold spending at $3.6 trillion. Under Obama, spending in FY 2013 will remain at $3.8 trillion, but rises to $4.5 trillion in FY 2017, the first quarter of which will be his last year in office. Ryan proposes to cut spending to $3.4 trillion in FY 2013, but increases it to $3.8 trillion in FY 2017.

Under both plans, we continue to experience annual spending deficits. Under Obama the annual deficits, even under the rosiest scenarios for economic growth, hover around $1 trillion annually. Under Ryan’s plan annual deficits drop to a “mere” $300 billion by FY 2017.

As I argue in my new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, we face a stark choice as a country. We must either drastically cut our spending in half from the current level of 24% of GDP to 12% of GDP, or we will certainly increase spending to 36% of GDP—putting us in the same category as European countries like Greece.

That’s a level consistent with 142 years of our “fiscal constitution” tradition, and breaks down as follows: 4% for the “normal” operations of the federal government, 6% for defense, and 2% to service and reduce the national debt.

How do the Obama and Ryan budgets stack up according to this standard?

Assuming a 3% annual increase in GDP, under Obama’s budget, federal government as a percentage of GDP increases to 25% in FY 2017. Under Ryan’s plan, it decreases to 21% in FY 2017. That’s not an insignificant improvement, but it still higher than George W. Bush’s FY 2008 budget, which put federal spending at 20% of GDP.

The Washington Post called Ryan’s plan “bold but risky,” but in my view, there’s little boldness in a plan that increases federal spending as a percentage of GDP beyond George W. Bush’s last year. While President Obama’s plan puts us on a path to become an economic basket case like Greece within a decade, the Ryan plan merely delays the day of reckoning by a few years.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and ElectionDayTeaParty.com. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, was recently published by Broadside Books. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.

Solyndra Scandal Proves That Under Obama, Washington Has Become a Criminal Enterprise

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

When does legally authorized theft become illegal theft?

While “crony capitalism” has been a problem in Washington for more than a century, it has been more often the ethically challenged but legally authorized variety of theft that characterizes so many politicized regimes. It’s beginning to become obvious that under the Obama Administration we have gone beyond crony capitalism to what can only be described as a full blown criminal enterprise, blessed, sanctioned and supported by the political operatives in the White House.

Revelations surrounding the improper guarantee of more than half a billion dollars in Stimulus loans to the now bankrupt “green job” Solyndra solar panel manufacturer by the Obama Administration suggest what many of us have suspected for a long time. Loan guarantees for “green companies”–a bad idea from a public policy perspective, but nonetheless legal–are supposed to follow certain guidelines. Such was not the case with Solyndra, whose main investor–venture capitalist George Kaiser–was a politically connected “bundler” who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign. Immediately after Obama’s inauguration, Kaiser and his cronies began lobbying the White House and Vice President Biden to “expedite” a half a billion dollar loan for their failing solar company.

Everyone knew it was a bad deal. Analysts at the Department of Energy had run the numbers and concluded that Solyndra would run out of cash in September 2011, even if it secured the half a billion in government guaranteed loans. Why? They were selling their products at a price that was half the cost it took to produce them. If you’re losing money on every sale, you can’t make a profit by increasing the volume!

According to a caller to Mark Levin’s program yesterday, everyone who worked at the Solyndra plant knew these flawed economics made their shiny new plant obsolete and doomed from the outset. These economic facts did not dissuade the political operatives in the White House from forcing the loan guarantee through. When Solyndra declared bankruptcy earlier this month, leaving taxpayers on the hook for the half a billion dollars in guaranteed loans, no one was surprised, not even the political operatives who rushed the deal through.

It’s the Chicago way, apparently. Al Capone would have loved this setup. Talk about return on investment! Just bundle a few hundred thousand dollars for the Obama Campaign, and voila, you get to use half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money as you see fit…until it runs out.

Look for more true stories of illegal crony capitalism to be exposed for the remainder of the Obama Administration. Today’s business press reports that Solyndra may be only the tip of the iceberg are likely just the beginning.

All of this is to suggest an excellent follow up topic to Amy Handlin’s upcoming Voices of the Tea Party e-book, Crony Capitalists in Our Back Yards. I would like to see an e-book on Crony Capitalists in the Oval Office.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, was published in July. His new book, Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

One Hundred More Years?

By: JonWakefield

This past Friday, Team Obama stepped on to the court in my backyard and at my alma mater, the University of Richmond. I’m happy to report that the home team, the Richmond Tea Party, showed up to defend our fine city, peacefully demonstrating outside the Robbins Center where President Obama spoke. Some of his cheerleaders—the college students who haven’t yet figured out that they’re about to enter a workforce in which their demographic suffers from the highest unemployment rate—trotted out the old standby chant of, “Four more years!”

I thought, Four more years of what? Big-Government policies that squash freedom and eventually topple economies?

While President Obama has certainly slammed the accelerator to the mat on those types of policies since 2009*, he simply is serving the same economic ideology that has increasingly governed both major political parties for a hundred years. The ideological degrees vary, the faces and the rhetoric change, but it’s the same message we’ve heard in America for far too long.

In 1910, the progressive Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican) said

“We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably attained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. This, I know, implies a policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had [emphasis mine], but I think we have got to face the fact that such an increase in governmental control is now necessary.”

And so began the century-long (and counting) war among the classes, the purpose of which is to expand governmental control over our lives.

There was no need to watch President Obama’s big speech before Congress on Thursday, because we’ve already heard it from him consistently since he stepped onto the campaign trail in 2007 (which he has never left). The only things that change are some of the numbers behind the policies and the focus group tested phrases used to describe those policies. But when you fan away all the smoke, you find nothing but old fashioned class warfare. This drives much of what our President does.

Instinctively, he knows this, because in his speech he insisted, “This isn’t class warfare,” after earlier advocating making “the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share.” Audible laughter from Congress ensued, as it did around America because the majority finally sees through this President. They know the only tactic he has left to convince us to support a stimulus package of $447,000,000,000 after the abysmal failure of the last one is to convince us that greedy rich people who don’t want to “pay their fair share” must be forced to open their wallets for the “good of society.”

President Obama is merely the latest in a long line of Big-Government politicians to play class warfare politics, pitting classes of Americans against each other, teaching many contempt for the rich while coveting what they have earned. This is how we end up with redistributive policies, such as a 70,000-page tax code, much of which is meant to reward and punish political allies and opponents; the Community Reinvestment Act that was involved in helping blow the housing bubble that burst, leading to the financial crisis of 2008 (which hasn’t yet been solved); and Obamacare, which is loaded with new taxes and regulations, further hammering an already crippled economy. These examples, along with many others, collectively are why America is now speeding toward an economic black hole that we soon may not be able to pull back from.

Those University of Richmond students who want “Four more years!” should take a few moments to realize that they’re actually riding a shuttle that was launched a hundred years ago. It has accelerated and decelerated in varying degrees over that century, but the ultimate destination is clear, as they’ll soon learn when they attempt to enter the over-regulated workforce full time.

I believe a valuable addition to the Voices of the Tea Party series would be an e-book explaining to college students the fruits of the policies many of them support. Then when they graduate into firsthand experience in a managed economy, maybe instead of wanting “A hundred more years!” they’ll open their eyes and will join the Tea Party’s efforts to immediately turn the shuttle around and speed in the opposite direction, treating all Americans equally and fostering cooperation rather than contempt, throwing out our entire tax code and replacing it with a uniform tax rate, removing government from the housing and health care industries—and many others—and allowing the free market to naturally produce more prosperity for all our people. If we choose this over class warfare for the next hundred years—or even ten—we may not only survive this fiscal crisis but thrive again and restore America to her basic founding principles that made it the greatest nation the world has ever known.

*I believe the Obama presidency has always been a race against time. His goal was to transfer as much power as possible from the people to the government and that by the time the American public woke up to his game it would be too late for them to stop the power grab. But what he—and no one else—anticipated was the birth and rapid development of an enormous non-partisan movement dedicated to restoring America to the founding principles of a limited government and an empowered citizenry. We the People have put our lives on hold to ensure that we preserve some form of freedom for our children and teach them to expand it when they take our place.

Jon Wakefield is a leader of the Richmond, Virgina Tea Party.

The Hoover Democrats of 2011

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

At the height of the Depression in June, 1932, Republican President Herbert Hoover decided it was finally time to pay for the additional $1 billion of spending he had persuaded Congress to authorize earlier in the year.  The economy was in a downward spiral, having shrunk 20% annually since the Crash of 1929. Unemployment was nearing 20%.

The fiscal year was just coming to an end, and it wasn’t a pretty site. Revenues had plummetted to $1.9 billion, as expenditures jumped to $4.6 billion. The resulting $2.7 billion deficit was the highest in the history of peace time America.

Hoover’s solution for the slide in revenue was to increase income taxes across the board, but especially for the “wealthy.” He persuaded Congress to pass the Revenue Act of 1932 just as the new fiscal year began, and he sat back, waiting for the extra revenues to start rolling in.

Why wouldn’t they?

After all, tax rates for those earning more than $1 million a year increased from 25% to 63%.  At every level, the tax code was made “fairer” and more progressive.  Estate taxes were doubled, and corporate taxes were also increased.

But a funny thing happened.

Total revenue didn’t increase a penny. The next fiscal year was a mirror of the previous pre-tax increase fiscal year–revenues remained stagnant at $1.9 billion, expenditures were kept at $4.6 billion, and an additional $2.7 billion was added to the deficit.

Barack Obama’s insistence that we increase taxes now on “the wealthy” because “it’s only fair” echoes the rhetoric Hoover used to secure Congressional passage of his ill advised and ineffective tax increase.

And Hoover’s financial recklessness–even FDR’s that followed–was mild in comparison to President Obama’s jaw-dropping profligate spending.

Debt, as a percentage of GDP was less than 20% in Hoover’s day. FDR brought it above 40% before the start of World War II. But Obama’s $5 trillion addition to the national debt in just three years has brought that figure to a peace time high. Our national debt is now 100% of GDP.

And, let’s not forget that on Friday Standard and Poor’s lowered our national credit rating from AAA to AA+, the first credit downgrade the United States has experienced since such ratings began in 1917.

And what solution do President Obama and his Democratic allies offer us to this fiscal disaster they’ve created?

Time to increase taxes on those evil owners of corporate jets.

Who knew when he was elected President three years ago that Barack Obama would become as hapless and irrelevant as Herbert Hoover was by the end of his term?

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, was published earlier this week. His new book, Covenant of Liberty, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum, and Tweedle-none

By: Michael_Patrick_Leahy

In Washington these days, there’s no oxygen  left in the room to debate anything other than the faux debt ceiling issue.  As the “deadline” draws near next week, every minute of talking head time on the cable networks is focused on the game of chicken being played between the competing plans offered by the Democratic and Republican leadership. Both plans are ineffective at dealing with our chronic spending and debt problems. Nonetheless, the debt ceiling appears to be occupying every minute of waking time in the days of the dinosaurs of political leadership currently responsible for resolving the issue.

But the key actors in this little farce remind me more of characters in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland than political leaders of vision and courage:

Strange all this Difference should be
‘Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee!

The contemporary version of Alice in Wonderland we see playing out before us in the halls of power in Washington has added a third member to the Tweedle cast. Let me introduce the actors now performing their roles in our nation’s capital:

Tweedle-dee has set forward a “debt reduction plan” that will cut a grand total of $6 billion from our $1.7 trillion deficit next year.  That’s less than one half of one percent of the annual deficit. There’s no debt reduction in this plan.

Tweedle-dum wants to increase taxes and refuses to cut spending in any meaningful way.

Tweedle-none has no plan other than to step up to a microphone and petulantly complain about Tweedle-dee’s plan.

These three characters are suitable for a child’s nursery rhyme, but their ascension to posts of political leadership in our republic is a sad commenatary on just how little attention the American electorate has paid to the electoral process for the past several decades.

The good news is that this all began to change in November, 2010.

The pathetic display of leadership currently offered by Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum, and Tweedle-none merely re-enforces the importance of common sense citizens engaging in the electoral process more heavily in November 2012. All three of these leaders are currently in their positions of power because the voters of the United States have put them there.  We can, and should, remove them all in November, 2012.

But let’s be honest about this mess.

Complaining that this sophomoric trio are doing the wrong thing simply shifts the blame from our shoulders to theirs.  They’re behaving exactly as we should expect them to behave.

Tweedle-dee is behaving like the establishment Republican he is. He’s simply following the time honored Republican traditions of Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush.

Tweedle-dum is behaving like the partisan Democratic hack he is. He’s simply pandering to the special interest groups to which he owes his election.

And Tweedle-none is behaving like the hollow and brittle redistributionist ideologue he is. He’s simply out of his league, incapable of doing anything other than deliver the same monologue again and again.

In the next election, it’s time for constititutional conservatives like us to throw the whole lot of them out, and replace them with common sense people who think and act like we do.  The mechanics of how this transformation can come about is a worthy topic for the next e-book in the Voices of the Tea Party series.

Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new  e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, was published earlier this week. His new book, Covenant of Liberty, will be published by Broadside Books in spring, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .

What Does Obama’s Loyalty Day Proclamation Tell Us?

By: MarkKevinLloyd

Yesterday was Loyalty Day.

Why have I never heard of this holiday? It’s been an official holiday since 1958, when Congress passed a law declaring it a day to remember loyalty to our country and its founding principles.

On May 1, 1959, President Eisenhower issued the first Presidential “Loyalty Day” proclamation, and every successive President has followed suit. I took a moment to compare some of the proclamations issued by four subsequent Presidents, and suddenly, the idea of a new Voices of the Tea Party e-book topic came to mind: How have conceptions of “loyalty to America” changed since 1959?

Why not compare the highlights of the Loyalty Day proclamations of John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush to Barack Obama, and tell me if you see any dramatic differences.

Barack Obama

For over two centuries, Americans have looked with pride and devotion on a Nation that reflects its people’s highest moral aspirations.  On this day, we celebrate our brave men and women in uniform and honor those who gave their lives to keep our country safe and free. We also reflect on the contributions of patriotic civilians united by an understanding that citizenship is not just a collection of rights, but also a set of responsibilities. (Obama likes this phrase–having used it several times in the past.)

George W. Bush

Our Nation has never been united simply by blood, birth, or soil, but instead has always been united by the ideals that move us beyond our background and teach us what it means to be Americans. We believe deeply in freedom and self-government, values embodied in our cherished documents and defended by our troops over the course of generations. Our citizens hold the truths of our founding close to their hearts and demonstrate their loyalty in countless ways. We are inspired by the patriotic service of the men and women who wear our Nation’s uniform with honor and decency.

Ronald Reagan

Seldom are we called upon to consciously consider and express loyalty to our Nation and its ideals of liberty. It would be well to do so. The world is filled with tyranny and deprivation. Each of us can thank God that we are living in this blessed land. And when differences arise among us, which is only natural in a free society, we should always remain aware that we are one people, together and indivisible.

John F. Kennedy

Dedication, devotion, and loyalty to our country and to the free democratic precepts upon which it was founded has always been a cherished tradition with our people-from our Founding Fathers to our servicemen now serving in the far-flung corners of the world. Understandably, our people avoid ostentatious displays of patriotic fervor. Nevertheless, in these trying times, when international forces are attempting to undermine and destroy our form of free government and our way of life, it is entirely fitting and proper and in the national interest to set aside a special day each year on which to express our unceasing devotion and loyalty to this Nation.

Mark Kevin Lloyd is the former President of the Lynchburg, Virginia Tea Party and currently serves as Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. He is also the author of  ”The Battle for Virginia’s Fifth District.” He can be reached on Twitter at @mklloydva .