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Washington Post And Readers Seize Opportunity to Show Their Colors

A Washington Post headline, on March 3, 2011, read “Frederick official’s comment that a woman’s place is in the home creates uproar.” I read the article, and some of the hundreds of comments on the article. What I found, and what I did not find, was very interesting. What I found was a lot of name calling (“hate speech” as the left likes to call it) directed towards Frederick County Commissioners Paul Smith and Kirby Delauter. But what I did not find was the quote from the Frederick officials where they said a woman’s place is in the home, nor exactly what Smith and Delauter said to set off the so-called controversy.

According to the Post, Mr. Smith “told a TV station and intimated at a public hearing before voting to slash half the funding for the county’s Head Start program, [that] a woman’s place is in the home” (emphasis added). So in stead of relying what what a Washington Post reporter thinks Mr. Smith implied, I decided to see what he told the TV station and I also dug up the transcript from the public hearing on Head Start to read exactly what Smith and Delauter said that started this uproar. I hope you find this as enlightening as I did.

Public Hearing on Head Start

According to the Frederick News Post, this is what Paul Smith said in a February 8, 2011 Commissioner’s meeting:

“I am very sensitive to the importance of the 3- and 4-year-old age for children … and there’s no question that our community needs to continue to be committed in this area and watch out for and help the families. I think it’s … very significant that we did make this … marriage week announcement today because that is the best long-term … way to help our children, as marriage is strengthened in our community … because, I mean, I know — as many of you know — I had a lot of kids … and my wife stayed home — a significant sacrifice — during those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids at that critical age, and I know everybody isn’t able to survive doing that, but clearly … as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we [the governement] have to reach, and I think the best approach … ultimately, will be through the private sector, churches.”

Mr. Smith went on to talk about the electoral mandate from the fall of 2010 to get spending under control and to not raise taxes. He further talked about the need for the public to wean themselves from entitlement programs like Head Start and the need for families, churches, and the private sector to step up in their place. Read the full transcript from Feb. 8 Commissioner’s meeting on the Frederick News Post website. Mr. Delauter  agreed with Mr. Smith and added:

“I do think the private sector’s got to take up some of the slack. We … ran on the platform like Commissioner Smith said: no new taxes, no tax increases. That was a mandate. … We’ve been very clear that we take that seriously. Again, my wife, college-educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids. We gave up a lot to do that. … I agree again with Commissioner Smith: The marriage thing is very important. I mean, the education of your kids starts at home, OK. I never relied on anyone else to guarantee the education of my kids. … So, again, the (Head Start) program’s not going away. Will it be affected? That’s possible. Will the quality be affected? That’s possible, but with the budget that we’ve been dealt — and we knew that coming in; that’s what we ran on; that’s what we talked about all through the campaign — but the cards we’ve been dealt — we have to deal with that, and raising taxes on people that don’t have work is not an option. So we’ve got to start living more within our means.”

Nothing from Smith and Delauter’s seems as incendiary as The Washington Post makes it out to seem. And in fact, the bulk of Smith and Delauter’s comments were regarding fiscal responsibility, rather than women’s, mother’s, and family responsibilities. One thing is clear though, contrary to the Post’s assertion, Mr. Smith never said a woman’s place is in the home. According to ABC 7 News in the Washington D.C. area, Mr. Smith did say that a mother’s primary responsibility is the care and nurture of her children (see ABC 7’s video: Comments spark vigil in Frederick.) But, perhaps this distinction between a woman’s role and a mother’s role will do little to appease Mr. Smith’s detractors.

More Common Ground Than You Think

Few people would disagree that stronger marriages and families is one of the best thing we can do for children. Few people would disagree that a mother of small children has as her first and primary responsibility to care for those kids and provide the best home life possible. And I hope there would not be many people that would argue with the premise that a child’s mother, without discounting the role of the father, is the ideal person to provide that love, nurture, and education early in life. Of course that ideal will not always be achieved, due to various circumstances in life, but just because the ideal cannot always be achieved doesn’t change the fact that it is ideal.

Washington Post and Readers Show Their True Colors

Of course, rather than focusing on this common ground, the Washington Post and ABC 7, for the sake of sensational news and perhaps due to other motives, have portrayed the comments of Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter as incendiary and provocative. Instead of quoting Mr. Smith and giving the story proper context, the Washington Post intimates and implies things that aren’t true in order to satisfy their own agenda, which appears to be to portray Republicans and Christians as backwards and evil.

Well, based on the comments of the Washington Post readership (below), to a large extent, they have succeeded. But in the process, the Post and their friends on the liberal left, have shown their true colors. They are deceptive, mean-spirited, and intolerant of other people’s views. Here is a sampling of the things Washington Post readers are saying about Smith and Delauter. They…

  • Want women to be “household slaves”
  • Want “Sharia Law in the USA”
  • Are “like the Taliban”
  • “Should be put into a home”
  • “Pretend to be pro-family”
  • Are “anti-education”
  • Want a “theocracy like Iran”
  • Are “un-Christian”
  • “Never had to struggle for anything”
  • Should “leave the religion at home”
  • “Don’t belong holding public office”
  • Are “trashy”, “stupid”, “Rednecks”, “idiots”, “Crackpots”, “schmucks”, “morons”, “religious nutcakes”, “fools”, “religious extremists”, and “ignorant.”

All this comes from the kind-hearted, always tolerant left-wing liberals in this country. Perhaps with this additional light shed on subject, those people will reach out and apologize to Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter. But I’m not holding my breath.

Correlation Between Economic Freedom and Income

I was recently reading the Index of Economic Freedom World Rankings developed by the Heritage Foundation which is a measure of the economic freedom and opportunity in countries. In 1776, economist Adam Smith, in his influential work, The Wealth of Nations, formulated a theory that when institutions and governments protect the economic liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.

Today that theory has been measured and proven, as you can see in the chart below. In red is plotted the economic freedom score of 157 countries, and in blue is plotted the GDP per capita in those same countries. As you can see, the greater the economic freedom in a country, the greater the economic prosperity of its people.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a primary indicator of wealth and economic prosperity; it represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced by the country and is divided by the population (per capita) to adjust for population size difference.

What is Economic Freedom?
Economic freedom is defined as the right to control one’s own labor and property. “In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please, with that freedom both protected by the state and unconstrained by the state. In economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.” (See http://www.heritage.org/Index/FAQ.aspx)

The economic freedom score is determined based on each countries performance in 10 areas:

  • Business Freedom: the ability to start, operate, and close a business. Takes into account the overall burden of regulation, as well as the efficiency of government in the regulatory process.
  • Trade Freedom: the absence of tariffs and other barriers that affect the import and export of goods and services.
  • Fiscal Freedom: the burden of government taxes both on individuals and corporations, as well as the overall amount of taxes as a percentage of GDP.
  • Government Size: the level of government expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Includes government expenditures on all levels federal, state, and local.
  • Monetary Freedom: price stability including an assessment of inflation and price controls. Price stability without government intervention is the ideal state for the free market.
  • Investment Freedom: the free flow of investment capital (foreign investment as well as internal capital flows) in order to determine its overall investment climate.
  • Financial Freedom: the extent of government regulation of banks and other financial services; the difficulty of opening and operating financial services firms; and government influence on the allocation of credit.
  • Property Rights: the ability of individuals to accumulate private property; the degree to which a country’s laws protect private property rights and to which its government enforces those laws. It also assesses the likelihood that private property will be expropriated and the ability of individuals and businesses to enforce contracts.
  • Freedom from Corruption: Corruption erodes economic freedom by introducing insecurity and uncertainty into economic relationships. The score for this component is derived from Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
  • Labor Freedom: the legal and regulatory framework of a country’s labor market. It considers regulations on minimum wages, laws inhibiting layoffs, severance requirements, and measurable regulatory burdens on hiring, hours, etc.
  • (see Methodology for the 10 Economic Freedoms)

    Conclusion
    As shown in the graph above, there is empirical evidence that economic freedom, as defined by the ten factors above, leads to economic prosperity. Despite that, there are still many doubters, particularly in the moderate and left-leaning political philosophies. With the so-called stimulus bill, our president, most in his party, and some in the opposition party, are currently engaged in one of the largest expansions of government in our country’s history. This expansion of government brings with it a reduction of economic freedom, and consequently the economic prosperity of all will be diminished. Thus this stimulus package, passed in the name of helping people, will in fact hurt the economic fortunes of individuals and businesses in our country.


    Economic Freedom scores taken from the Heritage Foundation
    http://www.heritage.org/Index/Ranking.aspx

    GDP per capita by country was taken from Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    Obama’s Campaign Promises

    Per guidance from my wife, I’m going to try really hard not to be sarcastic here. But I really do want to commit to the public record the promises Barack Obama made during his historic run to the White House. I do this for several reasons: 1) so that I can know what to expect for myself and my country with the election of Obama, and 2) so that I can have something to refer back to four years from now when Obama runs for re-election.

    I scoured Barack Obama’s Web site this morning. I thought I should hurry and do this before he takes down his Web site and tries to erase from our memory all the promises he has made. What I found I divided into two categories: 1) promises to individuals and families, and 2) promises to and for the nation overall. Directly below, I summarize his promises in some quick bullet points; further below is more detailed quotes pulled directly from Barack Obama’s Web site this morning.

    Promises to Individuals and Families:

    • $1,000 per working family from a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit
    • $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families
    • Simplify tax filings so Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes
    • A $500 Universal Mortgage Credit
    • Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow parents up to 24 hours to participate in their children’s academic activities
    • Guaranteed health coverage for every American
    • Lower the cost of health care for the average American family by $2,500
    • Raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour
    • Completely eliminate taxes for seniors making under $50,000 per year
    • Provide home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers
    • Guaranteed seven paid sick days per year for low-wage workers
    • A new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 in exchange for community service, making community college tuition completely free for most students
    • Protect Social Security, provide cheaper prescription drugs, and strengthen Medicare
    • Reduce homelessness among veterans

    Promises to the Nation Overall:

    • Save more than 1 million jobs through a $25 billion State Growth Fund
    • Create 5 million new “Green” jobs
    • Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will create two million new jobs and stimulate $35 billion per year in new economic activity
    • Cut both taxes and government spending
    • Lower the federal deficit by reducing wasteful spending
    • Increase the supply of affordable housing
    • Reduce crime recidivism (i.e. repeat offenders)
    • Establish 20 Promise Neighborhoods which will provide early childhood education, violence prevention and after-school activities to entire neighborhoods from birth to college
    • Put 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road that can get 150 miles per gallon
    • Defeat terrorism worldwide
    • Secure our borders
    • Increase stability in Iraq and the Middle East
    • Support small business development
    • Put broadband Internet in every community in America

    Now even Barack’s supporters must admit, this is a pretty tall order. But hey, I’m looking forward to it. I mean, we’re talking at least an additional $5,000 a year for me and my family due to his various tax credits and rebates. Government spending is going to be reduced. Terrorism will be defeated worldwide. Our borders will be secured. This is a conservative’s dream.

    Okay, you can see that sacarism is starting to seep in. I just couldn’t resist. Below is the detail on each of our President Elect’s promises. It’s pretty lengthy, but again, I’m just putting it here for the record.


    Barack Obama will provide a tax cut for working families: Obama and Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 95 percent of working Americans the tax relief they need. They will create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family.

    Provide tax relief for small businesses and startups: Obama and Biden will eliminate all capital gains taxes on startup and small businesses to encourage innovation and job creation.

    Fight for fair trade: Obama and Biden will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. They will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world.

    Jumpstart the Economy: Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on the Obama-Biden long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief.

    Provide $50 billion to Jumpstart the Economy and Prevent 1 Million Americans from Losing Their Jobs: This relief would include a $25 billion State Growth Fund to prevent state and local cuts in health, education, housing, and heating assistance or counterproductive increases in property taxes, tolls or fees. The Obama-Biden relief plan will also include $25 billion in a Jobs and Growth Fund to prevent cutbacks in road and bridge maintenance and fund school repair – all to save more than 1 million jobs in danger of being cut.

    Simplify Tax Filings for Middle Class Americans: Obama and Biden will dramatically simplify tax filings so that millions of Americans will be able to do their taxes in less than five minutes. Obama and Biden will ensure that the IRS uses the information it already gets from banks and employers to give taxpayers the option of pre-filled tax forms to verify, sign and return. Experts estimate that the Obama-Biden proposal will save Americans up to 200 million total hours of work and aggravation and up to $2 billion in tax preparer fees.

    Invest In A Clean Energy Economy And Create 5 Million New Green Jobs: Obama and Biden will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial scale renewable energy, invest in low emissions coal plants, and begin transition to a new digital electricity grid. The plan will also invest in America’s highly-skilled manufacturing workforce and manufacturing centers to ensure that American workers have the skills and tools they need to pioneer the first wave of green technologies that will be in high demand throughout the world.

    Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity.

    Create a Universal Mortgage Credit: Obama and Biden will create a 10 percent universal mortgage credit to provide homeowners who do not itemize tax relief. This credit will provide an average of $500 to 10 million homeowners, the majority of whom earn less than $50,000 per year.

    Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act: The FMLA covers only certain employees of employers with 50 or more employees. Obama and Biden will expand it to cover businesses with 25 or more employees. They will expand the FMLA to cover more purposes as well, including allowing workers to take leave for elder care needs; allowing parents up to 24 hours of leave each year to participate in their children’s academic activities; and expanding FMLA to cover leave for employees to address domestic violence.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/ on November 5, 2008

    As President, Barack Obama will guarantee health coverage for every American and will lower the cost of health care for the average American family by up to $2,500.

    Barack Obama will ease American’s burden at the pump, giving American families $1,000 in rebates. Barack will also create five million new jobs by investing in clean energy technologies.

    Barack Obama will end tax breaks for companies that send American jobs overseas, and reward companies who create good jobs here at home.

    Barack Obama will cut both taxes and spending, implementing a responsible budget that lowers the federal deficit by reducing wasteful spending.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/sidebyside.php on November 5, 2008

    Barack Obama will expand access to jobs: Obama and Biden will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.

    Make work pay for all Americans: Obama and Biden will increase benefits for working parents, raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, and provide tax relief to low- and middle-income workers.

    Support rural and urban areas: Obama and Biden will invest in rural small businesses, improve rural schools, and attract more doctors to rural areas. And they will work with urban leaders to increase the supply of affordable housing and address the unique challenges of every metropolitan area.

    Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: Obama and Biden will work to ensure that ex-offenders have access to job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling, and employment opportunities. Obama and Biden will also create a prison-to-work incentive program and reduce barriers to employment.

    Provide Tax Relief: Obama and Biden will provide all low and middle-income workers a $500 Making Work Pay tax credit to offset the payroll tax those workers pay in every paycheck. Obama and Biden will also eliminate taxes for seniors making under $50,000 per year.

    Support Parents with Young Children: Obama and Biden will expand the highly-successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all 570,000 low-income, first-time mothers each year. The Nurse-Family Partnership provides home visits by trained registered nurses to low-income expectant mothers and their families.

    Expand Paid Sick Days: Today, three-out-of-four low-wage workers have no paid sick days. Obama and Biden support guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year.

    Establish 20 Promise Neighborhoods: Obama and Biden will create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime and low levels of student academic achievement in cities across the nation. The Promise Neighborhoods will be modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, which provides a full network of services, including early childhood education, youth violence prevention efforts and after-school activities, to an entire neighborhood from birth to college.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/poverty/ on November 5, 2008

    Obama and Biden will complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/defense/ on November 5, 2008

    Make college affordable to all Americans: Obama and Biden will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 in exchange for community service. It will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/ on November 5, 2008

    Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy on November 5, 2008

    Restore Work-Family Balance: Obama and Biden will double funding for after-school programs, expand the Family Medical Leave Act, provide low-income families with a refundable tax credit to help with their child-care expenses, and encourage flexible work schedules.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/family/ on November 5, 2008

    Barack Obama will defeat terrorism worldwide: Obama and Biden will find, disrupt, and destroy al Qaeda; prepare the military to meet 21st century threats;

    Prevent nuclear terrorism: Obama and Biden will lead the effort to secure nuclear weapons materials at vulnerable sites within four years and help our allies stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction.

    Strengthen American biosecurity: Obama and Biden will work to prevent bioterror attacks and mitigate consequences by improving U.S. intelligence collection and response management.

    http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/homeland_security/ on November 5, 2008

    Barack Obama will secure our borders: Obama and Biden want to preserve the integrity of our borders. They support additional personnel, infrastructure, and technology on the border and at our ports of entry.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/immigration/ on November 5, 2008

    Increase stability in Iraq and the region: Obama and Biden will launch an aggressive diplomatic effort to reach a comprehensive compact on the stability of Iraq and the region. They also will address Iraq’s refugee crisis.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/iraq/ on November 5, 2008

    Barack Obama will ensure economic opportunity for family farmers: Obama and Biden will fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability. They will implement a $250,000 payment limitation so that we help family farmers – not large corporate agribusiness.

    Support small business development: Obama and Biden will provide capital for farmers to create value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and farmer-owned processing plants.

    Improve rural quality of life: Obama and Biden will combat methamphetamine use, improve health care, improve education, and upgrade infrastructure in rural areas.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/rural/ on November 5, 2008

    Integrate service into learning: Obama and Biden will set a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year, and will establish a new tax credit that is worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/service/ on November 5, 2008

    Barack Obama will protect Social Security: Obama and Biden are committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. They are strongly opposed to privatizing Social Security.

    Provide cheaper prescription drugs: Obama and Biden will allow the federal government to negotiate for lower drug prices for the Medicare program. They also support allowing seniors to import safe prescription drugs from overseas.

    Protect and strengthen Medicare: Obama and Biden are committed to the long-term strength of the Medicare program. They will reduce waste in the Medicare system and will tackle fundamental healthcare reform.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/seniors/ on November 5, 2008

    Deploy a modern communications infrastructure: Obama and Biden believe we can get true broadband to every community in America.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/ on November 5, 2008

    Help returning service members: Obama and Biden will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA’s broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.

    http://www.barackobama.com/issues/veterans/ on November 5, 2008

    Obama Attacks McCain Economic Plan as Selfish, But Who’s Really the Self One?

    In a speech yesterday in Florida, Barack Obama defend himself against attacks from John McCain in which Obama is labeled a socialist. In fact, Barack attempts to turn the tables on McCain’s ecomonic plan by calling it “selfish.” Obama says, “I don’t know when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.” (from TampaBay.com)

    Calling conservative economic principles, as far as John McCain is conservative, selfish is an insult and could not be further from the truth.

    Which approach is more selfish?

    • John McCain wants to extend the Bush tax cuts and let the American people keep more of their hard-earned money.
    • Barack Obama was to end the Bush tax cuts, and raise taxes on top of that, taking away more of people’s hard-earned money.

    Which approach is more selfish?

    • John McCain wants to balance the federal budget, reduce our national debt and require the government to spend only what it takes in.
    • Barack Obama proposes billions in new spending that will cause deficits and drive up our national debt, passing a tremendous burden on to future generations.

    That fact is that Barack Obama is a socialist. He wants to raise taxes and spread the wealth with an all-powerful federal government. But while some democrats would trust Obama to take care of all American’s wants and needs, Obama is too selfish to even take care of his own family.

    Obama’s selfishness can also be seen in his charitable giving:

    Like most liberals and socialists, Obama is only generous with other peoples money. With Barack Obama, it’s do as I say, not as I do. Now you tell me, who’s the selfish one?

    Obama: Most Liberal Senator

    Every year a computer-assisted analysis is done by the National Journal that uses key Senate votes and places every senator on a liberal-to-conservative scale. Earlier this year, the 2007 ranking were released and Senator Barack Obama was rated by as the number one most liberal senator. Obama was given this ranking for good reason, here is a summary of his key voting record for the year:

  • A bill to give states the authority to set their own minimum wages…Obama voted NO.
  • A bill to require higher-income seniors to pay higher premiums for Medicare…Obama voted NO.
  • Repeal the estate tax (aka repeal the Death tax)…Obama voted NO.
  • Speed up the permitting process for oil-refining…Obama voted NO.
  • Support adult-stem-cell and other non-embryonic-stem-cell research…Obama voted NO.
  • Permit law enforcement officers to question individuals about their immigrant status…Obama voted NO.
  • Require the disclosure of information on visa applicants to law enforcement officers…Obama voted NO.
  • Make English the official language of the United States…Obama voted NO.
  • Define a fetus as an “unborn child”…Obama voted NO.
  • Raise the tax rate on income over $1 million…Obama voted YES.
  • Raise the cigarette tax by 61 cents a pack…Obama voted YES.
  • Require a study of global-warming effects…Obama voted YES.
  • Increase taxes to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program…Obama voted YES.
  • Make temporary guest workers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit…Obama voted YES.
  • Require U.S. troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq by July 2007…Obama voted YES.
  • Set a timeline for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq…Obama voted YES.
  • Increase financial aid for college students…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Block abuse from non-pregnant adults for coverage under SCHIP…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Limit governments’ eminent domain power over private land…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Permit funding for international organizations that perform abortions…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Prohibit family-planning funds to organizations that perform abortions…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Restrict the U.S. share of the cost of United Nations peacekeeping operations…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Block funding for World Bank…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Condemn personal attacks on Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Implement a free-trade agreement with Peru…Obama DID NOT vote.
  • Add $70 billion to a fiscal 2008 omnibus spending package to pay for the Iraq war …Obama DID NOT vote.
  • NationalJournal.com, Key Votes Used To Calculate The Ratings

    Obama consistently voted for higher taxes and more government encroachment into our lives. He voted to give benefits to illegal aliens and to make it more difficult to enforce immigration laws. And unborn child is apparently not an unborn child to Obama. His national defense record is abysmal, voting to give money to the UN and World Bank while cutting off funds to our own troops. And its astonishing the amount of key legistlation on which he did not even vote. He can’t even make up his mind, yes or no, on college financial aid or on funding abortion groups. Someone too weak to take a stand on key issues is sure to weaken our country. Obama’s voting record clearly shows us the direction he will take this country and it is not a good one.

    Tax Cuts Are the Solution, Not the Problem

    I was listening to Rush Limbaugh recently and he had a caller who was a Barack Obama supporter. The caller, like many Obama supporters, was having a lot of trouble expressing what Obama had done to qualify him to be president. Eventually, the caller said that he liked Obama because he was going to sock it to the rich and raise their taxes. Indeed, Obama, on his official Web site, says the problem with our economy is “Tax Cuts for Wealthy Instead of Middle Class.”

    This is a common mantra of liberal Democrats, that Republicans give tax cuts to the rich at the expense of the middle class. Unfortunately for the Democrats, though, this statement couldn’t be more false. A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed the impact of the 2003 Bush tax cuts. It says “The data show that the 2003 Bush tax cuts caused what may be the biggest increase in tax payments by the rich in American history.” After the Bush tax cuts, “Americans with an income below the median paid a record low 2.9% of all income taxes, while the top 50% paid 97.1%.”

    The WSJ article further states that, “The idea that this has been a giveaway to the rich is a figment of the left’s imagination. Taxes paid by millionaire households more than doubled to $274 billion in 2006 from $136 billion in 2003. No President has ever plied more money from the rich than George W. Bush did with his 2003 tax cuts.”

    However you want to define them (top 50% or top 1% of earners), and however you want to look at what they pay (in dollars or percentages), the rich are already paying the vast majority of taxes in the US. If taxes are raised much more on the rich, as Obama wants to do, half the country will end up shouldering the entire tax burden of our country, supporting the other half of the country who would be paying no tax. This is a very troubling trend, and it’s very troubling that one of our major political parties supports such a policy of inequity and disrespect to private property. The money people earn, great or small, belongs to them, not the government. Not to mention the fact that Obama’s tax increases would cripple our economy. Morally and economically, the smart thing to do is lower taxes, not raise them.

    The Race for President: My Selection Criteria

    The first presidential primaries and caucuses will begin in just over a month (Iowa on Jan 3, 2008 and New Hampshire on Jan 8, 2008), and within three months, the Republican and Democrat presidential nominees will be known. While still early in the process, I want to let my presidential selection criteria be known and analyze how some of the major candidates measure up. In this post, I will lay out the criteria; in future posts, I will analyze how well prominent candidates’ policy and action meet those requirements.

    1. Strengthening the Family A president who will enact policies and make decisions that will strengthen the Family is the most important issue to me because, as you have seen in my previous posts, I believe that most of societal ills can be rooted back to a break down in traditional family values.
    1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion I want to elect a president who shares my belief that life is sacred from the moment it is conceived. Right now, the abortion policy in America is governed by the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which I believe is bad law in itself and morally wrong as well. The way in which a president can influence this policy is through appointments to the Supreme Court.
    1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage A major part of strengthening families is defending the traditional family structure: father, mother, children. Marriage, as defined by one man and one women, is under attack in America and certain government policies and programs, like welfare, have been known to undermine the role of the father in the home. A president who will defend the institution of marriage is critical.
    2. Defending Our Country To “provide for the common defense” is one of the constitutionally endowed duties of the federal government. A strong military and political sovereignty are necessary to do this. The president, who is also commander in chief of our armed forces, must have shown through word and deed, their ability to lead the defense of our nation.
    2A. Defeating Terrorists The fight against global terrorism is an extremely important issue at this time. George Bush has done an excellent job in leading this war on many fronts: in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in de-funding terrorist organizations around the world. We need the next president to be equally tough and continue to fight and win this war.
    2B. Protecting Our Borders Bush’s record on border security is, on the other hand, abysmal and we need our next president to take serious steps to secure our borders. Illegal immigrants, many of whom have criminal records and links to drug cartels and terrorist organizations, are pouring across our borders at the rate of nearly a million a year. Our nation cannot remain sovereign and secure if this influx continues.
    3. Free Market Economic Policy I’m not sure when the president of the United States became chief economist (maybe it was Bill Clinton’s “it’s the economy, stupid” comment in the 1992 presidential race), but regardless, the president is held accountable by the American people for economic policy and its success. I want to elect a president who believes, as I do, in free market economies and that capitalism works.
    3A. Lower Taxes A key component of economic policy that I endorse is lowering taxes. Keeping taxes low is both morally right (not taking an individual’s hard earned money) and economically right (it spurs economic activity and fosters growth). It is important to elect a president who will support legislation to lower Americans’ tax burden, which now averages about 33% of their total income.
    3B. Smaller Government Integral with economic policy and lower taxes is the need for smaller government. As the size of government shrinks, personal liberty increases. Having a government that is as small and un-intrusive as possible without also being impotent was a key issue for our founding fathers. Since that time, our government has grown to the point that it consumes more than 20% of our nation’s GDP. Now this is a tall order, but we need a president like Ronald Reagan who believes that “government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

    So in the next few days and weeks, I will analyze each of the major presidential candidates, their policies and actions in the areas outlined above. I will objectively score them against these criteria and in the process determine who I would select to receive my vote for the next president of the United States.

    Please note that the list of criteria above is not meant to be exhaustive. If additional issues arise that I deem vitally important, I reserve the right to amend and update the list. If you, the reader, notice any gaping holes in my presidential selection criteria, please feel free to contact me.