#12 Can Governance Indicators Tell You Who Governs Best? Absolutely!
A Reference Library
Capsule: #12 Can Governance Indicators Tell You Who Governs Best? Absolutely! answers the question in the title with ten governance indicators that are easily calculable for a senior high school student. These indicators objectively measure the results of Democratic Party stewardship of America versus Republican Party stewardship with purely mathematical calculations of numbers covering the last four decades (plus a historical bonus indicator).
I Would Call a Score of 10 to 0 a “Shellacking”
Focus: What if we could measure government spending, revenues, GDP, DOW returns, inflation, mortgage rates, auto sales, the homicide rate, job creation, and income growth for the poor, under Democrats and under Republicans?
Details: #12 Can Governance Indicators Tell You Who Governs Best? Absolutely! is a challenge to the honesty of liberal readers. If I asked you whether you want the best for America regardless of ideology, you would almost assuredly say yes, being completely confident that your liberalism provides America with the best governance. Well, we will see if your answer is honest – and if you can be honest with yourself.
Excerpts: ~Liberals engage in a playing stupid game where they imagine Presidents are elected as absolute dictators every four years and anything that happens during that period of time is naturally to their credit or fault … This is known as The Cult of the Presidency. They pretend that as a dictator the President can spend on whatever he wants and nobody else has the slightest influence on his choices … This pretend world allows liberals to say that Bill Clinton was a genius and Republican Presidents were reckless spenders. But the President is not a dictator when it comes to government spending or other economic policies. … It is actually the House that draws up the budget each year after receiving a proposal from the President. And, of course, the budget must pass through the Senate as well. Only then does it go to the President for his signature. This is also true for any federal legislation. There are actually three responsible parties for every federal budget or legislative bill – the House, the Senate and the President … If we were to determine a fair and objective approach based on ten prominent economic and societal indicators that conclusively illustrated which party has been a better steward of the economy and society, would that influence the way you vote? What if we found that under the Republican Party government spending was historically much less than Democrat spending? What if government revenues were much higher under Republican governance? What if GDP growth was much higher when Republicans were in power? What if stock market returns were much higher with Republicans? And what if inflation was much lower? What if affording the purchase of a house was more economical with Republicans? What if many more automobiles were sold under Republicans indicating a more robust economy? What if there was more law and order when Republicans were in charge? What if total job creation under Republican governance was also higher, and especially, if the wages of the poor increased significantly more under the Republicans? Would you consider voting for them?~
Preface: The Nuclear Counterarguments Essay Series is written for both contemporary American liberals and contemporary American conservatives – for the liberal (or progressive) as an exit counseling process with the purpose of removing the inherent paranoia that prevents them from seeing that in their core belief they are, in fact not a liberal, and for the conservative as a strategy for dealing with liberal acquaintances. (FYI, I am a Canadian – the implications of this are explained in the Introduction and #1 Deprogramming Liberalism with Nuclear Counterarguments.)
[All citations are active number/letter codes. Code links beginning with an * indicate that the linked page has additional information for the topic at hand. Links without an * are cited for evidence of existence and reference only, as in a quotation or number or case in point. Citations validate my points so that you can trust my claims, and will often provide you with invaluable supplemental information.]
Written in first-person narrative to liberals,
but also for conservatives.
• Mini critical thinking exercise
Imagine, American neighbor, if voting could be decided based on some elementary mathematics based on entirely objective criteria – maybe a ten point system, so if the Democrats scored seven and the Republicans scored three, one would simply vote for Democrats, or if the numbers were reversed, one would vote Republican. Well, I have devised just such a system. It even includes a bonus round to be absolutely sure of a correct result.
I’ll also propose a solution to cure the current Obama Malaise in America. I will give numerous examples from history to support my solution. Do you think liberals could do the same, American neighbor? Here is the MCTE question for this essay: As a principle, does more individual liberty produce more opportunity for prosperity or less opportunity for prosperity?ab
• Little green men to the rescue
First up on the psychogump menu for producing economic salvation, Mr. Haney (uber-psychogump Paul Krugman) suggested that imagining a pending attack from space aliens would be good for stimulating the economy out of its malaise through a military buildup (funny – liberals always seem to want to reduce military spending). [3uo6coa] This is the Little Green Men to the Rescue model of fiscal stimulation. It’s sort of like you taking out a hundred grand second mortgage (subprime, of course – courtesy of the Barack Obama “Let’s save America by spending ourselves into oblivion” program) on your about-to-be foreclosed home, to build a mote around your property to keep out zombies. Yeah, that makes sense. [Help – I rolled my eyes so far up that they’re stuck looking at the ceiling!] Especially, considering that almost every war America has ever been involved in has been followed by a depression or recession. This idea comes from Keynesian thinking that employing laborers to dig a ditch to nowhere just to put them to work would stimulate the economy. The theory is that government workers that do nothing productive would stimulate the economy. But if that were true the economy would be on a continual parabolic rise, just as the federal bureaucracy has been for fifty years. (So much for that theory.)ac
• Froot Loops to the rescue
Next up is the Froot Loops to the Rescue model of fiscal stimulation, American neighbor. The Democratic government takes productive money out of the economy by taxing producers who could use that money to produce goods or services already in demand, or pay employees to maintain their jobs, or possibly create new jobs, and then after the bureaucracy siphons off their share they give the remaining maybe 60% or 70% of what would otherwise be 100% productive money in the economy, to the unemployed as welfare insurance payments, food stamps, etc. But wait, there’s more! Then they tax these unemployment benefits as income, and they have the utmost gall to claim that it is “one of the biggest stimulus to our economy.” [*2bkvkxo, *3fvy4ov] Mrs. Haney (Nancy Pelosi), our stimulus psychogump-talk expert actually claimed:
300-word pages of text = 48
Reference citation links = 25
Recommended-reading links = 10
Profound insights = 34
Cover photo: Cover photo: U.S. Department of Energy photograph XX-64 SMOKY
Cover background: SQUIDFINGERS [4rol8]
Copyright 2012 Jim Autio License Note: Although free, this essay remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied or distributed for commercial or non-commercial purposes. For fair use only.
~ “Unemployment insurance, the economists tell us, returns $2 for every dollar that is put out there.”~ [249vqw3]
Which economists? The same 200 alpha liberal psychogumps that projected that Obama’s stimulus plan would create all of those millions and millions of jobs when it actually led to a net loss of millions of jobs? Or maybe it was those 450 alpha liberal psychogumps who cried wolf about Bush’s tax cuts? Or maybe it was the psychogumps that told Joe Biden that, “Well I’m here to tell you some time in the next couple of months we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.” Or maybe the psychogumps that forecast the “Summer of Recovery”? How about if these phantom psychogumps invest their own money directly with the unemployed and get their two for one return? Sheesh! Most investors would be elated with a consistent 10% return per year from the stock and bond markets, but some psychogumps were telling the then House Majority Leader that ‘investing’ in the unemployed will return 100%?!? Why not just put the whole population on the dole? We could double the GDP and no one would have to work! (This is shear insanity!!!)
(Please assure me, American neighbor, that with your Mr. Spock demeanor you can plainly see the insanity of these claims. You can, can’t you?)
A 100% return would mean a creation of new demand in the marketplace that did not previously exist. Thinking that unemployment insurance is going to create new demand that isn’t already there is crazy thinking. Unlike when the money was in the hands of producers, unemployment payments produce no additional products or services in exchange, and these extensions are costing businesses, in some cases causing layoffs and in others, a shutting down of the business. [*2adw4ex] Mostly the money will be used by the unemployed to pay debts and overdue bills. How exactly does this create new demand and stimulate the economy, American neighbor? That’s like saying food stamps create a new demand for food that didn’t previously exist, as if people weren’t hungry until food stamps came along – how crazy is that?!?
The idea that this money, before it was first taxed out of the economy would not have been spent or invested into the economy is just nuts! Do liberals think the ‘evil rich’ keep all of their extra cash under their mattresses?!? And if the unemployment and food stamps money is going to be borrowed and added to the deficit it still will have to pass through the bureaucracy with its mandatory cut withdrawn, and the debt will still have to be paid for later, as well as the interest on a monthly basis. We have already just seen with the stimulus package that injecting deficit money into the economy in an attempt to artificially stimulate the economy did NOT create jobs, but actually correlates with lost jobs. I am writing this five months after Nancy Pelosi first postulated this ridiculous theory and Democrats are again advancing it with NO evidence to support it whatsoever. The unemployment situation and the state of the economy in the last five months have been abysmal! What stimulus? And where are these psychogumps that supposedly told Nancy Pelosi this rubbish? Who of them will step forward and put their reputation on the line? Where is this phantom stimulus?
Look, if unemployment benefits and food stamps stimulate the economy why hasn’t the economy been stimulated? At this moment, just after the 2010 midterm elections, the economy is still in the tank. The latest unemployment numbers released earlier today were a disaster! There are less people employed now than there were when Pelosi and the Secretary of Agriculture first made these crazy psychogump-talk claims! Never have so many Americans been collecting unemployment insurance and on food stamps in the history of the country. Show me this two for one return in the budget!?! On the basis of this cockamamie theory, shouldn’t the economy have begun a robust recovery months ago? This idea that unemployment insurance payments stimulate the economy on a two for one return is about the craziest thing I have ever heard! The only things that are stimulated are government taxes of the incoming and outgoing money, the deficit, and government bureaucracies – as if they need more stimulating – sheesh! That ‘stimulus’ is at the expense of the economy – and it doesn’t stimulate! You cannot play much stupider than this, American neighbor.ad
• Trillions in stimulus failed
Calling Income Security payments (the government classification for unemployment payments and food stamps) a ‘stimulus’ doesn’t mean that it stimulates – obviously the continuing Obama Malaise proves that to be untrue. However if Income Security is considered ‘stimulus spending’ we should then add the annual increases to Obama’s stimulus package. In #11 Austerity Versus Stimulus – What Is the History?, we saw that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 cost $862B. Remember the fourth quarter of 2010 was the end of the stimulus projection period. The economic downturn began in late 2007. There was a total outlay of $235B for food stamps and $328B for unemployment benefits from 2008 to 2010. [9w58zzn] We can add this to the Obama stimulus package for a total of $1425B. More than ever we can see that ‘stimulus spending’ does NOT stimulate the economy, and this definitively puts the lie to the claim that the ‘stimulus’ wasn’t big enough. Using liberal reasoning the ‘stimulus’ was actually 65% larger than everyone thought it was – and it still failed!
Please note, American neighbor, that I generously did not include all of the Income Security payments as additional ‘stimulus’ even though Mrs. Haney and the Ag Sec made no such distinction – I don’t believe in kicking liberals when they are down (otherwise I’d be kicking them 24/7 – I might hurt my foot). If we then add the Bush stimulus in 2008 of $152B, the TARP bailout money to the auto industry of over $20B, more billions in green energy handouts, billions in healthcare grants, $75B in mortgage bailouts, over $300B in bailouts to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and another $600B in war spending which liberals are always telling us stimulated the economy out of the Great Depression (except that it didn’t, as explained in #8 The Not So Surprising History of Tax Cuts, and #11 Austerity Versus Stimulus – What Is the History?), we end up with a head-banging $2.6T of ‘stimulus’ FAILURE from 2008 to 2010! So if Paul Krugman comes up to you RANTING & SCREAMING that the Obama stimulus package wasn’t big enough, don’t make direct eye contact, quietly say “two point six trillion dollars”, and quickly walk away – you don’t want to get all icky when Mr. Haney’s head explodes.
The theory behind liberal stimulus spending is that consumer demand is low, so the government must supplement demand with government spending to “kick-start” the economy. However we have already seen that after seven years of stimulus spending in the Dirty Thirties, when FDRHoover cut spending in 1937 the GDP immediately tanked, illustrating that the GDP had been artificially propped up by the stimulus spending, but had not in fact kick-started the economy. Stimulus spending didn’t work in the Dirty Thirties and it doesn’t work today because it does not address the real issues that generate new consumer demand. Behind consumer demand is consumer confidence. If consumers are not confident that the economy will provide increasing opportunities, new demand will not substantially increase (remember, we discussed the important difference between marketplace demand and need in the last essay). Artificial government stimulus spending does nothing to generate consumer confidence, so naturally, stimulus spending fails to stimulate new consumer demand. It is really that simple, American neighbor. Allow me to repeat what I previously wrote in #10 Regulamageddon – The 2008 Financial Crisis:
“Many economists and financial types think the economy can be calculated – that given enough data and smart enough mathematics the marketplace can be understood and explained. This is simply untrue. To be sure, elements of the marketplace can be calculated, but not the overall macro economy. The marketplace runs on mass emotions. Every financial decision, large and small is susceptible to the emotional elements of fear and greed, and desire and revulsion, which often override rational mathematical calculations. That is why advertising works. That is why the marketplace does irrational things. That is why the marketplace is so hard to predict. That also is why when the American markets react to some economic news or calamity, markets around the world often immediately follow. And that is how market bubbles inflate with little notice until too late.”
Again, the marketplace does not run on numbers, but on emotion, American neighbor. Confidence, or a lack of it is a direct result of how the marketplace collectively feels about a given situation. FDRHoover’s stimulus spending had not created any confidence in the marketplace, so the economy went nowhere for years and years. Same as with Obama’s stimulus spending. Government stimulus is not a feel-good thing for the marketplace. It is the opposite, a sign that the economy is still not right. So, of course the economy does not adequately respond to the so-called stimulus.ae
• Meaningless marginal tax rates
Here is a classic case of recurring liberal sophistry. Liberals like to state things like, deficits were not a problem when the top tax rate was high, and that the super rich are paying less today than any time in recent history. They like to make charts supposedly showing how high marginal tax rates of the past kept deficits down and how low marginal tax rates recently have resulted in large deficits. Of course, we know from previous essays that over spending is the cause of deficits. The period of high marginal tax rates that liberals point to includes the postwar years, but in the following 25 years from the Second World War there were six recessions including the one at the end of the war. Three out of those six recessions include a higher percentage of job losses than all other recessions up until the present one – hardly a rousing endorsement for high marginal tax rates, if one uses the liberal’s correlation-is-causation argument. [8c4y5a] There are other important considerations that make their claim irrelevant. Disparate marginal tax rates of the past cannot be directly compared without considering the varying cutoff rates, deductions, allowance for paper losses, property depreciation, shelters, exemptions, and alternate compensation vehicles like receiving large expense accounts, company cars, benefits packages, stock options, etc. of the various eras – certainly an impossible task. [*bjpon5z, *ayh8t7b] When rates were high in the past there were significantly more tax deduction loopholes and shelters than with the recent decades’ lower marginal rates. The poor also paid a significant rate of income tax rates in those days, whereas today almost 50% of tax filers pay nothing or even receive money (are liberals suggesting a return to all of poor earners paying income taxes?). There were no Food Stamps, Medicare or Medicaid then either, which are paid for with tax revenues – should we ditch these too? Also needing consideration is the fact that when rates were high, relatively few paid them compared to today’s lower rate (only one person paid the top marginal rate during the Great Depression – J. D. Rockefeller, Jr.). Government revenue through individual income taxes as a percentage of GDP averaged 7.41% throughout the 1950s. Throughout the 2000s it averaged 8.05% – a significant 9% more per year that equals trillions of dollars in additional revenue. [4rf6b3u] So comparing marginal tax rates from one era to another is like comparing apples and hot dogs – a child’s game that liberals like to play that has little to do with reality.af
• Comparing amounts of taxes paid
Instead of looking at marginal tax rates which by themselves tell us nothing about who pays what in taxes, one must instead look to the percentage of shares paid by various income levels. Now we can compare McIntosh apples to Granny apples and see if the super rich are paying less today than at any time in recent history. If we compare the super rich 1% to the lowest 40% of individual income tax filers we find: [ycsvjj9] 
So again, be sure to put on your Mr. Spock demeanor. (Keep in mind that the top marginal rate in 1979 was 70%, but only 35% in 2004.) From 1979 to 2004 the lowest 40% of individual income tax filers went from paying 4.2% of all income taxes to actually receiving money from other taxpayers (redistribution of wealth), but the super rich 1% have doubled from paying 18.3% of all income taxes paid to 36.7%. If you look at the numbers for each year in between you’ll see that there has been a steady trend upward since 1979 irrespective of increases or cuts to the marginal rates and with no correlation with regard to deficits. So the top 1% of the tax filing public is paying 36.7 times the amount of their proportion of their tax filing population, whereas 40% of the individual tax filers are paying nothing! In fact, they are now receiving money from real taxpayers. If we look at the net difference in 1979 between the two payer groups it was 14.2% (18.3 – 4.1). Liberals seemed to think at the end of Jimmy Carters’ Presidential term that those rate differences were just dandy. By 2004 the net difference had increased up to a shocking 40.5% (36.7 + 3.8)! That’s a rise of the spread by 185% in just 25 years! That’s an average increase of 7.4% per year! The rich are paying 3670% more than their share of all tax filers and 4050% more than two fifths of those tax filers! But alpha liberals today scream blue bloody murder that the rich aren’t paying their fair share of taxes! Seems kind of irrational, don’t you think, American neighbor?ag
• ‘Spread the wealth around’ = ‘lost opportunity costs’
It was never Barack Obama’s first priority to stimulate the economy. He famously told Joe the plumber that his top priority was “to spread the wealth around” – Marxism. In a 2008 television debate when moderator Charlie Gibson pointed out that raising the capital gains tax rates in the late 1980s significantly reduced government revenues and hurt investors (after five years down by 50%), while reducing the capital gains tax rates in the Contract With America of the 1990s benefited investors and the markets and produced an increase in government revenues (by almost 100% per year after four years), Barack Obama replied that he would nonetheless favor almost doubling the tax rates for “purposes of fairness” – progressive fascism. What fairness? What’s fair about hurting investors while also hurting government revenues? (Now you know why President Obama would choose a re-implementation of the Dirty Thirties over the Roaring Twenties.) These are what is known as lost opportunity costs. That’s when implementing ideology results in lost opportunities, and increases costs economically – this is another characteristic that defines psychogumps. Of course, this all gets back to liberals nursing this prejudice against the ‘evil rich’ that we dealt with in #9 Liberals Are the Compassionate Ones – Really?. In the minds of liberals like Barack Obama the ‘evil rich’ must be punished, even if it means the government, the marketplace and the public must suffer for that punishment as well, but of course, Obama’s motives are noble, while opponents of this liberal lost-opportunity-costs-thinking must surely be motivated by evil. If punishing the ‘evil rich’ means sacrifice for all – then so be it. [/liberal thinking] So “spread the wealth around” actually means making everyone equally poorer – progressive-fascism. [*krcwkbm]ah
• Preserving Bush’s tax cuts did not equal a tax cut
As I write this on December 15, 2010 Bush’s so-called tax cuts are set to ‘expire’ on January 1, but is this what is really happening, American neighbor? It is not as if one day a few years ago tax rates suddenly decreased, as they are scheduled to all of sudden increase. This is not simply a reverse of Bush’s tax cuts, and there was nothing special about those tax rate adjustments. They were nothing more than a part of the ebb and flow of tax rates over the decades, indeed centuries. There was nothing anomalous about them. It was also not as if tax rates had been ‘normal’ for the last couple of centuries and then George W. Bush threw a wrench into the works that now needs correcting.
The Bush tax cuts were written into law in 2001 and scheduled to be implemented over a period of years. The estate tax would simply be eliminated. In 2003 whatever cuts had not yet been implemented were accelerated into use. The market adjusted to these rates, including inflation, GDP, productivity, investment, and a dozen other factors. What happened eight years ago no longer has any relationship to what is to happen on January 1, 2011. Once the marketplace had adjusted, those rates became the new normal. For over half a decade the marketplace has adjusted to and become comfortable with these tax rates as the status quo, and now they are scheduled to change again, but they need not be changed. The Republicans want them to remain the same. The Democrats want to create a new estate tax and raise income tax rates on the upper bracket, so the choice is between the status quo and increasing taxes. Both talk about stimulus, but there is no stimulus in either of their proposals. Based on the successful history of tax cuts, conservatives like me think that a tax rate cut from the status quo would be a much better strategy than either preserving the current rates or increasing them. See for yourself, American neighbor.
Before we do, let’s discuss the disingenuous liberal claim that preventing the scheduled rate changes would mean a tax cut for the rich. This is just typical playing stupid. If the scheduled January 1 rate changes are abandoned the status quo remains the status quo. There will be no tax cut for anybody – and even liberals are smart enough to know it (at least, I think they are). Another disingenuous liberal claim is that refusing to allow the rate increase for the rich would cause a deficit of $800B or whatever. This too is nothing more than liberals playing stupid. Think this through, American neighbor. What is a deficit? It is added debt – or borrowed money. So, are liberals suggesting that the government is going to borrow an additional $800B and then give it to the ‘evil rich’? Will the government send out checks borrowed from China addressed to each ‘evil rich’ person? (This is such nonsense.) Not changing rates would mean government revenue rates from income taxes would remain exactly the same as they have been since 2003. There will not be any additional debt by leaving rates unchanged. We have already seen in #8 The Not So Surprising History of Tax Cuts, that revenues increased after they were originally implemented, so claiming that keeping the rates the same as they have been for the last eight years is going to add additional cost to the government is just a flat-out lie – as always the deficits are a result of overspending. Keeping the tax rates the same or even reducing them will not cost government a dime. Continued overspending will cost – sorta like that $1.2T omnibus bill that was rejected in the lame duck session of Congress of 2010 – now that saved the deficit from ballooning outside of its already gargantuan size. And again I think liberals are smart enough to understand what I am saying (but sometimes I wonder). What about you, American neighbor? Did your third person analysis work for you?ai
• Should cut taxes more
We have already seen in #8 The Not So Surprising History of Tax Cuts, that when Americans’ overall taxes exceed 25%, reducing tax rates will lead to GDP growth, and we have also seen that the overall taxes are at 34%, so there is a lot of room for reductions. We have also already seen that reducing tax rates on a national scale increases government revenues, so what is the Republican argument for the status quo? They claim that raising tax rates in a time of economic malaise will lead to more strain on the economy and reduce job growth. The Democrats counter that raising rates will reduce the deficit by increasing revenues. This, of course, would only be true if the economy continues to greatly expand, which it is currently only doing at a very slow pace. Indeed, raising taxes now could very well reduce growth and even instigate a negative growth and send the economy into another recession. Then revenues would likely drop even with the tax increase, but again, even if what the Democrats claim is true (and it is dubious at best during an economic malaise), we have already seen in #8 The Not So Surprising History of Tax Cuts, that historically, lowering tax rates most certainly does stimulate economic growth, creates jobs and increases government revenues. If the considerations are economic growth, job creation and the budget deficit, why would anyone, except for political reasons (like a psychogump’s irrational hate-on for the ‘evil’ rich and an irrational desire “to spread the wealth around”) want to raise taxes? Raising tax rates has no advantages. In fact, the opposite is true – reducing tax rates has distinct advantages over increasing them. Certainly, leaving more money in the marketplace is the more likely scenario that will lead to economic growth and job creation, and lowering tax rates has been a proven way of increasing government revenues as well, so it is pretty obvious that the best scenario would be to cut tax rates, don’t you think, American neighbor?
But do liberals think, American neighbor? Remember liberal beliefs are based in the subliminal belief system which is dominated by programmed beliefs, not rational thought, so liberals demand tax rate increases on the ‘evil rich’ not because they have done a contextual investigation and critical analysis on the history of the issue, but because they have an emotional hate for what they see as the ‘evil rich’ and a desire “to spread the wealth around” to achieve their utopia – progressive-fascism. So, you get Barack Obama providing a completely irrational answer to Charlie Gibson’s question of why would one raise rates when past history illustrates only disadvantages and no advantages. Reality illustrates the irrationality of the liberal position, and history clearly illustrates that tax rate cuts are the prudent solution.
~Democrat: A Latin word for “lousy at math.”~ [77pswwf]aj
• Clinton left Bush an economic & security mess
Let’s consider how to painlessly reduce the deficit and debt using simple liberal illogic. In #3 Groupthink Truths Versus Self-evident Truths, we explored Bill Clinton’s phantom surpluses and his surplus projections for the future that his own budget director called “never-never land”, and we also exposed another phantom liberal belief, that Clinton supposedly left Bush this rosy economy that Bush subsequently broke. It turned out that after the tech bubble bust and recession at the end of Clinton’s term, and the Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Arthur Anderson, Global Crossing, Nortel, Rite Aid, Xerox, etc. fiascos, the non-petroleum trade deficit, and then 9/11 on top of all that, Bill Clinton left an economy in shambles for the Bush administration. So, with a plummeting stock market and GDP (and of course tax base), reduced government revenues, and demanding new commitments like rising unemployment, homeland security, a new war, and a need to rebuild the military and the security agencies after the Clinton cutbacks in the nineties, and without enormous budget cuts in other areas, larger deficit spending was inevitable. Funny, I don’t remember liberals then demanding reductions in Social Security expenditures, or Medicare or Medicaid or any domestic spending to offset these new budgetary pressures. If we have learned anything from liberals about cutting spending in the nineties, it is that they are only willing to support budget reductions to the military and security agencies, and that didn’t work out so well when Clinton left America ripe for a major terrorist attack with a depleted and hamstrung security apparatus and a reduced military struggling to adequately respond.ak
• According to liberals over $2T can easily be cut from the budget
Liberals still believe that deficit spending only rose under Bush because he was reckless, not because there were substantial and legitimate reasons behind it. Liberals consider all deficit spending by Bush to have been illegitimate, so finding places to cut the current budget will be easy – just identify Bush’s illegitimate spending increases (according to liberals) from 2001 to 2008, and claw it back. We just add up the differences between each year from 2000 to 2008, include the inflation factor for 2010 – and voila! – we can simply cut all of that supposedly illegitimate Bush spending (according to liberals) from the current budget. According to liberals, Bush should never have spent it in the first place, so these illegitimate amounts, according to liberals, won’t be missed now when they are removed from the current budget – indeed liberals will applaud their removal – won’t they? [6yserp5]
We can immediately slash $2.3T from the current budget to offset the eight years of illegitimate Bush deficit spending, according to liberals, or we could just go back to Clinton’s last budget year and add inflation (haven’t liberals constantly insisted that Clinton’s budget was so great – so let’s go back to it). We add inflation to Clinton’s total government spending and subtract it from Obama’s 2010 government spending and we get a saving for the 2011 budget of $1.6T. Not quite as much as the Bush calculation, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. Either way is a hell of a good start. It would create a real surplus for this year. For following years one simply raises the budget by inflation plus population growth. Problem solved. With the resultant robust growth the whole debt should be eliminated within twenty to thirty years. I expect liberals will now have no objection to a constitutional balanced budget amendment. [/sarcasm]al
• Play a game – create your own planet
Now don’t get me wrong, American neighbor, I was just foolin’ around – sort of. It is not just that I think that Bush’s deficit spending was illegitimate. I think all deficit spending is illegitimate. Think about this, American neighbor. If we were to play a game where we could design our own worlds, would you have your richest and most successful country on your planet be the most indebted country as well? Surely you must agree that it is completely ridiculous that the richest country in the history of the world does not consistently run annual surpluses and have a significant rainy day fund for emergencies. Every American should be embarrassed that this does not describe America (I dare you to argue that one with me, American neighbor). It is hardly just George Bush’s fault. Remember that in #11 Austerity Versus Stimulus – What Is the History?, I observed: “If we are to learn anything from FDRHoover’s and Barack Obama’s high debt stimulus spending, it is that it crowds out marketplace activity, so instead of producing a recovery, it prolongs the malaise.” In fact, all debt produces a crowding out effect. It subtracts prosperity from the future and as you reach that future it has less prosperity than it could and should have.am
• Real greed is stealing from your children & grandchildren
Liberals like to define greed as a rich conservative making too much money (liberals like George Soros, Michael Moore, Opra and Warren Buffett are of course exempt), but here is real greed, American neighbor. Real greed is a liberal society that thinks it is entitled to other people’s money. It is even more than this, American neighbor. Real all-encompassing greed is a liberal society that thinks that it is entitled to its grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s money as well. Now that is a level of greed that would make Wall Street hedge fund managers blush. America as a whole has a real attitude problem – the progressive-fascism established by FDRHoover and the collectivism and amorality established by John Dewey have resulted in the generational greed of contemporary liberalism. Essentially, contemporary liberal deficit spending is an attempt to enhance today’s standard of living at the expense of tomorrow’s standard of living. It is a theft of future wealth, future GDP, future employment, future government revenues, future prosperity – the list goes on and on. Kind of selfish (and stupid), don’t you think, American neighbor? As a kind of generational theft, where do today’s citizens get the right to spend the money of tomorrow’s citizens? Answer that one for me, American neighbor, because I don’t see it in the Constitution, the Bible, the Koran, Roe v. Wade, the communist manifesto, the NY Times or anywhere else. Again, Americans should be embarrassed. And answer me this as well, American neighbor: Do you think your grandchildren and great grandchildren will thank you for running up federal, state and municipal debts that they will be taxed to pay for as an expense to their standard of living in exchange for elevating your standard of living now? Or in other words, why are liberals satisfied with inevitably leading their descendants into resenting this generation for stealing their prosperity to feed the generational greed of today? (Of course, since we have already seen in #9 Liberals Are the Compassionate Ones – Really?, that liberals seem to think it is OK in their own minds to keep supposedly stolen tax cuts from the poor, I guess it is really no surprise that they think it is OK to steal from the future as well.)an
• Turning a recipe for disaster into a win-win-win situation
But really, American neighbor, to determine what to cut from the budget just ask liberals for a list of the illegitimate things Bush spent all of that deficit money on and start there. From all of their whining, complaining and blaming over the years I expect the list would be rather extensive (no, the Iraq War doesn’t count, it’s stimulus, remember?), and if they can’t find any, then I guess all of that whining, complaining and blaming was just all lies and demagoguery.
If the deficit just can’t be eliminated without some tax increases, there is one place where significant hikes should be made. Almost half of tax filers currently pay no federal income tax. As a matter of fact, they more often than not are net receivers of federal tax. That means other people’s money is taken from them to give it to those who have not earned it in the form of tax credits, rebates, etc. This makes for two classes of taxpayers – those who earn and pay, and those who supposedly don’t earn enough, and take. You can see that this is a recipe for disaster, can’t you, American neighbor? The takers have nothing invested in the federal system – no skin in the game. They are unintentional federal freeloaders denied their right to dignity. There is merit followed by a quiet conscience when contributing to the operation of the federal governing body by paying a share of federal income tax. Everyone that earns an income should pay income taxes so that they have a stake in the federal government. People who earn but pay no federal income taxes have no conscientious credibility with which to judge those who do. It is time to return their meritorious voice and integrity by raising their federal income taxes. And income taxes should not be deducted from paychecks. They should have to be paid directly by the earner so that he can feel that he has skin in the game – remember, the economy runs on feelings. As many as possible in a society should be proud to pay their share of federal income taxes. Of course, the amounts can and must be up for debate, but all earners should pay. This would also lead to more pride of country and to an increased holding of government feet to the fire when it comes to spending and taxes overall – a win-win-win situation, American neighbor.ao
• Deprogramming Liberalism Governance Indicators
Remember back in #10 Regulamageddon – The 2008 Financial Crisis, I asked you about why very liberal states like California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois that have been predominantly governed by Democrats for decades are such economic basket cases? I facetiously asked you if you thought it might be because they simply were not liberal enough? Now I am going to go out on a limb and assume that you got my point. You did, didn’t you, American neighbor? This correlation between poor economic performance and liberalism is a fairly objective gauge (a ground level form of governance indicator) of how poor liberalism is as a choice for governing principles. Americans know this and are moving to red states as a result. [3bqonzq, c3ugeot] The more the liberalism – the more the failure. But what about at the federal level? Can we objectively gauge whether liberalism or conservatism are the better governing principles for the whole country? In the common vernacular – You betcha! Remember I said this in #6 Tyranny Versus Liberty:
“Basically liberals are distrustful of fellow Americans, believing they need to be directed and regulated by a governing elite (a product of liberal paranoid delusion). Conservatives see fellow Americans as mostly self-reliant with benevolent motives. Conservatives also see America as having something enlightening to offer the world (liberty), whereas liberals have this idea that America is the single largest reason for most of the world’s problems. So because of these two dichotic conclusions liberals tend to deprecate America, whereas conservatives tend see America as exceptional. Both are self-fulfilling prophesies. When America’s direction is predominated by conservatism its performance becomes exceptional. When liberalism gains an upper hand America under performs – as with the past few years.”
I will now objectively prove this assertion, American neighbor. You can either view this through your Mr. Spock demeanor of contextual investigation combined with critical analysis, or you can be the rebellious fourteen-year-old and play stupid – your choice.ap
• The Cult of the Presidency
Liberals engage in a playing stupid game where they imagine Presidents are elected as absolute dictators every four years and anything that happens during that period of time is naturally to their credit or fault (and of course they only see credits in Democratic Presidents and faults in Republicans). This is known as The Cult of the Presidency. They pretend that as a dictator the President can spend on whatever he wants and nobody else has the slightest influence on his choices (except when it comes to Barack Obama whom liberals claim is being forced to spend because he is being held hostage by George W. Bush, unless of course they are talking about stimulating the economy, then it is the Republicans in congress who are holding a gun to Obama’s head preventing him from spending enough, or when the administration is claiming to be the most frugal since Eisenhower – convoluted much?). This pretend world allows liberals to say that Bill Clinton was a genius and Republican Presidents were reckless spenders. But the President is not a dictator when it comes to government spending or other economic policies. (An example is the Reagan Presidency where Democrats in control of the House promised to cut spending in exchange for a tax increase in 1982, but the spending cuts were never realized.) It is actually the House that draws up the budget each year after receiving a proposal from the President. And, of course, the budget must pass through the Senate as well. Only then does it go to the President for his signature. This is also true for any federal legislation. There are actually three responsible parties for every federal budget or legislative bill – the House, the Senate and the President, so let’s stop playing imaginary liberal games and examine spending and legislative results from an objective, rational (conservative) point of view.aq
• Ten objective governance indicators
But first let me ask you a question, American neighbor. If we were to determine a fair and objective approach based on ten prominent economic and societal indicators that conclusively illustrated which party has been a better steward of the economy and society, would that influence the way you vote? What if we found that under the Republican Party government spending was historically much less than Democrat spending? What if government revenues were much higher under Republican governance? What if GDP growth was much higher when Republicans were in power? What if stock market returns were much higher with Republicans? And what if inflation was much lower? What if affording the purchase of a house was more economical with Republicans? What if many more automobiles were sold under Republicans indicating a more robust economy? What if there was more law and order when Republicans were in charge? What if total job creation under Republican governance was also higher, and especially, if the wages of the poor increased significantly more under the Republicans? Would you consider voting for them? Jus’ askin’, American neighbor. (How could you not?)
[The following data-based conclusions were mostly compiled in 2010-11. Some commentary has been updated to December, 2012. There may be future revisions in the original data numbers that may not be reflected here, but will certainly be inconsequential to the conclusions.]
While many governance indicators are in part based on subjective data surveys, our DL Governance Indicators will be completely restricted to objective data. There will be no opinions, no nuance, and certainly no slippery computer models – just plain, simple mathematics that anyone with a high school diploma should be able to replicate. We’ll start with the Nixon administration in 1969 to correlate with the end of the mid sixties transition period from Dewey’s progressivism to contemporary liberalism.ar
• #1 governance indicator – government debt
First, we will determine each of the three branches’ deficit spending responsibility for each year from 1969 up to 2010 by apportioning their share according to which party ran each branch of the government. This will tell us which party is really responsible for creating most of the current national debt. (I rounded the numbers as I went so if your calculations don’t come out exactly like mine you might have rounded them differently than I did.)
First, I determined which party was in charge of the House, the Senate and the Presidency for each year from 1969 to 2010. [3tyyjc] Each of these we will call one branch-year. In every calendar year there are three branch-years. Then I determined the real deficit for each year as defined in #3 Groupthink Truths Versus Self-evident Truths, based on the total national debt for each year by subtracting the previous year’s debt from the selected year’s debt. [38nmoq, 2werbr] Then I allotted one-third of the deficit for each year to each of the parties according to which branches they controlled. So if the Republicans held the presidency, but the Democrats held the House and the Senate, one-third of the annual deficit would be attributed to the Republicans and two-thirds to the Democrats. Then I totaled the deficit portions by branch-years for the entire period of 1969 to 2010 according to each party. The Democrats totaled up to $7855B and the Republicans equaled $5358B. To make it a fair comparison we’ll break it down into dollars per branch-year. So we divide the Democrat total by the 70 branch-years they were in control and the Republican total by the 56 branch-years that they controlled. Doing this we find that the Democrats created $112B of deficit per branch-year while the Republicans created $95B of deficit per branch-year. So who are the big spenders, American neighbor? According to the specific allotment of debt as applied per party control of each of the three branches of the government, the Democrats are responsible for 18% more deficit spending per amount of governing time for each branch (each branch-year) for the period from 1969 up to 2010. Does this surprise you, American neighbor? I would think it would not if you just remember back to our MCTE about the basket case liberal states. The Republicans score first in our Deprogramming Liberalism Governance Indicator playoff – one to nothing.as
• #2 governance indicator – government revenue
Well, that last bit of arithmetical wizardry was enlightening and fun – don’t you agree, American neighbor? Let’s try it on something else, like the increase in government revenue (surprise!). [c6sqdf] For the period of 1969 to 2009 the Democratic Party equaled a total $642B of increase in revenue. Dividing that by 67 branch-years gives us $9.6B per branch-year. The Republican total was a whopping $1311B! Dividing that by 56 branch-years equals $23.4B for every branch year. This gives the Republicans a staggering 144% advantage over the Democrats in increased government revenue per branch-year! So our score is now two to nothing for the Republicans over the Democrats.at
• #3 governance indicator – GDP growth
Let’s try the same thing for GDP growth, American neighbor. Less calculations for this one, because our source chart already has the percentage change from one year to the next. [3ak2rtg] All we have to do is divvy each year’s number by three and apply to each party correspondingly. The 1969 to 2009 total for the Democratic Party was 61.64, and dividing it by their branch-years of 67 equals a 0.92% gain in GDP per branch-year. For the Republicans their total was 55.09 divided by 56 equaling a 0.98% GDP gain per branch-year. Another clear advantage for the Republicans of 7% over the Democrats. But this Republican advantage is actually much bigger than it seems, because as we saw above, Democrats spent 18% more per branch-year, which would artificially inflate their GDP numbers. However, as the most infamous of present voters once said, calculating that difference is above my pay-grade. I think we can safely assume it would push the actual Republican GDP growth advantage per branch-year for the same amount of spending for both parties well above 10% per branch-year. Three to nothing.au
• #4 governance indicator – Dow Industrial Index
The Dow Industrial Index is the popular measure of the American stock markets. [5v4syh6] Under Democrats from 1969 to 2010 the total of annual returns was 231%. Divided by 70 branch-years leaves a return of 3.3% per branch-year. The total under Republicans is 241%. Divided by 56 branch-years equals a return of 4.3% per branch-year. That’s a 30% advantage for investors under Republican stewardship, which anyone familiar with investing will tell you is a HUGE difference! That makes it a big four to zero score for Republicans.av
• #5 governance indicator – inflation
OK, what about inflation? [yfmyqcs] Democrat inflation totaled 116.9% from 1969 to 2010. Divided by 70 branch-years this comes out to 1.67% inflation for every branch-year. The Republican total was 72.2%, that when divided by 56 branch-years equaled 1.29% inflation per branch year. This is a 23% improvement over the Democrat number. Five big ones for Republicans, and still nothing for Democrats.aw
• #6 governance indicator – fixed 30 year mortgage rate
Next is the fixed 30 year mortgage rate. [6jzea7z] I could only find from 1972 to 2010, but that will do. Democrats came real close on this one, American neighbor. Their total was 191.79 that when divided by 64 branch-years came out to 3.00% per branch-year. But Republicans snuck through with a total of 156.25 divided by 53 branch-years equaling 2.95% for each branch-year. A 1.7% advantage for Republicans. Republicans a half dozen – Democrats treading water at zero.ax
• #7 governance indicator – auto sales
Auto sales are a good indicator for the health of the economy. [6bmb3kj] Tabulated from 1969 to 2010 on a year to year basis during Democrat governance a total of 2,199,000 sales were lost, which when divided by 70 branch-years comes out to 31,000 lost sales per branch-year. Under the Republicans there was a total gain of 2,741,000 sales that if divided by 56 branch-years equals a gain of 49,000 sales for every Republican branch-year. The total difference between the two is 4,940,000 sales and 80,000 per branch-year. Based on 2010 total sales this equals 2% more auto sales per branch year under Republicans. The Republicans have now scored seven times – Democrats nada.ay
• #8 governance indicator – murder rate
The murder rate from 1969 to 2007 totaled 175.4 per 100,000 population under the Democrats. [h8lm3] Divided by 62 branch-years equals 2.8 homicides per branch-year. Under the Republicans the total was 136.9. Dividing that by 56 branch-years resulted in 2.4 murders per 100,000 population. This is a 28% increase with Democrats in charge. Republicans eight – Democrats zilch (this is getting to be a rout).az
• #9 governance indicator – job creation
Of course, we cannot leave out job creation. [n8g5cl] But, we have to shift the numbers a bit because employment is what is known as a lagging indicator. In other words the jobs number today reflects the economy from about one year ago. [2vo5z3x] I took the December numbers from each year and subtracted the previous year’s December total from the selected year’s December total, but then I moved them all down one year for the lag offset, so we’ll end up with numbers for the period 1969 to 2009, all offset one year. Then, I followed the same procedure as for calculating the deficit branch-years. The results were that an average 463,000 jobs were created during each branch-year for the Democrats while the 517,000 jobs per branch-year were created under the Republicans. That’s a 12% per branch-year advantage for America with the Republicans in charge. Republicans up to nine and Democrats are now drowning at zero.ba
• #10 governance indicator – income growth disparity
Here’s one liberals love to vilify conservatives with – income growth disparity for the poor (remember, that old canard we dealt with in #9 Liberals Are the Compassionate Ones – Really?, about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer). We’ll determine who’s governance benefited the poor more from 1969 to 2009. Compared will be the upper limit of the lowest quintile as representing the poor in 2009 dollars. (These numbers are listed as slightly lagging.) [6kyhdtm] Liberals are not going to like these results, American neighbor. They are absolutely convinced that Democrats benefit the poor much, much more than greedy Republicans. But it just isn’t so: Over our designated period annual income for the poor went up under Democrat governance $860 total. Divided by 67 equals $13 per branch-year. For Republican governance there was a total of $1670. Divided by 56 comes out to $30 per branch-year. That’s a whopping 131% more money for the poor per branch-year under Republicans than under Democrats.
So, who would you say is the party that best represents the interests of the poor now, American neighbor? Our final tally for the Deprogramming Liberalism Governance Indicator playoff is Republicans layin’ a whoop-ass beat’n on their opponents with a whopping ten wins to the Democrat’s big fat goose egg!bb
• Summary of Deprogramming Liberalism Governance Indicators
Now we have objectively compared Republican stewardship with Democratic stewardship from the beginning of contemporary liberalism up to the present. Here is a synopsis of our D.L. Governance Indicators per branch-year:
• Federal government spending: Republicans spent less by an 18% advantage per branch-year.
• Federal government revenue increase: Cutting taxes a number of times, Republican’s revenue increases were higher by a 144% advantage per branch-year.
• GDP growth: Republicans held an advantage of 7% per branch-year. (And as we determined, probably much higher.)
• Dow returns: Investors earned a whopping 30% higher return under Republicans per branch-year.
• Inflation: Under Republican governance, inflation was lower by a 23% advantage per branch-year.
• Fixed 30 year mortgage rate: A deceptively slim but discernable 1.7% per branch-year Republican advantage that has saved American home buyers a lot of money over the decades.
• Auto sales: 2% more automobiles as an indication of economic growth were sold under Republicans per branch-year.
• Homicide rate: 28% more murders occurred under Democrats per branch-year.
• Total job creation: Republican job creation held an advantage of 12% per branch-year.
• Income growth for the poor: This is a real stunner (for liberals anyway). Republican governance was beneficial to the income growth of the poor by a 131% advantage per branch-year!
So a rising tide does lift all boats to a higher standard of living. Or in other words, trickle-down economics does work (although trickle-down is not a formal economic theory, it does more-or-less accurately describe liberty-based economics). Did you get that, American neighbor? These governance indicators are conclusive empirical evidence that trickle-down economics works very well. Conservative stewardship produces distinct and consistent economic and societal advantages over liberal stewardship, with much of it naturally migrating to the poor. It turns out that both liberal deprecation of America and conservative admiration of America do turn out to be self-fulfilling. Liberalism is a millstone around America’s neck, dragging her down in every measurement, whereas, conservatism builds her up, both figuratively and empirically. Compiling our ten Deprogramming Liberalism Governance Indicators derives an average 40% greater advantage for the American economy and society under Republican stewardship than under Democrat stewardship. 40%, American neighbor! That is one heck of an advantage for America!bc
• How the governance indicators apply to the poor
Since liberals claim to be all about empathy for the poor let’s look at how these relative measures of stewardship affect the poor. Here is the trickle-down evidence: Less government spending by Republicans leaves more money in the private sector to create more jobs for the poor. More government revenues under Republicans allows for less debt and less demand for taxes as the poor person moves up the standard of living ladder. Greater GDP growth and improved investment returns under Republicans also produces a healthier job market and presents improved job opportunities and eventual investment opportunities for the poor. Lower inflation under Republicans preserves the value of the poor’s money allowing them to purchase more over time. Lower mortgage rates under Republicans combined with all of the other indicator advantages allows the poor to sooner afford the legitimate purchase of a home (as opposed to liberalism’s failed subprime method). Greater auto sales under Republicans indicates a growing economy which presents improved job and entrepreneurial opportunities for the poor. A lower homicide rate under Republicans certainly benefits the poor who bare the brunt of violent crime in America. Of course, many of the above mentioned indicators under Republicans lead to higher national employment totals, which certainly benefit the poor. And who can argue that vastly improved income growth for the poor under Republicans is not greatly to their benefit? Again, trickle-down works very well. However, then there are the inevitable unintended consequences of liberalism under the Democrats which in a multitude of ways leads to less job opportunities, a lower standard of living, a less likelihood of legitimately owning a home, a more violent society and less income growth for the poor. Very stark, don’t you think, American neighbor?bd
• Question in regard to our governance indicators
We have already seen the clear advantage of the classical liberalism of the Roaring Twenties over progressive-fascism of the Dirty Thirties in #11 Austerity Versus Stimulus – What Is the History?. Why would you think it would be any different directly comparing contemporary conservatism and contemporary liberalism, American neighbor? (Be sure to have your Mr. Spock demeanor at the ready.) So, let me ask you a few questions that will lead to a similar final question to the one from #11 Austerity Versus Stimulus – What Is the History?, about whether you would prefer a return of the Roaring Twenties or the Dirty Thirties: If we had had a discussion in January of 1979, American neighbor, and I had pointed out that after 30 branch-years the DL Governance Indicators were squarely in the Republican’s favor, would you have capitulated, or would you have scoffed it off as preliminary, instead optimistically predicting over the next ten years it would surely balance out. But, if after another ten years in January of 1989 we had met again and I asked you about the last 60 branch-years of DL Governance Indicators continuing to favor the Republicans, what then would your response have been? Would you have still been able to scoff it off as not necessarily indicative of a trending Republican advantage? We meet another time in January of 1999 after 90 branch-years of data had been tabulated which shows an incredible 40% advantage with Republicans at the helm of good-ship America. Same result. Same scoff? Let’s say we met in January of 2009 after a full 120 branch-years of tabulating. American neighbor, scoffing at this point would surely be the sign of a fool playing immensely stupid, don’t you think?
If you didn’t know which party was which in our ten little studies, and you had the chance to pick the party to vote for that produced the best DL Governance Indicator results to run the country, would you do it? What if the Democrats had an eight to two advantage of DL Governance Indicators? Would you pick them? What if the Republicans had a six to four Advantage – would you pick the Republicans? But now that you know that the Republicans actually blew the Democrats out of the water, ten to zip, with a compiled benefit of an astounding 40% per branch year, can you now see the distinct advantage of having the Republicans running the country? It is pretty obvious which two lines are self-evidently equal, don’t you think, American neighbor?be
• Republicans are the better stewards of America
Alpha liberals like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want you to think the same way that FDRHoover wanted Americans to think – to be satisfied with his diminished America of the Dirty Thirties (and to be paranoid about conservative stewardship). Are you satisfied with the Democrat’s diminished America, American neighbor? Economic malaise for as far as the eye can see? A hamstrung economy because of massive government debt and the Democrat’s refusal to deal with it? One out eight houses sitting vacant? Three out ten Americans unable to fulfill their employment desires? We have already determined in #6 Tyranny Versus Liberty, and #10 Regulamageddon – The 2008 Financial Crisis, that liberalism brought on this mess. So, do you want the country better run, or are you still stuck in your sheeple mode of thinking where you vote for Democrats no matter what the objective contrary empirical evidence is? (Meaning that their two lines obviously don’t match.) Does it really matter whether you like the Republicans or not, if all of the objective evidence points to a better run country with them at the helm? The Republicans spend less while generating more revenue, producing higher GDP growth and higher stock market returns, with less inflation, better mortgage rates, higher auto sales indicating a better economy, a large reduction in the amount of murders, greater employment creation, and significantly more improvement for the wages of the poor. What’s not to like, American neighbor? DL Governance Indicators: Republicans ten – Democrats a big, fat ZERO! 40% advantage!
What about the Great Recession and continuing Obama Malaise? Look at the numbers. The Democrats took over the House and the Senate in 2006. Starting with the beginning of the housing bubble bust in 2007 it was the Republicans with the presidency and the Democrats with the House and the Senate. 2 to 1 branch-years for the Democrats. 2008 was the same. 4 to 2 branch-years for the Democrats. In 2009 and 2010 the Democrats controlled all three branches of the federal government. 10 to 2 branch-years for the Democrats. The Republicans won the House back for 2011. So, from the beginning of the housing bust (but well before the crash in late 2008) until the end of 2012 we have a total of 14 branch-years of governance for the Democrats to only 4 branch-years for the Republicans. The Democrats have been the majority party with stewardship of the government from before and throughout this entire dismal period. Who do you think should be held politically responsible for this financial disaster, American neighbor?
After nearly 132 branch-years it is inevitably clearer than ever that Republicans are significantly better stewards of the country than are Democrats. How did you vote in November of 2012? Did you continue to insist on playing stupid in your subliminal belief system? Now, what about the 2014 election? Will you put your own self-interest and the country’s interest first and vote with your conscious belief system? Does raw, objective, empirical evidence mean anything to you, American neighbor? Or are you still enslaved as an emotional sheeple of the left, blindingly agreeing with whatever two obviously unequal lines the collaborating manipulators insist are equal? Time to wake up and become a black sheep, American neighbor. Here is your pivotal question for when you enter the voting booth in November 2014: How much of your politics is just about playing silly ideological games (playing stupid) – and how much do you really care about the poor? Let Mr. Spock answer that one.bf
• Deprogramming Liberalism Depression Governance Indicator
Let’s explore this Obama idea of preventing a “second depression”. As pointed out above, it could then be argued that both Presidents Reagan and Bush 43 also prevented depressions. But let’s go further. Let’s create a new governance indicator using a plus or minus system based on fixing or preventing depressions using either current liberal or current conservative economic principles. Progressive economic policies are government command capitalism, otherwise known in this essay series as FDRHoovernomics or progressive-fascism. Conservative economic policies are consumer demand capitalism, otherwise known as Hardingnomics.
Herbert Hoover attempted to fix the Great Depression with progressive policies and failed. (-1) FDRHoover again attempted to fix the Great Depression with even more progressive policies and prolonged it right into WWII, with the threat of its return at the end of the war. (-1) Using progressive policies Jimmy Carter failed to stop a malaise that turned into a recession and threatened to turn into a depression. (-1) Barack Obama has attempted to fix the Great Recession with progressive policies and has prolonged it indefinitely with his stimulus package that by his own definition actually caused an even worse “second depression”, now known as the Obama Malaise, than if he had done nothing. (-1) In reality it is uncertain at this time (December, 2012) whether it may have actually contributed to a possible upcoming depression (if, of course, you are not inclined to think of the current malaise as a depression, as many certainly do). Liberal government command capitalism = -4
Warren G. Harding used conservative policies and stopped the 1920 Depression dead in its tracks. (+1) Following WWII Congress prevented a return to the Great Depression by abandoning the progressive-fascism of FDRHoover and turning to conservative economic policies. (+1) Ronald Reagan then stopped a malaise and recession inherited from Carter that was threatening to turn into a depression using conservative policies again. (+1) Then George W. Bush came into office fighting a crashing economy inherited from Bill Clinton that he also turned around with conservative policies. (+1) Conservative consumer demand capitalism = +4
So how do our numbers add up? (A fix or prevention of a depression is a plus, while a failure of either is a minus.)
Fixing or preventing a depression using progressive economic policies = -4
Fixing or preventing a depression using conservative economic policies = +4
Again we see the utter bankruptcy of contemporary liberal economic principles with an eight to zero loss compared to contemporary conservative economic principles. [two thumbs up] So much for progressive-fascism preventing or fixing depressions… [two thumbs down]bg
• Pseudo governance indicator
Liberal pundits like to show maps of blue states and red states based on the last presidential election and then compare the amount of money sent to Washington with the amount of money received back from Washington per state. They then proclaim that Republican states are the real welfare states, supported by Democratic states. But Presidents don’t govern individual states and the amount of money sent to the states often has nothing to do with the state’s governance – i.e. military contracts, base spending, agricultural subsidies, green subsidies, etc. – so this is a false premise. Better would be to look at the percentage of the states’ budgets comprised of federal dollars. Because the dollar amounts have been established over a period of decades, we’ll start from the beginning of liberalism, and because it is Governors that govern individual states, we’ll compare the years of Republican governance with the years of Democratic governance from 1968 to 2011, inclusive, for the ten most needy states. [ovcxr2o, q3bqfgn]
1. Mississippi D27 R16
2. Louisiana D26 R17
3. Arizona D19 R24
4. South Dakota D8 R35
5. Missouri D23 R20
6. Tennessee D22 R21
7. New Mexico D27 R16
8. Montana D30 R13
9. Georgia D34 R19
10. New York D24 R19
Eight of the ten states (80%) were governed a majority of the time from 1968 to 2011 by Democratic Governors. Only two (20%) were governed a majority of the time by Republicans. Clearly, majority Democratic governance at a state level has produced the majority of the ten worst so-called welfare states. (I realize that this is sort of like the Cult of the Presidency argument debunked above, so I wouldn’t put much stock in this without calculating the branch years of governance – likely they would end up with a similar conclusion, however. Instead, I would redirect you to the little discourse on failed liberal states at the beginning of #10 Regulamageddon – The 2008 Financial Crisis.)bh
• A real life comparison
If you are still having a difficult time grasping the desperate situation the American economy is in, check out this brilliant analogy:
~U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend the numbers reflect a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts: $385~ [7ns8n8n]
• It is so bad, that the government cannot be audited
Did you know that the federal government cannot be audited, American neighbor? No, it is not that it is not allowed. It is actually mandated that it be audited every year by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that was created just for this task. It is a dirty little secret that the reason the GAO cannot audit the government’s books is that they are so messed up that they are unauditable. This is the result of liberal governmental expansion (FDRHoovernomics – progressive-fascism). If any major corporation kept their books as sloppily as the federal government, CEOs would go to jail. [*2bgrdnj, *cq9cgnt] Nevertheless, the GAO does identify government waste. 2011 was a banner year of $400B duplication, waste and inefficiency, up a hundred billion over 2010. [7d7vxnh] This means that right off the top, over 10% of the federal budget is simply flushed down the toilet. The government needs to be cleaned up, American neighbor. The only ones who can or will are Republicans – specifically with the prodding of Tea Partiers and support from the voters. Democrats are just making the mess worse. This is why conservatism is a two-sided coin of minimal government and strict adherence to law. It is the only way to keep the government under control. So everyone should become a Tea Partier for the sake of the country.bj
• Projecting the economy
Want to know another dirty little secret, American neighbor? NEVER believe ANY significant economic projection or forecast on a national scale of over a couple of years that includes hard numbers as results. They are NEVER accurate. There are just too many unaccountable variables like financial market emotions, monetary strategy changes, natural disasters, terrorist events, wars, economic crises, technological advances, extreme commodity price fluctuations, political changes, etc. that simply cannot be known ahead of time. Liberal psychogumps pretend that they can calculate the future, but the future of an economy is not calculable, American neighbor. Contrary to this misguided belief, economies run on perceptions and the emotions they produce, not numbers. For instance, psychogumps like to calculate that tax cuts won’t generate enough revenue to pay for the cuts. Here, try a search for >tax cuts*don’t pay for themselves<. I got 104 million results on Google. We saw in #8 The Not So Surprising History of Tax Cuts, that all of the major tax cuts in the last sixty years generated more government revenues than any of the major tax increases over that same period. If anything is close to the truth, it is that tax increases don’t pay for themselves anywhere near as well as do tax cuts.
~The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.~ – Ezra Solomon
If the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or some think tank or some Blue Chip organization or government agency or the administration comes out with a projection that the budget will result in five years with such and such numbers for the GDP or deficits or revenues or whatever, NEVER put any confidence in them, because the numbers are simply to convince you to do whatever they desire (you are being suckered – that is their purpose). They are counting on a pat on the back now, and memory loss later. The only time some think tank or government agency might get something close to correct is if they get very lucky. Beyond a couple of handfuls of months, specific numbers in regard to the economy are virtually impossible to forecast accurately. At best, a trend might be able to be established for a couple of years. For instance, one could project that after a major tax cut, that without any significant economic calamities one could expect a trend of better employment, higher GDP, increased government revenues, etc. This projection is not the result of number crunching current numbers to forecast future numbers. This is simply from examining the history of previous major tax cuts and reasonably extrapolating from the knowledge of those results. Another example would be long-term trends like the ramping up of the cost of Medicare. One need not be a mathematical genius to project it will continue to go up without some severe changes. Still another example would be the question of which party could be expected to be a better steward of the country. Obviously, over the last forty years the Republican Party has been a far better steward of the country than the Democratic Party has, so a confident projection could be made that the future of the country would be much better off if placed in Republican hands. Same solution – look at history to project the future. Then you can see that some solutions work, like what happened during the Roaring Twenties or Reagan eighties, and that some scenarios are abject failures, like what happened during the Dirty Thirties, and with Obama’s stimulus package. The only think tank you need for these kinds of research and projections is you and me, American neighbor.bk
• Deprogramming lessons
In this essay we have learned two valuable lessons, American neighbor. The first is that by purely objective standards whatever meager amount of conservative leadership the Republican Party has stood for over the last forty years, it has certainly benefited the country much more so than the contemporary liberalism of the Democratic Party over that same period of time. Ten to nothing is no fluke, American neighbor. Quite simply, according to the barely adequate conservatism that they embrace, Republicans are much better stewards of the nation than are liberals/Democrats. Second, when it comes to fixing or preventing depressions, conservative economic principles work every time and liberal economic principles just simply do not work – ‘nough said. The astonishing success of Hardingnomics tells us that the more the classical liberalism (known today as contemporary conservatism), the more the prosperity. Imagine if a truly conservative Republican Party would be in control of Washington today. Similar to the Roaring Twenties we could have the Teeming Teens!
Liberal economics requires you to be faithful to the first attitude principle of liberalism: Contemporary liberalism requires a strict adherence to playing stupid. Over and over, no matter what they do, they require you to play stupid about their failed results. It is to the point of being absurd: Contemporary liberalism is absurd. This kind of selective ignoring of the facts can only be explained by the first two principles of liberalism: Contemporary liberalism is a type of societal conditioning. Compulsive paranoia is the foundation of contemporary liberalism. So, are you going to continue to play stupid and scoff away everything you have learned in this essay and others in the N.C. Essay Series through contextual investigation and critical analysis, American neighbor: Contemporary liberalism relies on a programmed, instinct-like scoff reflex to preserve itself from the consequences of critical thinking. Will you continue to treat critical analysis and your own self-interest as your enemies: Self-interest and critical thinking are enemies of contemporary liberal groupthink. You have been conditioned to think of America as generally incompetent: Contemporary liberalism views society as generally incompetent and in need of the guiding hand of a controlling government. But it is liberalism and the Democratic Party that are the true incompetents. It is time to reverse the unintended dystopian results of liberal thinking: For its own good a resistant society must have utopian ideals forced upon it. It is time to abandon the irrational rationalization of these failures, American neighbor: For contemporary liberals superficial rationalization is always the first and final element in their ideological line of thought. By any objective standard liberalism in government simply does not work. We saw it with liberalism’s predecessor in the Dirty Thirties, and we have seen it for the last forty years. We both know liberalism is a failure, American neighbor. After all, we have already determined that you are not actually a liberal. It is now time to congratulate yourself on this insight.bl
• How to get the money out of politics
Look. Let’s end our economic discussions at an amicable place where liberals and conservatives can come together. What can liberals and conservatives agree on in regard to the economy? That there is too much influence money in politics. It’s an I’ll-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine political system, and both liberals and conservatives don’t like it. So how can this be fixed? By cutting out everything that promotes influence peddling and attracts influence lobbying and gets in the way of an efficient economy: Cut the size of the tax code from over 73,000 pages [ndkgu99] to a few dozen pages and cut the remaining tax rates. Cut regulations and regulatory agencies. Cut government spending. Cut the size of government. Eliminate corporatism. Stamp out quid pro quo (also known as pay to play). Think about it, American neighbor. Cut taxes and drastically simplify the tax code and you cut the reason for lobbying for favorable tax laws and the cutting of taxes. Problem solved. Cut regulations and regulatory agencies and you cut the influence money meant to produce favorable regulatory decisions. Problem solved. Cut government spending and you cut the amount of money that those influencing the government are chasing. Problem solved. Cut the size of government and you cut the amount of influence in the marketplace that drives those who wish to influence the politicians who make the decisions in regard to meddling in the marketplace. Problem solved. Eliminate government corporate welfare and you cut off those who pay to influence where those welfare subsidies go. Problem solved. Cut the crap and you won’t attract the flies, American neighbor. Problem solved. Oh, and of course you end up with a robust economy as well – but you already know that from our examination of the Roaring Twenties. It is time to stop this foolish carrot and stick capitalism and go back to a system that works – consumer demand capitalism. Here is a link explaining some of the problems with carrot and stick capitalism, although the proposed solutions of the source book for this column are really not solutions, but an exacerbation of the problem of money in politics. Outlawing the money is just more regulation that will inevitably be circumvented as long as there is a reason to. Again, the solution is to remove from government everything that attracts influence money in the first place. [*d5qwcss, *84mhmwh] The second link illustrates the corrupt “quid pro quo” system of the Obama White House.
This brings us back to our MCTE question: “As a principle, does more individual liberty produce more opportunity for prosperity or less opportunity for prosperity?” Another no-brainer. So again there is a choice between the liberty and prosperity of conservative governing principles, and the depressions and malaises of liberal governing principles – progressive-fascism. Once more, which do you prefer, American neighbor? (Oh yeah, we already answered that – you picked the Roaring Twenties.)bm
• Deprogramming exercise
Well, our objective ten point system first hinted at in the MCTE at the beginning of the essay has mathematically worked out to a ten to nothing win for the Republicans over Democrats. And then in our bonus round the Republicans won again over Democrats eight to zero. It is time for you to decide whether you really wish to clean up the government, American neighbor. Now you must go discover which politicians in your district will best do this. Go find out. It is time to wake up and take this seriously. I’d suggest investigating your local Tea Party candidates first.
Here is a direct performance comparison of government command capitalism with consumer demand capitalism: [*cb8pwfh] If you want an example of economic conservatism trumping liberalism that is closer to home, simply compare the recent performance of conservative Prime Minister Steven Harper’s Canada to liberal President Obama’s America. [*d9sx47r] Prime Minister Harper has been incrementally cutting the corporate tax rate so that it is now the lowest of all G-7 countries, earning a Forbes magazine selection as the number one country in the world to do business. It’s paying off big time with more business activity and higher government revenues. Since the beginning of the Obama administration the Canadian dollar has strengthened against the American dollar by an incredible 40%! Corporate tax revenues were up 47% in November of 2011 over the revenues of November, 2010! [*6nwd63y, 86bqcd8]bn
• Humor, Sort-of
So, President Obama has his “second depression”, and the Republicans have an eighteen to nothing “shellacking” over the Democrats in objective governance indicators. Got to give it to Barack Obama though. That teleprompter he’s got certainly is a wordsmith, even if it can’t do grade school arithmetic very well.
Pssst – come close, American neighbor. I have some inside information on a clandestine theory I think you should know about. [nervously looks around to be sure no one is eavesdropping] What if there was a secret conspiracy behind Barack Obama’s presidency? No, not a liberal conspiracy – a conservative one. Some covert conservative organization foresaw the coming financial collapse in 2008 and decided this was the opportunity to destroy liberalism for good. So they looked for a liberal ideologue and found the perfect candidate. Black, to appeal as more of a victim than Hillary. No conviction – votes present a lot. Speaks well, but not too smart – would run a lemonade stand into the ground. You know, sort-of a Stepford President who doesn’t realize he is an artificial implant. They get a weak Republican candidate to oppose him in 2008. Easy win. Then they let him loose on America, wreaking havoc at every turn, destroying the reputation of liberalism all along the way. If America is still not convinced by 2012, they place another weak, losing candidate against him, so that by 2016 everyone will be begging for a return of conservativism, and in the meantime, as insurance they get some clever outsider to write a popular series of essays completely dismantling liberalism from the inside. By the time Obama’s second term is over America will never again turn to liberalism. Perfect conspiracy! [walks away eyes averted, whistling nothing in particular…] Have sweet consumer demand capitalism dreams, American neighbor: [*7g6xg85]