November 13, 2008
PALIN: Thank you so much. Thank you, Governor Perry. Thank you, Governors. Honored to be here. Get to speak with and to my fellow governors. It hasn't been that long, I think, since we all gathered, but, I don't know about you, but I managed to fill up the time. Let's see, I...
I had a baby. I did some traveling. I very briefly expanded my wardrobe.
I made a few speeches, met a few VIPs, including those who really impact society, like Tina Fey.
Aside from that, it was pretty much same old, same old since we last gathered.
But in the great campaign that has come and gone -- and it was great -- one of the nicer experiences that we had along the campaign trail was seeing so many of my RGA colleagues. And I thank you guys so for your assistance with John McCain's good run.
Each gave your all to the cause and were helpmates and positive additions to Senator McCain's good run. You were there to help when things were looking good and you were there to help when, once in a while, things weren't looking so good.
And where I'm from in Alaska, life would be pretty lonely if all we had were fair weather friends, and you have been friends in all seasons, and for that, I will forever be grateful. And I know Senator McCain also will be so appreciative.
Let me add that I was honored as well to have the support of a former RGA member, and his beautiful wife, who will soon return home from the White House to Texas.
In politics, people sometimes go to great lengths to avoid stating the obvious, but I think it's about time that we all remembered that the greatest measure of a president is whether he protected and defended this great country.
America's 43rd president took that foremost responsibility, that most important charge, seriously. He poured his life into it. He succeeded in keeping America safe from another attack.
I'm thankful he is my soldier son's commander in chief. And for that I say God bless George W. Bush.
And I thank you, Mr. President.
So reflecting on it all these last couple of months, obviously, a lot learned for all of us, all of us governors these past months. And I'm going to reflect a bit on that here and then express where I think that we can all move forward together as a result of what we've just learned.
When I was introduced in Ohio as our party's nominee, it was humbling, and I was proud to represent all of us. But on election night in Phoenix, after a hard and honorable defeat, I was more proud than ever to have been the running mate and friend of a great man, Senator John McCain.
Tens of millions of Americans shared our convictions and they gave us their votes. They shared a desire for a smaller, smarter government, and protection of our constitutional rights, and energy independence, and respect for life and equality, and I thank them for their confidence and those votes.
But for us, it was not our time. It was not our moment.
But it is our country. And the winner will be our president. And I wish Barack Obama well as the 44th president of the United States. And if he governs with -- governs with the skill and the grace and the greatness of which he is capable, we're going to be just fine.
And as he prepares to fill the office of Washington and Lincoln, know that this is a shining moment in American history. Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for our country.
Now, as we wish him well, and unite, as we all work together, it's time for us to reach out to this new administration. Time for us to reach out to Barack Obama, so that he'll understand our perspective as experienced chief executives, we, responsible for tens of billions of public dollars, and tens of thousands of employees, and policies and projects that do affect the lives of our constituents every single day. So that he will understand that bigger federal government and more unfunded mandates hurt the economy and our states and America's opportunities.
Republican governors understand this. That's why Americans look to us for leadership. And that's why we have seen election victories.
So let's reach out to Barack Obama. And this is how we reach out and help our country: showing how lower taxes provide opportunity for the private sector to grow new wealth, and let's embrace the federalist principle that lets local government, government closest to the people, have more say, local government being the most responsive and responsible.
We know that, because we live it on the front lines every day in our jobs. Let's help show him and Congress the way.
Look, we need to be greater participants in the monumental debates going on right now with the economic crisis that we're facing. We're hearing now more talk of additional taxpayer bailouts, for instance, for companies and corporations, perhaps even states now, who may be standing in line with their hands out, despite perhaps some poor management decisions on their part that helped tank our economy.
Republicans can help shore this up without getting any more addicted to OPM -- O-P-M, other peoples' money, spending it, when...
... when a lot of us...
... a lot of us just supported that first $700 billion bailout. We need to have a rational discussion. I look forward to a debate and Republican governors participating in this debate of what and when is enough enough.
I want our national leaders to expand the debate and talk about accountability and personal responsibility and corporate habits and activities called to account. We can start talking about the conservative solutions to these economic challenges.
Now, we can do this and we can lead in this discussion and in this debate, and we had better lead with ethics reform and an end to the self-dealing and corrupt special interests on Wall Street and in Washington that contributed to the housing crisis and elements of the economic collapses. And this has resulted in hardworking, middle- class Americans being the ones who really get the bum deal in all of this.
And we need to not be afraid of interjecting the solutions that we see based on free market solutions as those that can meet these great challenges.
Let's lead in this ethics reform effort. We got to clean it up and we got to end the corruption and the abuse once and for all. And, again, with free market solutions we need to start considering those, debating those, plugging in those solutions.
We want America to be able to trust their federal government again. And here I think the public's going to be looking to Republican governors to show them the way. And we have to reform. And we're able to do it.
Governors do things like, in terms of reform and manifesting our commitment to reform, we do things like putting our state checkbook online -- that's what we've done in Alaska -- so that everybody can see where every dollar's being spent. It's other peoples' money.
Federal government, they need to do the same thing. We need to be able to help our federal officials see what we do as governors that has led to reforms within our state and progress within our states, allowing our state governments to be put back on the side of the people. We've got to do that on a federal level.
Now, looking back on the campaign, it was such a journey -- such a journey for my family. It was -- it was wonderful.
But what a nice return we've had now to a place and to a life that we so dearly love in Alaska.
Along the trail, it was my husband, Todd, who was my right hand. And among his many willing -- winning qualities is the gift that he has of optimism and just thankfulness in all situations that he finds.
And going forward, I'm going to count on those qualities a little more, even. Because of course there was a disappointment after a loss in a national election like that. You run to win. You run the race to win.
It's kind of relying on Todd with that optimism and the thankfulness in all situations, that I'm certainly going to be there with him along those lines.
But far from returning to the great state of Alaska with any sense of sorrow or regret, we carried with us the best of memories and joyful experiences that really do not depend at all on political victory.
For years to come, I'm going to remember all the young girls who came up to me at rallies to see the first woman having the privilege of carrying our party's vp nomination. And they inspired me.
With an extra hurdle or two in front of us and in front of these young girls, I feel that we've got this mutually beneficial relationship now -- me and these young girls -- where we're going to work harder, we're going to be stronger, we're going to do better. And one day, one of them will be the president, because in America, there will be no ceilings on achievement, glass or otherwise. And if I can help point the way...
If I can help point the way for these young women or inspire them to tap into their own gifts and talents and strengths, to find their own opportunities, well, it is a privilege.
And I'm going to remember all the people along the way who said that they were praying for us. They were such a strength and a shield, those prayer warriors, and...
I'm going to remember the Blue Star moms and the special bond that we share, with our loved ones away at war.
I'm going to remember all the veterans of war and the POWs, the former POWs that I had such an honor meeting and hearing their stories -- and oh, my goodness, America cannot forget. And we must honor and respect these men who have sacrificed so greatly for us and have such a love of country and need to be heard today.
I'll remember the working people of this country who put their faith in us, the folks who run our factories and grow our food and teach our children and serve us in uniform, those who came out on the campaign trail also to say, you know, they've got a lot of hope for -- for the ideals that we were representing in our ticket.
And I remember folks like Joe the plumber, who -- yes, who spoke for so many when Joe the plumber, remember, he suggested that taking more of our families' and our small businesses' hard-earned money, what that does is stifle the entrepreneurial spirit that grew this country into the greatest country on Earth.
And thanks to Joe the plumber, people whom he was speaking for felt kind of comforted, like see, I'm not the only one who sees that, in this suggested policy that was proposed, that Joe the plumber kind of got out of Barack Obama that day. That was valuable.
I'll not forget guys like Tito the builder. He recently became a U.S. citizen, running his own construction company now. And he on the trail, he was telling us so proudly, he says, "Yes, I was born in Colombia, but I was made in the USA. This is a land of opportunity."
And man, just these everyday hard-working Americans whom we would meet. And again, such a comfort that we had knowing that we aren't the only ones believing in America being the land of possibilities and opportunity, but the federal government, man, it's got to play its appropriate role -- not get in the way of the progress of our families and our businesses -- and for their example and their love, too.
I will remember with gratitude all the families with special needs children who were the stars of the show in our rallies: kids with autism and some in their wheelchairs and these beautiful kids who maybe before were made to feel like there wasn't a place for them in the life of our country.
How could I ever forget the banners held up high that would say "We're here for Trig," "Trig in the White House," and these beautiful children and their families?
You know, and always being warned you can't cry on the campaign trail or you can't show that -- well, my goodness, speaking to some of these families and the challenges that they have -- and they who aren't asking anything from government or from anybody else -- perhaps a hand up, but not a handout, these families.
I would see them in the audience, and they would hold up their banners. And I'll tell you, I came close to crying few times, because they just touched my heart.
And it's time that America shows them our good collective heart. Governor Crist, one of my favorite persons whom I met along the trail was one of your constituents at a rally right here in Florida. And his name is Charlie. He's a fine young man with Down syndrome. And he's just so proud and strong and tough.
And Charlie and I exchanged e-mail addresses. The last time he replied, he said, "By the way, please quit calling me darling." I was talking about him on the trail once in a while, referring -- and he says, "It's not tough enough."
So today in your home state a special shoutout to Charlie, to tough Chuck -- Darling Charlie.
And I'll repeat what I told him, because it applies to all children and adults who are so unique: that he is beautiful. And I am so glad that my boy Trig is going to grow up just like him. And every innocent life being so precious and worthy, and truly we must show them the good heart of America.
Another funny thing, too, on the trail, we had a beautiful group of young Down syndrome young adults and children, and they're holding up their signs. And Down syndrome, of course you're born with an extra chromosome. So their slides were all clever about "We're extra special. We've got this chromosome."
And it reminded me of a bumper sticker that was sent to me from a Down syndrome group in Arizona. You know how we have bumper stickers on our minivans saying, you know, "My kid's on the honor roll and yours isn't," and "My kid's a better soccer player than your kid."
Well, this bumper sticker -- or whatever they say. But the bumper sticker that was sent to me was, "My kid's got more chromosomes than your kid." Like, all right! We won! We won!
But so thankful that the thing is that they were welcome, and that that, too, is what we represented as Republicans is that good heart of America, that equal opportunity for all and defense of those who maybe are vulnerable and weak.
PALIN: Heaven help us if -- if we ever stray from that principle, from that value in our party. And it was -- it was wonderful and I was honored to get to represent that value.
Above all, too, I am grateful to the man who took a chance on a Republican governor, representing you, representing all of you, and what we believe in, and with sound executive experience, and on the front lines every day. That is who you are, that is who we are, making tough decisions to best serve the people who hire us.
And we are held accountable every day. The buck stops on our desk. We're not just one of many voting "yea" or "nay" or "present."
No, there is no "present" button in our office, is there? We have to make the tough decisions.
John McCain knew what it is that we represent, what I represented, and all of you. From the moment he named me on Election Day (sic), I had the rare enough privilege in politics of praising a candidate whose story and character and personal heroism required no embellishment. I said things about him, about how valiantly he has served and what he has overcome, things he could not say about himself because that's just the kind of man that he is: so humble.
And elections, granted, they're not a test of valor and merit alone, of course, and the judgment of the majority is not for us to question now. Enough to say that for me, it was the honor of a lifetime to fight for what we believe in at the side of John S. McCain.
So now, with recent elections wrapped up, yes, on the federal level, we are now the minority party, but let us not resolve to become the negative party, too eager to find fault or unwilling to help in this time of crisis and war.
Losing an election does not have to mean losing our way. And for governors the way forward leads through our own state capitals in reforms that we will carry on or begin anew.
And I promise you Americans will be looking to their governors for reaction, for stepped-up leadership, and for our abilities to unite and to progress. Let the pundits go on with their idle talk about the next election, what happens in 2012. Our concern should be about our state's next great reform, our next budget, our next opportunity to progress in the states that we serve.
PALIN: And on the issues like taxes and energy and health care, immigration, education, we will not lack for opportunities to serve and to lead and to show the way.
If the new Congress and president err on the side, for instance, of excess taxes, then it will be falling on us to show them a better way.
In our federalist system, we governors have one of the greatest powers there is in an democracy, and that is the power of example. And we in the RGA must use that power to create the growth and the opportunities and the jobs that come from lower taxes and more efficient bureaucracy for everyone.
Now, some things that we need to keep our eye on. If I remember correctly from the campaign, the new president and the congressional majority, they have their own ideas about energy policy. I didn't hear a lot from them about actual production of U.S. energy supplies that we need now to protect our economy and our nation from reliance on foreign cartels and dictators, those who use energy as a weapon.
Maybe, though, the fact of having final responsibility for energy policy will change their outlook. But if not, then, again, it will be left for the states, for us to point the way.
And from the North Slope oil fields of Alaska to the outer continental shelf of Florida, we will press on with the great work of achieving energy security, and we can do this, we have to do this. We have the American energy sources, conventional and alternative. And we can bring it about by American ingenuity and we're going to produce it by American workers, and we can do this.
Other issues that we work on every day in our jobs in public service -- when it comes to, for instance, health care, the goal of affordable, accessible care is a goal that we all share. But there still are serious differences about how we reach this.
While Congress, led by Pelosi and Reid and some of the other Democrat leaders -- Barney Frank, et cetera -- and the new president -- while they all debate it, we in the states can still advance our reforms to expand choices and increase competition.
And I'm not going to assume that the answer if for the federal government to just take it over and try to run America's health care system -- Heaven forbid.
Governors, let's lead on this reform front too, with medical savings accounts -- those ideas -- and transparency and medical record keeping and elimination of CONs (ph) and barriers to more choices. Let's just get it done, and, again, show the federal government the way.
And, now, finally in every great reform effort there is an element of self-reform. And Republicans cannot shy away from that challenge either. We must see reform within.
The costs of war and security alone -- that cannot explain a federal debt that's grown to more than $10 trillion. Washington, D.C., leaders spent public money in disregard of the public interest, just like the opponents that they used to criticize.
PALIN: They got too comfortable in power. Maybe they forgot why they were sent to Washington and who they were sent to serve.
We're looking now at an American people having to work for their government instead of our government working for the people. And enough -- enough of that.
All of this must change if we are to lead again in Washington, in changing Washington for the better. So in the months ahead, let us build our case with actions and not just words. Let us reclaim our good name as the party of spending restraint and limited government and economic opportunity and personal freedom and responsibility and American tradition. Let us be true to our beliefs, strong in the defense of the weak, unafraid to speak for American ideals, and firm in our support for the men and women who defend those ideals in a dangerous world. And in all that we do, let us carry ourselves with good will and confidence and with a servant's heart. Let's lead by example.
A week ago, America did make her choice. And as for us, with a strong group of leaders here, our convictions, our loyalties, our hopes for this country remain the same, I am sure.
In respect to our presidential campaign, now it is time for us to go our own way and leaving neither bitter nor vanquished, but instead confident in the knowledge that there will be another day, and we will gather once more with new strength. We'll rise to fight again.
In the meantime, governors, I know -- RGA -- we're going to be walking the walk of true reform within our states. We will lead by example. The nation needs us.
And, I say, God bless you, in your states, and thank you for all you are doing for this great country. And we're going to step it up even more.
So, RGA, thank you guys. God bless you.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/15/2008 05:12:00 PM
Friday, November 14, 2008
Federal Hall National Memorial
New York, New York
1:58 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Please be seated. Thank you. Larry, thank you for the introduction. Thank you for giving Laura and me a chance to come to this historic hall to talk about a big issue facing the world. And today I appreciate you giving me a chance to come and for me to outline the steps that America and our partners are taking and are going to take to overcome this financial crisis.
And I thank the Manhattan Institute for all you have done. I appreciate the fact that I am here in a fabulous city to give this speech. (Applause.) People say, are you confident about our future? And the answer is, absolutely. And it's easy to be confident when you're a city like New York City. After all, there's an unbelievable spirit in this city. This is a city whose skyline has offered immigrants their first glimpse of freedom. This is a city where people rallied when that freedom came under attack. This is a city whose capital markets have attracted investments from around the world and financed the dreams of entrepreneurs all across America. This is a city that has been and will always be the financial capital of the world. (Applause.)
And I am grateful to be in the presence of two men who serve ably and nobly New York City -- Mayor Koch and Mayor Giuliani. Thank you all for coming. Glad you're here. (Applause.) I thank the Manhattan Institute Board of Trustees and its Chairman Paul Singer for doing good work, being a good policy center. (Applause.) And before I begin, I must say, I would hope that Ray Kelly would tell New York's finest how much I appreciate the incredible hospitality that we are always shown here in New York City. You're the head of a fabulous police force, and we thank you very much, sir. (Applause.)
We live in a world in which our economies are interconnected. Prosperity and progress have reached farther than any time in our history. Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent months, financial turmoil anywhere in the world affects economies everywhere in the world. And so this weekend I'm going to host a Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy with leaders from developed and developing nations that account for nearly 90 percent of the world economy. Leaders of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the Financial Stability Forum are going to be there, as well. We'll have dinner at the White House tomorrow night, and we'll meet most of the day on Saturday.
The leaders attending this weekend's meeting agree on a clear purpose -- to address the current crisis, and to lay the foundation for reforms that will help prevent a similar crisis in the future. We also agree that this undertaking is too large to be accomplished in a single session. The issues are too complex, the problem is too significant to try to solve, or to come up with reasonable recommendations in just one meeting. So this summit will be the first of a series of meetings.
It will focus on five key objectives: understanding the causes of the global crisis, reviewing the effectiveness of our responses thus far, developing principles for reforming our financial and regulatory systems, launching a specific action plan to implement those principles, and reaffirming our conviction that free market principles offer the surest path to lasting prosperity. (Applause.)
First, we're working toward a common understanding of the causes behind the global crisis. Different countries will naturally bring different perspectives, but there are some points on which we can all agree:
Over the past decade, the world experienced a period of strong economic growth. Nations accumulated huge amounts of savings, and looked for safe places to invest them. Because of our attractive political, legal, and entrepreneurial climates, the United States and other developed nations received a large share of that money.
The massive inflow of foreign capital, combined with low interest rates, produced a period of easy credit. And that easy credit especially affected the housing market. Flush with cash, many lenders issued mortgages and many borrowers could not afford them. Financial institutions then purchased these loans, packaged them together, and converted them into complex securities designed to yield large returns. These securities were then purchased by investors and financial institutions in the United States and Europe and elsewhere -- often with little analysis of their true underlying value.
The financial crisis was ignited when booming housing markets began to decline. As home values dropped, many borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, and institutions holding securities backed by those mortgages suffered serious losses. Because of outdated regulatory structures and poor risk management practices, many financial institutions in America and Europe were too highly leveraged. When capital ran short, many faced severe financial jeopardy. This led to high-profile failures of financial institutions in America and Europe, led to contractions and widespread anxiety -- all of which contributed to sharp declines in the equity markets.
These developments have placed a heavy burden on hardworking people around the world. Stock market drops have eroded the value of retirement accounts and pension funds. The tightening of credit has made it harder for families to borrow money for cars or home improvements or education of the children. Businesses have found it harder to get loans to expand their operations and create jobs. Many nations have suffered job losses, and have serious concerns about the worsening economy. Developing nations have been hit hard as nervous investors have withdrawn their capital.
We are faced with the prospect of a global meltdown. And so we've responded with bold measures. I'm a market-oriented guy, but not when I'm faced with the prospect of a global meltdown. At Saturday's summit, we're going to review the effectiveness of our actions.
Here in the United States, we have taken unprecedented steps to boost liquidity, recapitalize financial institutions, guarantee most new debt issued by insured banks, and prevent the disorderly collapse of large, interconnected enterprises. These were historic actions taken necessary to make -- necessary so that the economy would not melt down and affect millions of our fellow citizens.
In Europe, governments are also purchasing equity in banks and providing government guarantees for loans. In Asia, nations like China and Japan and South Korea have lowered interest rates and have launched significant economic stimulus plans. In the Middle East, nations like Kuwait and the UAE have guaranteed deposits and opened up new government lending to banks.
In addition, nations around the world have taken unprecedented joint measures. Last month, a number of central banks carried out a coordinated interest rate cut. The Federal Reserve is extending needed liquidity to central banks around the world. The IMF and World Bank are working to ensure that developing nations can weather this crisis.
This crisis did not develop overnight, and it's not going to be solved overnight. But our actions are having an impact. Credit markets are beginning to thaw. Businesses are gaining access to essential short-term financing. A measure of stability is returning to financial systems here at home and around the world. It's going to require more time for these improvements to fully take hold, and there's going to be difficult days ahead. But the United States and our partner are taking the right steps to get through this crisis.
In addition to addressing the current crisis, we will also need to make broader reforms to strengthen the global economy over the long term. This weekend, leaders will establish principles for adapting our financial systems to the realities of the 21st century marketplace. We will discuss specific actions we can take to implement these principles. We will direct our finance ministers to work with other experts and report back to us with detailed recommendations on further reasonable actions.
One vital principle of reform is that our nations must make our financial markets more transparent. For example, we should consider improving accounting rules for securities, so that investors around the world can understand the true value of the assets they purchase.
Secondly, we must ensure that markets, firms, and financial products are properly regulated. For example, credit default swaps -- financial products that insure against potential losses -- should be processed through centralized clearinghouses instead of through unregulated, "over the counter" markets. By bringing greater stability to this large and important financial sector, we reduce the risk to our overall financial systems.
Third, we must enhance the integrity of our financial markets. For example, authorities in every nation should take a fresh look at the rules governing market manipulation and fraud -- and ensure that investors are properly protected.
Fourth, we must strengthen cooperation among the world's financial authorities. For example, leading nations should better coordinate national laws and regulations. We should also reform international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, which are based largely on the economic order of 1944. To better reflect the realities of today's global economy, both the IMF and World Bank should modernize their governance structures. They should consider extending greater voter -- voting power to dynamic developing nations, especially as they increase their contributions to these institutions. They should consider ways to streamline their executive boards, and make them more representative.
In addition to these important -- to these management changes, we should move forward with other reforms to make the IMF and World Bank more transparent, accountable, and effective. For example, the IMF should agree to work more closely with member countries to ensure that their exchange rate policies are market-oriented and fair. And the World Bank should ensure its development programs reflect the priorities of the people they are designed to serve -- and focus on measurable results.
All these steps require decisive actions from governments around the world. At the same time, we must recognize that government intervention is not a cure-all. For example, some blame the crisis on insufficient regulation of the American mortgage market. But many European countries had much more extensive regulations, and still experienced problems almost identical to our own.
History has shown that the greater threat to economic prosperity is not too little government involvement in the market, it is too much government involvement in the market. (Applause.) We saw this in the case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because these firms were chartered by the United States Congress, many believed they were backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Investors put huge amounts of money into Fannie and Freddie, which they used to build up irresponsibly large portfolios of mortgage-backed securities. And when the housing market declined, these securities, of course, plummeted in value. It took a taxpayer-funded rescue to keep Fannie and Freddie from collapsing in a way that would have devastated the global financial system. And there is a clear lesson: Our aim should not be more government -- it should be smarter government.
All this leads to the most important principle that should guide our work: While reforms in the financial sector are essential, the long-term solution to today's problems is sustained economic growth. And the surest path to that growth is free markets and free people. (Applause.)
This is a decisive moment for the global economy. In the wake of the financial crisis, voices from the left and right are equating the free enterprise system with greed and exploitation and failure. It's true this crisis included failures -- by lenders and borrowers and by financial firms and by governments and independent regulators. But the crisis was not a failure of the free market system. And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system. It is to fix the problems we face, make the reforms we need, and move forward with the free market principles that have
delivered prosperity and hope to people all across the globe.
Like any other system designed by man, capitalism is not perfect. It can be subject to excesses and abuse. But it is by far the most efficient and just way of structuring an economy. At its most basic level, capitalism offers people the freedom to choose where they work and what they do, the opportunity to buy or sell products they want, and the dignity that comes with profiting from their talent and hard work. The free market system provides the incentives that lead to prosperity -- the incentive to work, to innovate, to save, to invest wisely, and to create jobs for others. And as millions of people pursue these incentives together, whole societies benefit.
Free market capitalism is far more than economic theory. It is the engine of social mobility -- the highway to the American Dream. It's what makes it possible for a husband and wife to start their own business, or a new immigrant to open a restaurant, or a single mom to go back to college and to build a better career. It is what allowed entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to change the way the world sells products and searches for information. It's what transformed America from a rugged frontier to the greatest economic power in history -- a nation that gave the world the steamboat and the airplane, the computer and the CAT scan, the Internet and
Ultimately, the best evidence for free market capitalism is its performance compared to other economic systems. Free markets allowed Japan, an island with few natural resources, to recover from war and grow into the world's second-largest economy. Free markets allowed South Korea to make itself into one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world. Free markets turned small areas like Singapore and Hong Kong and Taiwan into global economic players. Today, the success of the world's largest economies comes from their embrace of free markets.
Meanwhile, nations that have pursued other models have experienced devastating results. Soviet communism starved millions, bankrupted an empire, and collapsed as decisively as the Berlin Wall. Cuba, once known for its vast fields of cane, is now forced to ration sugar. And while Iran sits atop giant oil reserves, its people cannot put enough gasoline in its -- in their cars.
The record is unmistakable: If you seek economic growth, if you seek opportunity, if you seek social justice and human dignity, the free market system is the way to go. (Applause.) And it would be a terrible mistake to allow a few months of crisis to undermine 60 years of success.
Just as important as maintaining free markets within countries is maintaining the free movement of goods and services between countries. When nations open their markets to trade and investment, their businesses and farmers and workers find new buyers for their products. Consumers benefit from more choices and better prices. Entrepreneurs can get their ideas off the ground with funding from anywhere in the world. Thanks in large part to open markets, the volume of global trade today is nearly 30 times greater than it was six decades ago -- and some of the most dramatic gains have come in the developing world.
As President, I have seen the transformative power of trade up close. I've been to a Caterpillar factory in East Peoria, Illinois, where thousands of good-paying American jobs are supported by exports. I've walked the grounds of a trade fair in Ghana, where I met women who support their families by exporting handmade dresses and jewelry. I've spoken with a farmer in Guatemala who decided to grow high-value crops he could sell overseas -- and helped create more than 1,000 jobs.
Stories like these show why it is so important to keep markets open to trade and investment. This openness is especially urgent during times of economic strain. Shortly after the stock market crash in 1929, Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley tariff -- a protectionist measure designed to wall off America's economy from global competition. The result was not economic security. It was economic ruin. And leaders around the world must keep this example in mind, and reject the temptation of protectionism. (Applause.)
There are clear-cut ways for nations to demonstrate the commitment to open markets. The United States Congress has an immediate opportunity by approving free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru*, and South Korea. America and other wealthy nations must also ensure this crisis does not become an excuse to reverse our engagement with the developing world. And developing nations should continue policies that foster enterprise and investment. As well, all nations should pledge to conclude a framework this year that leads to a successful Doha agreement.
We're facing this challenge together and we're going to get through it together. The United States is determined to show the way back to economic growth and prosperity. I know some may question whether America's leadership in the global economy will continue. The world can be confident that it will, because our markets are flexible and we can rebound from setbacks. We saw that resilience in the 1940s, when America pulled itself out of Depression, marshaled a powerful army, and helped save the world from tyranny. We saw that resilience in the 1980s, when Americans overcame gas lines, turned stagflation into strong economic growth, and won the Cold War. We saw that resilience after September the 11th, 2001, when our nation recovered from a brutal attack, revitalized our shaken economy, and rallied the forces of freedom in the great ideological struggle of the 21st century.
The world will see the resilience of America once again. We will work with our partners to correct the problems in the global financial system. We will rebuild our economic strength. And we will continue to lead the world toward prosperity and peace.
Thanks for coming and God bless. (Applause.)
END 2:22 P.M. EST
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/14/2008 11:20:00 AM
Mythology of the Minimum Wage
by D.W. MacKenzie | Posted on 5/3/2006
Once again politicians and pundits are calling for increases in the legal minimum wage. Their reasons are familiar. Market wages are supposedly immoral. People need to earn a "living wage." If the minimum wage went up at least to $7, or better still to near $10 an hour, millions would be lifted out of poverty.
The economic case against minimum wage laws is simple. Employers pay a wage no higher than the value of an additional hour's work. Raising minimum wages forces employers to dismiss low productivity workers. This policy has the largest affect on those with the least education, job experience, and maturity. Consequently, we should expect minimum wage laws to affect teenagers and those with less education. Eliminating minimum wage laws would reduce unemployment and improve the efficiency of markets for low productivity labor.
There are a few economists who have been leading the charge for higher minimum wages. Some of these economists have obvious ideological leanings. Economists connected with the Left -orientated Economic Policy Institute and the Clinton Administration have concocted a rational for minimum wage increases. According to these economists higher wages make employees more content with their jobs, and this leads to higher worker productivity. Thus workers will be worth paying a minimum wage once their employers are forced to pay these wages. Of course, if this were true — if employers could get higher productivity out of less educated and experienced workers by paying higher wages — they would be willing to do this without minimum wage legislation. But the economists who make this case claim to have empirical evidence that proves them right. Economists David Card and Alan Krueger have published studies of the fast food industry indicated that small increases in the minimum wage would cause only minor job losses, and might even increase employment slightly in some instances. These studies by Card and Krueger show only that a small increase in minimum wage rates might not cause much of an increase in unemployment. Such studies ignore the fact that the current level of minimum wages are already causing significant unemployment for some workers.
The economic case for minimum wage increases has gained some ground with public and even professional opinion. Even some free market leaning economists, like Steven Landsburg, have conceded that minimum wages increases do not affect employment significantly. Landsburg notes that critics of minimum wage laws emphasize that they have a disproportionate effect on teens and blacks. But he dismisses these critics because "minimum wages have at most a tiny impact on employment … The minimum wage kills very few jobs, and the jobs it kills were lousy jobs anyway. It is almost impossible to maintain the old argument that minimum wages are bad for minimum-wage workers."
Real statistics indicate that the critics of minimum wage laws were right all along. While it is true that minimum wages do not drive the national unemployment rate up to astronomical levels, it does adversely affect teenagers and ethnic minorities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate for everyone over the age of 16 was 5.6% in 2005. Yet unemployment was 17.3% for those aged 16-19 years. For those aged 16-17 unemployment was 19.7%. In the 18-19 age group unemployment was 15.8%. Minimum wage laws do affect ethnic minorities more so than others. The unemployment rate for white teens in the 16-17 age group was 17.3% in 2005. The same figures for Hispanic and black teens were 25% and 40.9% respectively. Of course, these figures decrease for older minorities. Blacks aged 18-19 and 20-24 had 25.7% and 19.9% unemployment in 2005. For Hispanics unemployment was slightly lower — 17.8% at age 18-19 and 9.6% at age 20-24.
Landsburg might maintain that most of these lost jobs are lousy jobs that teens will not miss. DeLong thinks that minimum wage laws can help to avert poverty — workers who keep their jobs at the minimum wage gain much, while unemployed workers lose little. Part of the problem with this argument is that it involves arbitrary value judgments. According to mainstream economic theory, we achieve economic efficiency when markets clear because this is how we realize all gains from trade. With teen unemployment in double digits — running as high as 40.9% — it is obvious that some labor markets are not clearing. If labor market imperfections led to such levels of unemployment, economists like DeLong, Card, and Krueger would call for government intervention to correct these "market failures." Yet they find double digit teen unemployment acceptable when it derives from government intervention. Why? Because they want to use such policies to redistribute income.
Mainstream economic theory lacks any basis for judging the effects of income redistribution. According to textbook economics we attain the highest level of economic efficiency when markets clear, when we realize the maximum gains from mutually advantageous trade. Income transfers benefit some at the expense of others. Economists have no scientific methods for comparing gains and losses through income transfers. Once economists depart from discussing efficiency conditions and begin to speak about income redistribution, they become advocates of a political agenda, rather than objective scientists. The jobs lost to minimum wage laws might not seem worthwhile to DeLong or Landsburg, but they obviously are worthwhile to the workers and employers whom these laws affect. Why should the value judgments of a few armchair economists matter more than the interests of would be employees and employers? These jobs may be "lousy jobs," but one could also argue that these jobs are quite important because they are a first step in gaining job experience and learning adult responsibility.
A second problem with the case against minimum wages is that they affect older workers too. As already noted, workers in the 20-24 age group appear to be affected by minimum wage laws. Unemployment rates in the 25-34 age group are higher than for the 35-44 age group. The unemployment rate for blacks and Hispanics aged 25-34 were 11.1% and 5.8% in 2005. Unemployment for whites and Asians in this age group were 4.4% and 3.5%. In the 35-44 age group the unemployment rates for these four ethnicities were 7.2%., 5.1%, 4.4%, and 2.7%. A comparison of black to Asian unemployment is revealing. In the United States, Asians tend to attain higher levels of education than blacks. Thus minimum wage laws are relatively unimportant to Asian Americans. Consequently, Asians are able to attain unemployment as low as the 2-3% range. For Asians aged 16+ the unemployment rate was only 3.3% in 2005. For Asians in the 20-24 age group unemployment was 5.1%. These figures are only a fraction of the unemployment rates experienced by blacks in 2005. There is no reason why white, Hispanic, and black Americans cannot also reach the 2-3% range of unemployment.
Supporters of minimum wage laws do not realize that prior to minimum wage laws the national unemployment rate did fall well below 5%. According to the US Census, national unemployment rates were 3.3% in 1927, 1.8% in 1926, 3.2% in 1925, 2.4% in 1923, 1.4% in 1919 and 1918, 2.8% in 1907, 1.7% in 1906, and 3.7% in 1902.
Even today, some states have unemployment rates as low as 3%. Virginia now has an unemployment rate of 3.1%. Wyoming has an unemployment rate of 2.9%. Hawaii has an unemployment rate of 2.6%. National unemployment rates seldom drop below 5% because some categories of workers are stuck with double digit unemployment. Given these figures, it is quite arguable that minimum wage laws keep the national unemployment rate 3 percentage points higher than would otherwise be the case.
|It's all about control: $22|
Economist Arthur Okun estimated that for every 1% increase in unemployment GDP falls by 2.5-3%. If minimum wage laws are responsible for keeping the national unemployment rate 3 percentage points above where it would otherwise be, then the losses to minimum wage unemployment are substantial. Since Okun's law is an empirical proposition it is certainly not constant. Eliminating minimum wages might not increase GDP as much as this "law" indicates. However, the elimination of minimum wage laws would surely have a positive effect on GDP. In any case, economic theory and available data indicate that minimum wage laws do result in economic inefficiency. The implementation of a "living wage" would only increase these losses. Do proponents of living wages really want to see unemployment rates among ethnic minorities and teens climb even higher?
The economic case for a living wage is unfounded. Current minimum wage rates do create high levels of unemployment among low productivity workers. Higher "living wages" would only make these problems worse. The alleged moral case for a living wage ignores the fact that minimum wage increases adversely affect the very people whom advocates of living wages intend to help. If politicians wish to pursue sound policies, they should consider repealing minimum wage laws, especially where teens are concerned. Unfortunately, most politicians care more about political expediencies than sound economic policy. This being the case, minimum wages will increase unless public opinion changes significantly.
 This is likely due to the poor quality of many inner city public schools.
 It is worth noting that Landsburg opposes redistribution via minimum wage laws.
 This would require interpersonal comparisons of welfare. Robbins (1933) proved that such comparisons are unscientific.
 US Bureau of the Census Historical Statistics p135.
Translation: Unless the idiots who simplisticly believe a higher minimum wage helps the poor, the poor will continue to be the people that are being hurt by these politicaly driven, economically unsupported laws.
I did a analysis myself by comparing the state unemployment rates with the minimum wage (see below). Not surpisingly, the states with the lowest unemployment have the lowest minimum wage and visa-versa (generally speaking). There are some exceptions--for example, the southern states with high concentrations of low skilled workers will always have high unemployment rates. Hawaii will always have low unemployment rates because of its uniqueness. But the data is absolutely clear--for example, 14 of the states in the bottom 24 of the unemployment rate have the lowest minimum wage. Conversely, 17 of the states in the highest 25 in unemployment rates also in the top half of the rates of minimum wage.
Its no accident that California which is a liberal state and has the highest minimum wage laws and the most onerous employment laws always has one of the highest unemployment rates.
The "Wage Rank) is from lowest to highest minimum wage--obviously there area lot of ties for places since many states go by the federal minimum wage. I also replaced wages that were lower (due to exceptions to the wage rates) with the federal minimum.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/14/2008 10:52:00 AM
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Kofi Annan, Mandela on Obama’s victory
13 November 2008
From city squares to remote villages, many citizens of the world cheered the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is from the West African nation of Ghana, said the vote was a historic event that he'd never expected in his lifetime. He said Obama's victory demonstrates "America's extraordinary capacity to renew itself and adapt to a changing world."
For Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, the election of America's first black commander in chief is a symbol of hope. Mandela has sent Obama a letter of congratulations saying that Obama's win shows that anyone in the world can "dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place."
In France, a human rights minister hailed the occasion as "the fall of the Berlin Wall times ten." He said today "we all want to be American."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/13/2008 08:17:00 AM
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Conservative Political Action Conference
March 1, 1975
Since our last meeting we have been through a disastrous election. It is easy for us to be discouraged, as pundits hail that election as a repudiation of our philosophy and even as a mandate of some kind or other. But the significance of the election was not registered by those who voted, but by those who stayed home. If there was anything like a mandate it will be found among almost two-thirds of the citizens who refused to participate.
Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now we have preached “the gospel,” in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism which was, in truth, a call to collectivism.
Now, it is possible we have been persuasive to a greater degree than we had ever realized. Few, if any, Democratic party candidates in the last election ran as liberals. Listening to them I had the eerie feeling we were hearing reruns of Goldwater speeches. I even thought I heard a few of my own.
Bureaucracy was assailed and fiscal responsibility hailed. Even George McGovern donned sackcloth and ashes and did penance for the good people of South Dakota.
But let’s not be so naive as to think we are witnessing a mass conversion to the principles of conservatism. Once sworn into office, the victors reverted to type. In their view, apparently, the ends justified the means.
The “Young Turks” had campaigned against “evil politicians.” They turned against committee chairmen of their own party, displaying a taste and talent as cutthroat power politicians quite in contrast to their campaign rhetoric and idealism. Still, we must not forget that they molded their campaigning to fit what even they recognized was the mood of the majority.
And we must see to it that the people are reminded of this as they now pursue their ideological goals—and pursue them they will.
I know you are aware of the national polls which show that a greater (and increasing) number of Americans—Republicans, Democrats and independents—classify themselves as “conservatives” than ever before. And a poll of rank-and-file union members reveals dissatisfaction with the amount of power their own leaders have assumed, and a resentment of their use of that power for partisan politics. Would it shock you to know that in that poll 68 percent of rank-and-file union members of this country came out endorsing right-to-work legislation?
These polls give cause for some optimism, but at the same time reveal a confusion that exists and the need for a continued effort to “spread the word.”
In another recent survey, of 35,000 college and university students polled, three-fourths blame American business and industry for all of our economic and social ills. The same three-fourths think the answer is more (and virtually complete) regimentation and government control of all phases of business—including the imposition of wage and price controls. Yet, 80 percent in the same poll want less government interference in their own lives!
In 1972 the people of this country had a clear-cut choice, based on the issues—to a greater extent than any election in half a century. In overwhelming numbers they ignored party labels, not so much to vote for a man or even a policy as to repudiate a philosophy. In doing so they repudiated that final step into the welfare state—that call for the confiscation and redistribution of their earnings on a scale far greater than what we now have. They repudiated the abandonment of national honor and a weakening of this nation’s ability to protect itself.
A study has been made that is so revealing that I’m not surprised it has been ignored by a certain number of political commentators and columnists. The political science department of Georgetown University researched the mandate of the 1972 election and recently presented its findings at a seminar.
Taking several major issues which, incidentally, are still the issues of the day, they polled rank-and-file members of the Democratic party on their approach to these problems. Then they polled the delegates to the two major national conventions—the leaders of the parties.
They found the delegates to the Republican convention almost identical in their responses to those of the rank-and-file Republicans. Yet, the delegates to the Democratic convention were miles apart from the thinking of their own party members.
The mandate of 1972 still exists. The people of America have been confused and disturbed by events since that election, but they hold an unchanged philosophy.
Our task is to make them see that what we represent is identical to their own hopes and dreams of what America can and should be. If there are questions as to whether the principles of conservatism hold up in practice, we have the answers to them. Where conservative principles have been tried, they have worked. Gov. Meldrim Thomson is making them work in New Hampshire; so is Arch Moore in West Virginia and Mills Godwin in Virginia. Jack Williams made them work in Arizona and I’m sure Jim Edwards will in South Carolina.
If you will permit me, I can recount my own experience in California.
When I went to Sacramento eight years ago, I had the belief that government was no deep, dark mystery, that it could be operated efficiently by using the same common sense practiced in our everyday life, in our homes, in business and private affairs.
The “lab test” of my theory – California—was pretty messed up after eight years of a road show version of the Great Society. Our first and only briefing came from the outgoing director of finance, who said: “We’re spending $1 million more a day than we’re taking in. I have a golf date. Good luck!” That was the most cheerful news we were to hear for quite some time.
California state government was increasing by about 5,000 new employees a year. We were the welfare capital of the world with 16 percent of the nation’s caseload. Soon, California’s caseload was increasing by 40,000 a month.
We turned to the people themselves for help. Two hundred and fifty experts in the various fields volunteered to serve on task forces at no cost to the taxpayers. They went into every department of state government and came back with 1,800 recommendations on how modern business practices could be used to make government more efficient. We adopted 1,600 of them.
We instituted a policy of “cut, squeeze and trim” and froze the hiring of employees as replacements for retiring employees or others leaving state service.
After a few years of struggling with the professional welfarists, we again turned to the people. First, we obtained another task force and, when the legislature refused to help implement its recommendations, we presented the recommendations to the electorate.
It still took some doing. The legislature insisted our reforms would not work; that the needy would starve in the streets; that the workload would be dumped on the counties; that property taxes would go up and that we’d run up a deficit the first year of $750 million.
That was four years ago. Today, the needy have had an average increase of 43 percent in welfare grants in California, but the taxpayers have saved $2 billion by the caseload not increasing that 40,000 a month. Instead, there are some 400,000 fewer on welfare today than then.
Forty of the state’s 58 counties have reduced property taxes for two years in a row (some for three). That $750-million deficit turned into an $850-million surplus which we returned to the people in a one-time tax rebate. That wasn’t easy. One state senator described that rebate as “an unnecessary expenditure of public funds.”
For more than two decades governments—federal, state, local—have been increasing in size two-and-a-half times faster than the population increase. In the last 10 years they have increased the cost in payroll seven times as fast as the increase in numbers.
We have just turned over to a new administration in Sacramento a government virtually the same size it was eight years ago. With the state’s growth rate, this means that government absorbed a workload increase, in some departments as much as 66 percent.
We also turned over—for the first time in almost a quarter of a century—a balanced budget and a surplus of $500 million. In these eight years just passed, we returned to the people in rebates, tax reductions and bridge toll reductions $5.7 billion. All of this is contrary to the will of those who deplore conservatism and profess to be liberals, yet all of it is pleasing to its citizenry.
Make no mistake, the leadership of the Democratic party is still out of step with the majority of Americans.
Speaker Carl Albert recently was quoted as saying that our problem is “60 percent recession, 30 percent inflation and 10 percent energy.” That makes as much sense as saying two and two make 22.
Without inflation there would be no recession. And unless we curb inflation we can see the end of our society and economic system. The painful fact is we can only halt inflation by undergoing a period of economic dislocation—a recession, if you will.
We can take steps to ease the suffering of some who will be hurt more than others, but if we turn from fighting inflation and adopt a program only to fight recession we are on the road to disaster.
In his first address to Congress, the president asked Congress to join him in an all-out effort to balance the budget. I think all of us wish that he had re-issued that speech instead of this year’s budget message.
What side can be taken in a debate over whether the deficit should be $52 billion or $70 billion or $80 billion preferred by the profligate Congress?
Inflation has one cause and one cause only: government spending more than government takes in. And the cure to inflation is a balanced budget. We know, of course, that after 40 years of social tinkering and Keynesian experimentation that we can’t do this all at once, but it can be achieved. Balancing the budget is like protecting your virtue: you have to learn to say “no.”
This is no time to repeat the shopworn panaceas of the New Deal, the Fair Deal and the Great Society. John Kenneth Galbraith, who, in my opinion, is living proof that economics is an inexact science, has written a new book. It is called “Economics and the Public Purpose.” In it, he asserts that market arrangements in our economy have given us inadequate housing, terrible mass transit, poor health care and a host of other miseries. And then, for the first time to my knowledge, he advances socialism as the answer to our problems.
Shorn of all side issues and extraneous matter, the problem underlying all others is the worldwide contest for the hearts and minds of mankind. Do we find the answers to human misery in freedom as it is known, or do we sink into the deadly dullness of the Socialist ant heap?
Those who suggest that the latter is some kind of solution are, I think, open to challenge. Let’s have no more theorizing when actual comparison is possible. There is in the world a great nation, larger than ours in territory and populated with 250 million capable people. It is rich in resources and has had more than 50 uninterrupted years to practice socialism without opposition.
We could match them, but it would take a little doing on our part. We’d have to cut our paychecks back by 75 percent; move 60 million workers back to the farm; abandon two-thirds of our steel-making capacity; destroy 40 million television sets; tear up 14 of every 15 miles of highway; junk 19 of every 20 automobiles; tear up two-thirds of our railroad track; knock down 70 percent of our houses; and rip out nine out of every 10 telephones. Then, all we have to do is find a capitalist country to sell us wheat on credit to keep us from starving!
Our people are in a time of discontent. Our vital energy supplies are threatened by possibly the most powerful cartel in human history. Our traditional allies in Western Europe are experiencing political and economic instability bordering on chaos.
We seem to be increasingly alone in a world grown more hostile, but we let our defenses shrink to pre-Pearl Harbor levels. And we are conscious that in Moscow the crash build-up of arms continues. The SALT II agreement in Vladivostok, if not re-negotiated, guarantees the Soviets a clear missile superiority sufficient to make a “first strike” possible, with little fear of reprisal. Yet, too many congressmen demand further cuts in our own defenses, including delay if not cancellation of the B-1 bomber.
I realize that millions of Americans are sick of hearing about Indochina, and perhaps it is politically unwise to talk of our obligation to Cambodia and South Vietnam. But we pledged—in an agreement that brought our men home and freed our prisoners—to give our allies arms and ammunition to replace on a one-for-one basis what they expend in resisting the aggression of the Communists who are violating the cease-fire and are fully aided by their Soviet and Red Chinese allies. Congress has already reduced the appropriation to half of what they need and threatens to reduce it even more.
Can we live with ourselves if we, as a nation, betray our friends and ignore our pledged word? And, if we do, who would ever trust us again? To consider committing such an act so contrary to our deepest ideals is symptomatic of the erosion of standards and values. And this adds to our discontent.
We did not seek world leadership; it was thrust upon us. It has been our destiny almost from the first moment this land was settled. If we fail to keep our rendezvous with destiny or, as John Winthrop said in 1630, “Deal falsely with our God,” we shall be made “a story and byword throughout the world.”
Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.
I don ‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party”—when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?
Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt.
Let us also include a permanent limit on the percentage of the people’s earnings government can take without their consent.
Let our banner proclaim a genuine tax reform that will begin by simplifying the income tax so that workers can compute their obligation without having to employ legal help.
And let it provide indexing—adjusting the brackets to the cost of living—so that an increase in salary merely to keep pace with inflation does not move the taxpayer into a surtax bracket. Failure to provide this means an increase in government’s share and would make the worker worse off than he was before he got the raise.
Let our banner proclaim our belief in a free market as the greatest provider for the people.
Let us also call for an end to the nit-picking, the harassment and over-regulation of business and industry which restricts expansion and our ability to compete in world markets.
Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine.
Our banner must recognize the responsibility of government to protect the law-abiding, holding those who commit misdeeds personally accountable.
And we must make it plain to international adventurers that our love of peace stops short of “peace at any price.”
We will maintain whatever level of strength is necessary to preserve our free way of life.
A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/12/2008 02:03:00 PM
Nov 10, 2008
Preparing the American people for a presidency that will be far less than presidential, Barack Obama gave his first dual-presidency speech and decided to "dis" former First Lady Nancy Reagan. During his Friday press conference, billed as a "major economic message" on the horrific economic problems we no face-caused by Democrats in the first place-Prez-elect Obama said "I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances." The problem with this, of course, is that Mrs. Reagan never conducted séances in the White House. But, former First Lady and now Democrat NY Senator Hillary Clinton did. Obama's statement was not only factually wrong, it was sophomoric and not even close to be presidential or statesmanlike. But, it did give us a clear picture and set the tone for what will most likely be the most mean-spirited and suppressive presidential regime in US history. Note: The mainstream Obama media has failed-as was to be expected and will now become even more their norm of not reporting anything negative about their secular savior-to call their messiah out on his lie.
I also anticipate that any and/or all references to the truth about Barack Hussein Obama will soon-if it has not already started-begin to disappear from Internet search engines. The last days of the current presidency may prove to be the last days of freedom and liberty for the American people. Despite all of the smears against President Bush and dire warnings of "oppression" and end to free speech from the Left, there was never any oppression or silencing of speech from the Bush administration. It never happened. However, Obama began his usage of the State to silence his opponents-even those US citizens who merely asked him questions he doesn't like-before he was elected. Obama's followers used the State of Ohio to begin investigations of "Joe the Plumber" for asking the messiah a question that forced him to answer with the truth-that he will 'redistribute people's wealth' to those Obama feels are more deserving. When journalist Barbara West asked Obama's Vice-Prophet Joe Biden if Obama's spread-the-wealth statement echoed Karl Marx, Biden and the Obama's campaign became incensed. That same day, Obama's media began investigating both West and her husband to find any "dirt" they could. Note: Now that he is in power and his Party controls Congress it will only get worse. Abject suppression of Obama-opposers (via voice, writing and even thoughts) is on its way. And salivating at their new found wealth, members of the Democrat-run Congress are also in process of beginning to write legislation to steal US citizens' 401k. These are the same Democrats who destroyed them, in the first place! As a nation and a people, we have little time left.
Obama has already told us he will implement his Civilian National Security Forces (can you say "Gestapo?") that he wants to be as large as the US Military. His "Obama Youth" groups are being trained in the public school system. Obama's voter fraud unit ACORN will now become a part of his government. Democrat-run states, including Missouri and Pennsylvania, have already created chapters of the "Obama Truth Squads." The Ohio Democrat Secretary of State and Obama adherent-Jennifer Brunner-was allowed to get away with massive voter fraud. And, to add insult to injury, it appears that Obama is not even a natural-born US citizen-required of US presidents by the US Constitution. His supposed "official" birth certificate has been ordered sealed by the Governor of Hawaii, so that no one can examine it. To say there was/is a conspiracy in place to force the "election" of this man into the US presidency is the grossest of all understatements. Obama did not even have to prove his citizenship. The birth certificate he used was apparently a copy stating that an original birth certificate exists. But, no one-other than Obama and his family-is allowed to see and examine it.
The Marxist indoctrination and dumbing down of US citizens began decades ago in the US school system; apparently in preparation for this time in history. Now, for the first time in that history, an avowed Marxist and his minions have affected a coup d'etat upon the United States of America. And it has been affected with only the slightest of whimpers from the American people. For those of you who voted for Obama, your awakenings to the truth will be brutal and at some point you will realize you helped pull the trigger on the country's very existence. The problem is that you've shot into its heart and-this time-it probably cannot survive. " " ' ' ...
Obama Disrespects Nancy Reagan
Democrats destroy economy--blame Republicans
Obama Directly Tied to Voting Fraud Group
Brunner voter fraud
Obama birth certificate hidden and sealed
Democrats target 401k
Sher Zieve is an independent columnist
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/12/2008 11:20:00 AM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
What should the political parties do to improve the political process in the years ahead? There is endless criticism of Congress and the President of the United States, but little analysis directed to our political parties that actually produce all those officials. The final product gets all the criticism, and the machinery that produces it is almost ignored.
So I thought I'd offer up a few suggestions for both parties and then for the Republican Party in particular. I'm more interested in the Republican Party, as I now view the Democratic Party as one of the enemies of a free society. See my columns, "Handling the Enemies of a Free Society" (Nov. 5) and "The Democratic Party's Assault on Free Speech" (Nov. 6), both at the Bulletin's Web site, thebulletin.us.
The first problem is that the primary election process can't produce the best candidates because of the distortions of the mainstream media. Unfortunately for our democracy, the mainstream media has become a partisan and is no longer in the role of producing journalism to give the public the facts so it can make up its mind. The mainstream media makes up its mind, and then tries to defraud and brainwash the public into accepting its choice. That was neatly illustrated in both the primaries and then the general election. Those that relied on the mainstream media were getting campaign propaganda and not the facts needed to make an informed judgment. Consequently, we had an election that can be viewed as a coup, with the mainstream media playing a central and improper role in taking over the government by electing their candidate, the chosen one, Sen. Barack Obama.
Had the mainstream media given the public the facts on Sen. Sen. Obama, he would have never survived the Democratic primaries. Further, as Rush Limbaugh observed, the mainstream media has such heavy influence that it plays a decisive role in even the selection of the Republican nominee. That's why Sen. John McCain, a media darling (while criticizing his fellow Republicans and while not running in the general against a Democrat) may have ended up as the nominee rather than what Mr. Limbaugh calls a real Republican. The mainstream media sold Sen. McCain in the primaries, but of course, rejected him in the general election.
So if we are ever to get primaries and general elections that function as they are intended to, we somehow have to get more people to seek both sides of the issues from the alternative media. To correct the mainstream media problem, first of all, we have to put pressure on it to get back to basic journalistic principles and end their outpouring of dishonest, biased and fraudulent journalism. That requires a massive flood of complaints to all media outlets on mainstream media bias and a massive boycott of media outlets that so blatantly slant the news and defraud the public.
It also requires more education of the public about the importance of the alternative media and the conservative media, which are much closer to being fair and balanced than the mainstream media. Finally, it may require more effort by each political party, and especially the Republican Party, to do a more effective and extensive job of communicating campaign issues and material on the candidates. I'm convinced the Republicans could have devastated Sen. Obama's candidacy, if early on they would have fully documented his voting record (radical, leftist, liberal, socialist, extremist) and his associates (terrorists, bigots, racists, subversives, and even Tony Rezko, crook). However, they didn't do so to my knowledge, and Sen. McCain even made the game-changing blunder of taking Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright off the table. Maybe he wanted to play Mr. Nice Guy, maybe he wanted to avoid any hint of introducing the race issue, or maybe he was just plain stupid. The public should have been flooded with print and broadcast material on Sen. Obama's record and associates, and that would have doomed his candidacy almost at the outset.
The next thing the political parties have to do is to become more inclusive, in recruiting candidates and in helping those who are running. This matter came into sharp relief for me when I had a post-election conversation with Steve Kantrowitz, a retired two-star admiral and now a practicing lawyer, about his unsuccessful run, as a Republican, for the Pennsylvania state senate. This was his first run for office, and he came out of the experience with exactly what I encountered during my unsuccessful run for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate in 1974.
We both found that the party system tends to be a closed one, with a welcome out to only the inner circle of a good-old-boys' club. They view any outsider as a nuisance and not only don't give an outsider much help, but also may actually hinder his candidacy. This may be caused by a concern among party bosses that the outsider will not do the "right" thing and not favor large financial contributors to the party with patronage and votes. This closed system almost always assures mediocre candidates and not those that can bring excellence to the table.
Adm. Kantrowitz is a perfect example of the kind of excellence the political parties should be looking for in candidates. Here is a man who brought a distinguished 30-year career in the U.S. Navy to the table, coupled with a man who for eight years has been running a small business. He was a founding partner of a Philadelphia-based law firm with nine lawyers and eight other employees. As he pointed out in his campaign literature, it might be refreshing to have a state senator who has actually had to meet a payroll, to provide health insurance for employees, and to balance the budget of a successful business enterprise.
As Adm. Kantrowitz indicated in his campaign, the legislature should come closer to the old concept of the citizen-legislator, someone who brings a special kind of experience and expertise to the legislature, serves a few years, and then leaves. Instead, we tend to have professionals who stay forever, milk the system, work on their own behalf, stay as long as they can, grants themselves overly rich pensions and other perks, and have little time to serve the public and pay little attention to the public interest. Instead, their main focus is reelection and more benefits and fatter pensions. A candidate like Adm. Kantrowitz wasn't trying to drink at the public trough. He would have been better off financially by continuing to practice law and not run for office. But he wanted the special kind of public service provided by election to a legislative body.
Unfortunately for the state of Pennsylvania, Adm. Kantrowitz doesn't think he'll run again. I say that, as he is just the kind of legislator Pennsylvania needs. I might add his wife is sure he won't run again.
To bring about these changes in our political parties, more citizens will have to get involved as workers, activists, committeemen, candidates and donors. And for fundamental reforms there has to be activity all year long, not just a few weeks before election time. The parties have to more aggressively recruit candidates and others year round, and end the closed-club atmosphere that now pervades our two parties.
And now to get back to what the Republican Party has to do to regain power. Jeb Bush got it right back in February of 2007 when he said the party has to get back to principles they abandoned after seizing power. Those principles are limited government and fiscal responsibility.
The limited government principle is easy to reject in time of financial crisis, exactly what we face now. But that principle doesn't say that government doesn't play a key role, and that a crisis may place special if temporary demands on government. It simply says unless crisis or other circumstances require government action, it should stay out of the way and give citizens maximum freedom to keep their money and do their thing. The Democrats usually get it backwards, going to government almost as a first resort rather than a last resort. That encroaches on freedom, tends toward confiscatory taxation, creates an entitlement mindset, destroys individual responsibility, and produces bad results in every respect. And a special note of caution: The Democrats will be quick to use any crisis as an excuse to enact their big government, high tax, heavy regulation, centralized government, weak national defense approach into law.
The principle of fiscal responsibility is also easy to reject in time of crisis. But it doesn't mean that a crisis may not require deficit spending. It merely says that to the extent possible, government should stick to a budget. It should certainly not try to launch expensive and ambitious programs when we're already running a huge deficit and when a crisis or two may require even more deficit spending. It should not, a la Sen. Obama, come in with a trillion dollars or more in new spending when we are already sinking deeply into debt and deficit. And it should not, a la Sen. Obama, call for new taxes during an economic downturn.
Another principle, perhaps a corollary of limited government, is decentralization. Whenever possible and practicable, a government task should be assigned to the lowest level possible in the three-layer government configuration: federal, state and local. Still another corollary is less regulation of the kind that burdens the consumer and business but produces more problems than it eliminates.
Had the Republicans listened to Jeb Bush in 2007, they might have avoided the electoral defeat, some say disaster, of November 2008.
Now Sean Hannity has come up with 10 principles the Republican Party and its candidates should now adopt if they want to rebuild and regain the White House and control of Congress. Mr. Hannity states the principles in terms of a candidate's positions, but the principles make sense for advocacy and implementation at all times and most certainly right now with a new administration getting underway.
1. To be the candidate of national security. This is especially important at this moment, as one of the first things the Obama administration will do is come up with a national defense budget. Sen. Obama has expressed some wacky ideas some of which he has backed off of. But it is hard to know where he is at right now as he flip-flops, bounces around, tap dances, and gets lost in a sea of ambiguity and generality. For example, he has talked of cutting the budget for missile defense, which seems to be a foolhardy formula for national suicide. He has talked of cutting the development of weapons systems. And some of his wild liberal supporters, such as Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) have called for a 25 percent cut in defense spending. So this principle should not only be adopted now, but also pressed aggressively in the media, with Congress, and with the office of the president-elect. You should know from history that the Democrats have a weak military and weak defense systems in their DNA, and their tendencies to go in the wrong direction have to be fought at all times.
2. The candidate should pledge to oppose appeasement. This, too, is especially timely with the dictators of the world such as Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad making nice with Sen. Obama, and offering to talk on the terms that Sen. Obama so recklessly and dangerously suggested in this campaign. This too should be a major priority of the loyal opposition at this time. Appeasement, retreat and defeat have seemed to become a Democratic mantra. As I've suggested under an Obama administration, the "Do not tread on me flag" may have to be changed to "Do tread on me." As we await the first "test" of Sen. Obama by an American enemy, as predicted by Vice-President Elect Joe "Gaffe" Biden, we better get the appeasement mentality shaken out of the Democratic Party leadership. Unlike Teddy Roosevelt, who walked softly but carried a big stick, we have too many Democrats like Sen. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who walk softly and carry a white flag.
3. The candidate should pledge to support tax cuts and fiscal responsibility. Here the target has to be supporting tax cuts and certainly opposing tax increases for capital gains, dividends and small business. These are the economy-killers proposed by Sen. Obama, and they may still be in the pipeline. With the stock market diving in some recent days, perhaps the selling propensity might be slowed or stilled by Sen. Obama renouncing his insane pledge to raise the capital gains rate (even while knowing that it will cut, not increase, federal tax revenue), dividend rate, and perhaps all of his other proposed tax increases. (This will be discussed in tomorrow's column.)
4. The candidate should pledge to support energy independence. This ought to start with immediate authorization of off-shore drilling, drilling in Anwar and the rest of the U.S., building new refineries, starting to build new nuclear facilities, expansion of coal mining and exploiting alternative energy sources. This must all be done with realistic stewardship of the environment, and on a path to energy independence within 15 years. This has to be done here and now and as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Sen. Obama seems to have a tendency to confuse pretty speeches and fancy rhetoric with reality. For example, someone has pointed out Sen. Obama favors nuclear power, as long as it doesn't happen (just as he favors the death penalty, as long as no one is executed). Proceed with caution, as his pretty rhetoric is often the opposite of his hard reality.
5. The candidate should pledge to secure our borders completely within one year. That means building or finishing all necessary fences, training and hiring agents as needed and applying all available technology in support of this effort. This may prove difficult, as the Democrats are convinced that a dangerous open borders for all comers and a path to citizenship for all illegals (including amnesty) recruits voters for their party. As on so many issues, the Democrats put party over principle and power to themselves over national interest.
6. The candidate should support a free-market, private enterprise solution for healthcare. This means avoiding nationalizing health care, socializing health care, and bureaucratizing health care. One part of the solution is the creation and expansion of individual savings account, so as to give consumers more control over their choices and the financing of their healthcare. And one fiscal caution. We haven't figured out how to pay for Medicare and keep it solvent and within reasonable cost targets, In the face of that reality, how could Sen. Obama or anyone else entertain a vast expansion Medicare that would ruin the health care delivery system and bankrupt the federal government.
7. The candidate should support choice in education meaning giving parents the right to decide where their kids will go to school. This can be done through a voucher system. The Republicans should again point out to Sen. Obama that he sent his kids to private schools and avoided the failing public schools. All parents should have that same option even if they are not millionaires.
8. The candidate should pledge to save Social Security and Medicare from bankruptcy, and should, as one aspect of that, support creation of some private retirement accounts, giving people more control of their own investment and their retirement savings.
9. The candidate should pledge to appoint judges who will interpret the law and the U.S. Constitution rather than make laws and legislate their own views. Sen. Obama is already on record as favoring judges who empathize with victims. In other words, he wants judges deciding on emotion and abandoning the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution. This is perhaps just another Obama technique of spreading the wealth and bringing socialism to America.
10. The candidate should support the American dream. Mr. Hannity explains that as follows: "The candidate accepts as their duty and responsibility to educate, inform, and remind people that with the blessings of freedom comes a great responsibility. That government's primary goal is to preserve, protect and defend our God-given gift of freedom.
"That governments do not have the ability to solve all of our problems, and to take away all of our fears and concerns. We need their pledge that he will be the candidate that promotes individual liberty, capitalism, a strong national defense and that will support policies that encourage such.
"It is our fundamental belief that limited government, and greater individual responsibility will assure the continued prosperity and success for future generations.
"We the people who believe in the words of Ronald Reagan, that we are 'the best last hope of man on the earth and a shining city on a hill,' and that our best days are before us if our government will simply trust the American people."
Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/11/2008 10:29:00 AM