Reparations and Redistribution

  

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An Endorsement Of The Idea
Speaking to a gathering of minority journalists in Chicago, Obama said, "I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged."

"I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."

Exactly what Obama is advocating here cannot be determined, but it seems to be something of an endorsement of the idea of "reparations for slavery," which is usually taken to mean cash payments. In this view, the following deeds are insufficient to balance the ledger between America and the descendants of slaves: the Civil War, the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the continuing practice of racial preferences.

When Obama walked on stage at the McCormick Center, many journalists in the audience leapt to their feet and applauded enthusiastically after being told not to do so.  During a two-minute break halfway through the event, which was broadcast live on CNN, journalists ran to the stage to snap photos of Obama.

Obama, who acknowledged that he needed a nap, stood up to say farewell to the audience of journalists, many of whom gave him another standing ovation.

This is the first direct quote I've seen where Obama clearly endorses reparations -- "When it comes to...reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."  -- he is saying the most important thing for the government to do is offer reparations.

And, there he goes complaining about being tired again.  On July 31st, 2008, a Google, using  -- Obama tired fatigue -- returned 238,000 items.  Many others have noticed that Obama, despite his comparative youth, often complains of being tired or fatigued.
Blatant Redistributionism
Given Barack Obama's relentless populism this cycle, the Wall Street Journal analysis of his tax cuts should surprise no one. They find that Obama relies less on actual cuts in tax rates and more in specific, "refundable" grants that filers receive whether they have a tax liability or not. Instead of reducing taxes, Obama makes his redistributionism explicit.

Six of the seven listed in the Obama plan are these "refundables," money people get from the federal government even if they pay no taxes at all. These are not Ttax cuts," but instead welfare grants based on specific social policy.  It's blatant redistributionism, as the money comes from tax increases on the wealthy.

More . . .
Dramatic Redistribution Of Wealth
First hard numbers on the Obama Tax Plan show a dramatic redistribution of wealth according to a new Tax Foundation analysis.

In Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, No. 132, Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge uses revenue estimates from the Tax Policy Center to show that Obama's plan would greatly accelerate the decades-long trend toward a federal government that depends for tax revenue almost exclusively on a few high-income people.

This contrasts starkly with the McCain plan, according to Hodge, which would give every taxpayer a cut and leave the current tax burden distribution approximately where it is.

"Under the Obama plan for 2009," explains Hodge, "more than $131 billion would be redistributed from the top 1 percent of taxpayers to all other taxpayers."

Obama's plan to punish success is patterned straight from Karl Marx -- "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

Of course, Obama has his millions in a "quasi-blind trust" -- exempt from his "tax the rich" plan.
Global Poverty Act
February 17th -- Sen. Barack Obama, giving America a preview of his priorities, is rejoicing over the Senate committee passage of a plan that could end up costing taxpayers billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce poverty in other nations.

The nice-sounding bill, called the "Global Poverty Act," sponsored by Obama, is up for a Senate vote on Thursday and could result in the imposition of a $845 billion global tax on the United States.  The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.

The U.N.'s "Millennium Project," says that the U.N. plan to force the U.S. to pay 0.7 percent of its GNP in increased foreign aid spending would add $65 billion a year to what the U.S. already spends.  Over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the U.N.'s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of 2015, when the U.S. is expected to meet the "Millennium Development Goals," this amounts to $845 billion.  And the only way to raise that kind of money is through a global tax, preferably on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

Here's an abstract of the proposed legislation:

"To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the [U.N.] Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day."

The scary part of the bill is this:

In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning "small arms and light weapons" and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Millennium Declaration also affirms the U.N. as "the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development."

Here's how Senator Obama's website frames the bill:

"With billions of people living on just dollars a day around the world, global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges and tragedies the international community faces," said Senator Obama. "It must be a priority of American foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring every child has food, shelter, and clean drinking water. As we strive to rebuild America's standing in the world, this important bill will demonstrate our promise and commitment to those in the developing world. Our commitment to the global economy must extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere."
 

Will somebody tell this idiot that it's not the job of the United States to cut global poverty by taxing its citizens and giving those monies to the corrupt United Nations.

Welfare doesn't work in America and its sure not going to work anywhere else.  It's just more billions and trillions down the toilet.

Joe The Plumber And Redistribution
In this (video) exchange between Obama and a plumber on the campaign trail this weekend, the self-employed plumber said to Obama: "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more.  Isn't it?"

Obama responded: "It's not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too.  I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Obama's not a socialist? -- geez Louise!
More $$$ On Welfare Than The Entire Iraq War
Fred Lucas reminds us that as a candidate for president, Barack Obama decried the financial toll that the Iraq war was taking on the economy, but Obamaís proposed spending on welfare through 2010 will eclipse Bushís war spending by more than $260 billion.

"Because of the Bush-McCain policies, our debt has ballooned," then-Sen. Barack Obama told a Charleston, W.V., crowd in March 2008:  "This is creating problems in our fragile economy.  And that kind of debt also places an unfair burden on our children and grandchildren, who will have to repay it."

During the entire administration of George W. Bush, the Iraq war cost a total of $622 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Obamaís welfare spending will reach $888 billion in a single fiscal year -- 2010 -- more than the Bush administration spent on war in Iraq from the first "shock and awe" attack in 2003 until Bush left office in January.

Continue reading here . . .

Barack Obama says Washington shouldn't just offer apologies for slavery, but also "deeds."  Don't worry, he says, he's not talking about direct reparations.  Relieved?  Don't be.

Obama knows that if he pushes too hard on reparations, he might scare off white voters.  So he couches race-specific welfare as "universal" social programs that appeal to broad-based political coalitions -- "even if they disproportionately help minorities," he confides in his book, "Audacity of Hope."

Obama has a name for his scheme: "universal strategies."

"An emphasis on universal, as opposed to race-specific, programs isn't just good policy," he wrote.  "It's also good politics."

"I consistently believe that when it comes to whether it's Native Americans or African-American issues or reparations, the most important thing for the U.S. government to do is not just offer words, but offer deeds."

And if this isn't enough, Obama wants to steal $177 billion from Medicare Advantage and $300 billion in additional Medicare cuts, for payments to doctors and hospitals, for a total of $500 billion, to insure illegal aliens, indigents, criminals and chronic alcoholics and drug abusers.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obama's plan will increase federal costs by almost $1 trillion.  This is why taxes will be increased under the plan, not reduced.  But Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein writes, "the actual costs will be much higher" because "the CBO's method of estimating the cost of such a program doesn't recognize the incentives it creates for households and firms to change their behavior."  Independent private estimates project increased federal costs of $3.5 trillion to $4.1 trillion under the Obama plan.

This guy is all about stealing from the productive to pay off his constituency, the non-productive -- remember this welfare queen?
Share The Wealth With The World
The New York Posts reports that Barack Obama doesn't simply want to "spread the wealth around" here in America, he's on record as favoring redistribution on a global scale.

As the Democrat explained last year in Foreign Affairs, he thinks we need to be "sharing more of our riches to help those in need" around the world and promised to double American foreign assistance.  He also proposed a multibillion-dollar Global Education Fund to eliminate what he calls the "global education deficit."

Obama has already acted on these beliefs.  In the Senate, he co-sponsored the Global Poverty Act, which calls on the US to allocate 7/10ths of 1 percent of our GNP to foreign aid and debt relief.  (That's $845 billion more than we're now set to spend over the next 13 years.)

In a statement on the Global Poverty Act, Obama explained we need to transfer massive amounts of money to the developing world and get "beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere."

Profits, in Obama's view, don't help people -- they hurt them.  Whereas redistribution can fix all kinds of problems -- including terrorism, a global scourge that Obama believes is actually a result of inequality.

Obama has no experience in the business world.  Few, however, are as hostile to the notion of profit -- or as committed to redistributing the wealth -- both nationally and globally.

Obama knows nothing about business and commerce.  He's never had to meet a payroll.  He is an enemy of profits, and business in general -- not surprising for someone who has lived off grants and tax revenues for his entire adult life.

He  has accepted Marx's elaborate fantasy construct, in which profit arose purely from the exploitation of both workers and consumers.  Obama's self-admitted love-affair with Marxism has led him to believe that profits were not a necessary part of the economic system.  In Obama's belief system, profits were an actual flaw that reduced the standard of living for everyone.

Socialists have long regarded profits as simply  an "overcharge," as Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw called it, or a "surplus value," as Karl Marx called it.  The theory is that under socialism or Marxism, these surplus charges would be eliminated and goods and services would become more affordable.

In reality, socialism doesn't make goods and services more affordable, but less so.

Unfortunately, this appears to be the model that Obama is working from.
Spread The Wealth
Obama's grand theme is to spread America's wealth to the world's poor, as the onetime community organizer from the streets of South Chicago goes global.

He says to his followers, "It's not too late to claim the American dream," and they cheer wildly, and some even cry.

Don't they know that the American dream isn't a wish granted by a politician, or an entitlement from the government? Do they need a political seer to tell them what to hope for, and dream of, because they are unable to find it for themselves?

In his most recent victory speech, delivered in Madison, Wisconsin on February 13, Obama named some of those guilty of creating America's victims. They included:

Exxon, turning record profits from high pump prices
Wall Street, whose agenda smothers Main Street
NAFTA, where the American worker has no voice at the negotiating table
Lobbyists, who drown out the peoples' voice.

Spread The Wealth -- Revisited

From Powerline blog -- When Barack Obama responded to the Ohio plumber who didn't want his taxes raised that he wanted to "spread the wealth around," I wanted to tell him to spread his own wealth around.  It was in any event a rare moment of candor on the part of candidate Obama.

 

Obama all but told the plumber that his wealth should be seized in the name of equity.  The encounter played out one of the old themes of democratic politics: the appeal to the many to take from the few.  It's traditionally an easy sell in small-d democratic politics.

 

Obama's "spread the wealth around" gospel has many intellectual and political forerunners.  In American politics, Obama's gospel harks back to Huey Long, among others.  In his regular Newsweek column George Will calls Obama an Ivy League Huey Long.  He doesn't mean it as a compliment and he doesn't much pursue the analogy with Long.

 

Interested readers may want to take a look back at Long's Share Our Wealth platform and related Share Our Wealth Society clubs.  "By the summer of 1935," according to the linked page on Long's program, "there were more than 27,000 Share Our Wealth clubs with a membership of more than 7.5 million.  Loyal followers met every week to discuss Long's ideas and spread the message."

 

Now, of course, Barack Obama has Organizing for America to do the legwork and the mainstream media to spread his message.

 

Toward the end of his column Will makes good use of Steven Hayward and Kenneth Green's essay on the cap-and-tax bill.  AEI has posted the Hayward-Green essay online under the title Waxman-Markey: An Exercise in Unreality.  Please check it out.

Universal Strategies
Barack Obama says Washington shouldn't just offer apologies for slavery, but also "deeds."  Don't worry, he says, he's not talking about direct reparations.  Relieved?  Don't be.

Obama knows that if he pushes too hard on reparations, he might scare off white voters.  So he couches race-specific welfare as "universal" social programs that appeal to broad-based political coalitions -- "even if they disproportionately help minorities," he confides in his book, "Audacity of Hope."

Obama has a name for his scheme: "universal strategies."

"An emphasis on universal, as opposed to race-specific, programs isn't just good policy," he wrote.  "It's also good politics."

Maybe so.  But not all his plans for reparations are roundabout.  His book and Web site outline a separate plan calling for essentially a government bailout of the inner cities.  Among other things, he proposes:
    

ē  Doling out faith-based grants "targeting ex-offenders."

ē  Subsidizing supermarket chains that relocate to the inner city to deliver "fresh produce" to blacks, helping wean them off unhealthy fast food.

ē  Imposing "goals and timetables for minority hiring" on large corporations whose work forces are deemed too white.

ē  Continuing to fund the Community Development Block Grant program, Head Start and HUD public housing subsidies.

ē  Funding Small Business Administration loans for minority businesses who train ex-felons, including gangbangers, for the "green jobs" of the future, such as installing extra insulation in homes.

ē  Doubling the funding for federal after-school programs such as midnight basketball.

ē  Subsidizing job training, day care, transportation for inner-city poor, as well as doubling the funding of the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program.

ē  Expanding the eligibility of the earned income tax credit to include more poor, and indexing it to inflation.

ē  Adopting entire inner-city neighborhoods as wards of the federal government.

ē  Spending billions on new inner-city employment programs, including prison-to-work programs.

    
This is just a down payment on the "economic justice" Obama has promised the NAACP -- financed by "tax laws that restore some balance to the distribution of the nation's wealth," he says in his book.

"The problems of inner-city poverty arise from our failure to face up to an often tragic past," Obama said.

Now it's payback time.
Reparations By Another Name
Obama is close to creating an Office of Urban Policy to allocate funds to urban areas for a range of initiatives, including job training and the creation of new jobs.

Obama's urban renewal plan -- from neighborhoods to downtown corridors -- calls for creating more opportunities for minority businesses, establishing more affordable public transportation, raising the minimum wage, ending tax breaks for businesses that send jobs overseas, providing additional funding for community policing and ending racial profiling.
H.R. 40
H.R. 40 is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to create a commission to study reparation proposals for African-Americans.

The bill is to acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the 13 American colonies between 1619 and 1865 and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery, subsequently de jure and de facto racial and economic discrimination against African-Americans, and the impact of these forces on living African-Americans, to make recommendations to the Congress on appropriate remedies, and for other purposes.

It should be no surprise, that its sponsor is Rep. John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan -- and he has an ally in the White House.

In this transcript of a 2001 radio interview, Obama advocates redistribution as reparations for slavery and other injustices towards "previously dispossessed peoples."

He said, "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.  And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasnít that radical."

"It didnít break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as itís been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.  It says what the states canít do to you, it says what the federal government canít do to you, but it doesnít say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.  And that hasnít shifted."

"One of the, I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that."

In ObamaWorld, a terrorist attack is a "man caused disaster" and reparations are called a "stimulus package."
Reparations For "Alleged" Discrimination
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that more than $1 billion will be set aside for those who alleged loan discrimination by the Department of Agriculture.  The agreement would allow the workers to seek damage awards or debt relief.

The Obama administration agreed Thursday to provide $1.25 billion to compensate African American farmers who alleged racial discrimination by the Department of Agriculture farm loan programs.

The deal, subject to congressional approval, would set up a nonjudicial claims process that would allow farmers to seek damage awards or debt relief.

This is in addition to more than $1 billion the federal government paid to settle about 16,000 claims that were part of a discrimination suit black farmers brought against the department.  The farmers won that suit in 1999.

"The agreement reached today is an important milestone in putting these discriminatory claims behind us for good and in achieving finality for this group of farmers with long-standing grievances," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus had sought to reopen the lawsuit after thousands of farmers missed the original filing deadline to apply for compensation.  Members of the caucus met with U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and Vilsack to express their concerns.

In May, Obama requested an additional $1.15 billion in the 2010 budget to close the long-standing lawsuit against the department.

"Today is a historic day for the American people," said John W. Boyd Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Assn. "We have finally buried the hatchet."

"We have finally buried the hatchet"

Not likely! -- and note the use of the word "alleged" -- no one has to prove anything once the race card is played -- $2.5 billion awarded -- based on an "allegation."
ObamaCare Taxes Will Help Obama Spread The Wealth
Barack Obama said on the campaign trail in October 2008 that he wanted to "spread the wealth around."  By signing the sweeping health-care overhaul legislation, heís about to do just that.

If the final version of the legislation passes the Senate, high-income investors will pay higher Medicare taxes, tax breaks for out-of-pocket medical deductions will be curtailed, and it will cost insurance companies more to pay executives millions of dollars.  Those levies will help fund expansion of Medicaid services for the poor and subsidize health insurance to cover millions who donít currently have benefits.

"Itís very clear that taxes are levied on the wealthy and the benefits will spread across the entire income distribution, with a lot going to expanded Medicaid distribution and expanding health insurance," said Roberton Williams, an economist at the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research institute backed by the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.  "One couldnít claim he didnít keep that promise" to "spread the wealth around."

Continue reading here . . .
Obama's Judge On Reparations For Slavery
Ed Whalen says that in May 2008, Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu took part in a discussion of the documentary film "Traces of the Trade," which explores the role of New Englanders in the slave trade.  Liu lists the event in his questionnaire response, but doesnít link to any video or transcript (or any other account of his remarks).

Blogger Morgen of Verum Serum has dug up a video of the event and posted a striking two-minute video excerpt, which I encourage you to watch.  Hereís a transcript of Liuís remarks (with some asides deleted):
    

Then thereís a further issue, which is that maybe there are white families who were not involved as directly or even indirectly with the slave trade, but who still benefited from it.  And then there is the whole question, which you put on the table, about people who came to America after, and, you know, like my family.  And why is it that this movie speaks to me so deeply yet?

And so, what I would do, I think I would draw a distinction between a concept of guilt, which locates accountability in a sort of limited set of wrong-doers, and, on the other hand, a concept of responsibility, which is, I think, a more broad suggestion that all of us, whatever our lineage, whatever our ancestry, whatever our complicity, still have a moral duty to Ö make things right.  And thatís a moral duty thatís incumbent upon everybody who inherits this nation, regardless of whatever the history is.

And I think, to add one more point on top of that, the exercise of that responsibility Ö necessarily requires the answer to the question, "What are we willing to give up to make things right?"  Because itís gonna require us to give up something, whether it is the seat at Harvard, the seat at Princeton.  Or is it gonna require us to give up our segregated neighborhoods, our segregated schools?  Is it gonna require us to give up our money?

Itís gonna require giving up something, and so until we can have that further conversation of what it is weíre willing to give up, I agree that the reconciliation canít fully occur.

    
Letís expose the game that Liu is playing.  Just as Liu completely ignores the innocent victims of racial preferences when he urges the perpetual imposition of racial quotas as a remedy for "societal discrimination," so he would make those who were not complicit in slavery pay the price of his grandiose reparations project.  Moreover, he continues to use the term "segregated" so expansively that only the imposition of racial quotas will achieve the elimination of what he calls segregation.

Even worse, Liu, far from making any sacrifice himself (he didnít give up his seats at Stanford and at Yale Law School, or his Rhodes Scholarship, or his clerkship with Justice Ginsburg, or his professorship at Berkeley), is making a career out of benefiting from his grievance-mongering.  Itís precisely his hard-edged ideology that has made him a darling of the Left and that explains why he is being nominated to a judicial seat that he craves as a steppingstone to the Supreme Court.
ObamaCare Mainly Aimed At Redistributing Wealth
Byron York says that it hasn't attracted much notice, but recently some prominent advocates of ObamaCare have spoken more frankly than ever before about why they supported a national health care makeover. It wasn't just about making insurance more affordable. It wasn't just about bending the cost curve. It wasn't just about cutting the federal deficit. It was about redistributing wealth.

Health reform is "an income shift," Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said on March 25. "It is a shift, a leveling, to help lower income, middle income Americans."

In his halting, jumbled style, Baucus explained that in recent years "the maldistribution of income in America has gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind." The new health care legislation, Baucus promised, "will have the effect of addressing that maldistribution of income in America."

At about the same time, Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and presidential candidate, said the health bill was needed to correct economic inequities. "The question is, in a democracy, what is the right balance between those at the top ... and those at the bottom?" Dean said during an appearance on CNBC. "When it gets out of whack, as it did in the 1920s, and it has now, you need to do some redistribution. This is a form of redistribution."

Summing things up in the New York Times, the liberal economics columnist David Leonhardt called ObamaCare "the federal government's biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago."

Now they tell us. For many opponents of the new legislation, the statements confirmed a nagging suspicion that for Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress, the health fight was about more than just insurance -- that redistribution played a significant, if largely unspoken, part in the drive for national health care.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama's Culture Of Dependence
"Do you realize," CNN's Susan Roesgen asked a man at the April 15, 2009, tea party in Chicago, "that you're eligible for a $400 credit?"  When the man refused to drop his "drop socialism" sign, she went on, "Did you know that the state of Lincoln gets fifty billion out of the stimulus?"

Roesgen is no longer with CNN, and CNN has only about half as many viewers as it did last year.  But her questions are revealing.  They help us understand that the issue on which our politics has become centered -- the Obama Democrats' vast expansion of the size and scope of government -- is really not just about economics.

It is really a battle about culture, a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence.  Probably unknowingly, Roesgen was reflecting the the midcentury sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld's dictum that politics is about who gets how much when.  If some guy is getting $400, shouldn't he just shut up and collect the money?  Shouldn't he be happy that his state government, headed recently by Rod Blagojevich, was getting an extra $50 billion?

But public policy also helps determine the kind of society we are.  The Obama Democrats see a society in which ordinary people cannot fend for themselves, where they need to have their incomes supplemented, their health care insurance regulated and guaranteed, their relationships with their employers governed by union leaders.  Highly educated mandarins can make better decisions for them than they can make themselves.

Continue reading Michael Barone here . . .
Does Obama Agree That ObamaCare Redistribute Wealth?
White House spokesman, Robert Gibbels, has evaded answering the question of whether Obama agrees with Dr. Donald Berwick, his newly appointed administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, who has insisted that health-care systems must redistribute wealth.

"Excellent health care is by definition redistributional," Berwick said in a speech delivered on July 1, 2008.

When asked directly at the July 7 White House press briefing whether Obama agreed with this, Gibbels would not answer the question.  Instead, he parried it with jocular statements about the provenance of the quote.

On July 8, CNSNews.com sent Gibbels an email that included a link to a YouTube page on which is posted a video of the portion of Berwickís July 1, 2008 speech in which Berwick made the comment.  Gibbels was also provided with a transcript of the relevant segment of the video and a copy of the July 26, 2008 edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which published a written adaptation of Berwick's speech.

"You could have had a monstrous insurance industry of claims and rules and paper-pushing instead of using your tax base to provide a single route of finance," said Berwick in the video recording of the speech provided to Gibbels.  "You could have protected the wealthy and the well, instead of recognizing that sick people tend to be poorer and that poor people tend to be sicker.  And that any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must -- must -- redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate.  Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.  Britain, you chose well."

Gibbels was again asked -- in the July 8 emai -- whether Obama agreed with Dr. Berwick that "excellent health care is by definition redistributional"?

Gibbels again did not answer.

Last Wednesday, Obama made Berwick the director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through a recess appointment.
Obama's "Livable Communities"
The Senate Banking Committee passed the Livable Communities Act on Tuesday, moving the bill one step closer to final passage.  The bill creates $4 billion in neighborhood planning grants for "sustainable" living projects and a new federal office to oversee them.

Similar legislation in the House has been criticized by Republicans on the House Budget Committee, who charge that "the programís aim is to impose a Washington-based, central planning model on localities across the country."

In the Senate version, written by outgoing Chairman Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the Livable Communities Act would designate $4 billion to aid local governments in planning high-density, walkable neighborhoods.

Premised on helping local governments to combat suburban sprawl and traffic congestion, the bill sets up two separate grant programs.  One, known as Comprehensive Planning Grants, would go to cities and counties to assist them in carrying out such plans.

Continue reading here . . .

Sounds like Obama is planning to go into the "Projects" business.  He needs a place to store Democrat voters between elections.

Look how well he did when he tried this before -- Obama's slum -- Grove Parc Plaza
.
Obama Wants To Spend $845 Billion More
On foreigners!

The Daily Caller is reporting that Barack Obama will travel to New York in late September to address a summit to spur the achievement of U.N. goals to combat poverty and the annual ministerial meeting of the General Assembly.

The meeting on the Millennium Development Goals will be held from Sept. 20-22.  The list of speakers circulated Tuesday includes Obama addressing the high-level session in the afternoon of Sept. 22.

On Sept. 23, Obama will address the opening session of the General Assemblyís ministerial meeting -- his second appearance before the 192-nation world body.

The anti-poverty goals, adopted by world leaders at a summit in 2000, including cutting extreme poverty by half, ensuring universal primary education, halting and reversing the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and cutting child and maternal mortality -- all by 2015.

Sounds good -- sounds noble -- but at what cost?

The U.N.'s "Millennium Project," says that the U.N. plan to force the U.S. to pay 0.7 percent of its GNP in increased foreign aid spending would add $65 billion a year to what the U.S. already spends.  Over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the U.N.'s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of 2015, when the U.S. is expected to meet the "Millennium Development Goals," this amounts to $845 billion.  And the only way to raise that kind of money is through a global tax, preferably on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

Here's an abstract of the proposed legislation:
    

"To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the [U.N.] Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day."

    
The scary part of the bill is this:
    

In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning "small arms and light weapons" and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    
Related or a coincidence:  The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing for September 14th entitled "Firearms in Commerce: Assessing the Need for Reform in the Federal Regulatory Process"

The Millennium Declaration also affirms the U.N. as "the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development."

Here's how Senator Obama framed the bill:
   

"With billions of people living on just dollars a day around the world, global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges and tragedies the international community faces.  It must be a priority of American foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring every child has food, shelter, and clean drinking water.   As we strive to rebuild America's standing in the world, this important bill will demonstrate our promise and commitment to those in the developing world.  Our commitment to the global economy must extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere."

     

Will somebody tell this idiot that it's not the job of the United States to cut global poverty by taxing its citizens and giving those monies to the corrupt United Nations.

Welfare doesn't work in America and its sure not going to work anywhere else.  It's just more billions and trillions down the toilet.

Do We Doubt What Our Eyes Have Seen
Geoff Cutler says when Barack Obama was elected, many of us were able to suspend disbelief that someone with as little leadership experience could gain the White House.  This was made easier by the most anemic Republican campaign since Bob Dole ran for office.

We put aside candidate Obama's less-than-savory personal associations and inexperience and gave the him the benefit of doubt because of a hope that maybe, just maybe, this charismatic personality, the first black president in the history of the land, would truly unite the country, both racially and in a spirit of bipartisan middle-of-the-road politics.  This is what was promised the nation, and Obama deserved a chance to live up to his rhetoric.

Two years later, Americans know the truth.  Together with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have slingshot the country so far to the political left that it was only a few months into Obama's term that our nation witnessed the rebirth of conservatism.

Said to be dead and buried by a fawning and sympathetic media and other politicos, conservatism, as represented by a broad spectrum of public grassroots movements, has arisen from interment to the point that, according to Democratic pollster Peter Hart in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, "It's hard to say Democrats are facing anything less than a Category 4 hurricane."

Nonetheless, races are tightening as we get closer to Nov. 2.  This comes as no surprise since we now live in a country where allegiance to political correctness reshapes us in a mold of moral relativity, and worship for big government and entitlements has gotten to the point where the members of the left in America are so politically wedded to the false hopes of liberalism that they refuse see that French, English, Irish and German governments are bankrupt and reining in runaway deficit spending on entitlements as fast as they can.  One wonders, does the left read newspapers?

So if Republicans reclaim the House of Representatives, and less likely the Senate, Democrats will have nobody to blame but themselves.  There was no mandate for Obama, Pelosi and Reid to shove America so far to the left.

That's why Democrats are losing independents.  They gave Obama the benefit of doubt with their vote, and he has betrayed them with a far-left political agenda, the signature legislation being a massive and disastrous health care entitlement bought and paid for by Pelosi's political threats and bribery.

It should be clear now what Obama meant by "change," and I for one respect the man's passion and unwavering doggedness.  President Clinton pranced to polling data.  Not Obama.

Unlike so many progressives on the left, scared to admit who they are, and herded about like so many collective sheep, Obama truly believes this stuff.  As he told Joe the plumber, America would be a better place if wealth were redistributed more evenly.  And he's following through with that social-justice agenda despite the fact these policies have economically crippled Europe.

Wealth redistribution is the core intent of the Obama government.  Pelosi said so in a speech to the United Steel Workers Union last week.  Getting there is more problematic.  It means bypassing an opposed electorate, reworking the Constitution to suit the 21st century, and subjugating the role of the individual in American society to that of a central government.

Evenly distributing wealth means that government must receive higher taxes and unearth more taxable income from new sources to pay for these entitlements.  It must control health care to further control the economy.  It must regulate and control banks, insurance companies and other big business.  It must have education and labor union support.  It must be able to count on liberal federal judges to overrule state and federal legislatures.  With media friends, it must isolate and demonize detractors.

It will deflect blame to others if policies don't show immediate fruit, and it will ignore public sentiment to pass laws by whatever means necessary.

Once willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, can we doubt any longer what our own eyes have seen?  If we do, we commit ourselves to the broken roads of history.
Redistribution Of Liberty
Mark Andrew Dwyer says in case you wonder while boarding a plane, where have your Constitutional rights gone, I have the answer for you: they have been redistributed.

You have to "voluntarily submit" yourself to humiliating procedure that borders with sexual assault as a precondition to your exercise of your right to travel.  Your genitals may be inspected, a TSA agent may wander with her hand under your wifeís skirt, and even your kids may be exposed on what you thought was child molesting.

And all this nonsense takes place while millions of Mexican illegal aliens, loyal to their La Raza (The Race), and not to our nation, violate Americaís border and the immigration law as they please because, we are being told, any meaningful enforcement would create "a war zone" and offend Mexico.

As if this werenít enough, verification of voterís eligibility by means of proof of citizenship and photo ID has been deemed a violation of Constitutional right to vote, even though untold thousands of non-citizens fraudulently cast their votes in federal, state, and local elections.

As if this werenít enough, either, Muslims are given free pass on importation and exercise of laws and customs of their half-religious and half-political Islam that are so incompatible with what our Constitutional Republic stands for, and -- despite history of terror attacks and threats -- they cannot even be suspect at the airports because, according Liberal orthodoxy, that would amount to racial profiling and discrimination.

And if all these werenít enough, the "liberal apologists" for the intrusive government, who maintain that passengerís "safety" trumps all other considerations, will flatly reject any idea that passengers safety is also more important than the "liberal ideology" that in a futile attempt to prove all people equal stops us from making obvious statistical connections between the flyerís profile and the risk he poses to his fellow travelers.  This submits our individual liberties to "liberal ideology" (since our liberties yield to our safety which yields to "liberal ideology") -- an un-Constitutional doctrine that was very much in order in the Soviet Union (where it most likely have originated from) but is totally out of place in the U.S.

I am sure you can add quite a lot to this list of absurdities that are being forced down our throats.

But itís more than just absurd effects.  There is an obvious causality relationship here as well.

Because the Federal Government de facto refuses to keep all undesirable aliens on the other side of the American border, and even allows prospective troublemakers to obtain U.S. citizenship, because it refuses to "profile" those likely of breaking our nationís laws, the same Federal Government is now compelled to trash our Constitutional liberties in order to remedy for the results of its own indolence (to say the least).

In other words, we are being forced to give up some of our God-given rights so that those who govern our country can keep bestowing various rights, and undeservedly so, on those who should not be allowed into our country in the first place.  Not only do we see redistribution of Americaís wealth, as our hi-tech manufacturing facilities, product of our nationís ingenuity and hard work, are being siphoned to China, India, and Mexico while America is drowning in national debt, but also our Constitutional rights are being redistributed among foreign nations, religions, and cultures at our expense.  How typical.

Thatís core liberalism.  Itís far more dangerous than most of you think it is.  And, according to most recent genetic research, itís incurable.

So, beware of liberals, both open and closeted ones.  They are benign only when kept muted and powerless.  Each time you elect a "liberal" to any office of power or give one a forum to deceive and indoctrinate our youth, you make it more likely that our nation will, eventually, be "liberated" from its Constitutional liberties, and that these former liberties of ours, but not ours anymore, as our government has deprived and is depriving us of them for our protection, will be redistributed among the rapidly growing population of the rest of the world.

And if you would like to see the future of America under the "liberal rule" then just go ahead and try to board a plane on your trip to Thanksgiving dinner next week.  I guarantee you will not be amazed.
Obama Gives America Back To The Indians
Penny Starr is reporting that Barack Obama, while addressing a tribal nations conference at the White House last week, announced that the U.S. government is now supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which includes a sweeping declaration that "indigenous peoples" have a right to lands and resources they traditionally occupied or "otherwise used."

The U.N. resolution states:
    

"Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired."

          
      
At the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Obama reminded the group that last year he signed a resolution passed by Congress that "finally" recognizes "the sad and painful chapters in our shared history -- a history too often marred by broken promises and grave injustices against the First Americans," he said.

Obama added that "no statement can undo the damage that was done," but he said the resolution can "help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future.  Itís only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward," Obama said.

In his remarks, Obama also recalled his trip to a Montana Indian reservation during his presidential campaign where he said he was honored with a new name.

"I remember, more than two years ago, in Montana, I visited the Crow Nation -- one of the many times I met with tribal leaders on the campaign trail," Obama said.  "You may know that on that trip, I became an adopted Crow Indian."

"My Crow name is 'One Who Helps People Throughout the Land,'" Obama said.  "And my wife, when I told her about this, she said, 'You should be named One Who Isnít Picking Up His Shoes and His Socks.'"

Will somebody please get this guy out of the Oval Office.
A Secret $6 Billion Bailout For Puerto Rico?
Jonathan Strong says the Obama administration is eying a secretive tax deal critics charge is an indirect bailout for Puerto Rico to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars.

The U.S. territory, desperate for revenues in the midst of the recession, surprised industry with a $6 billion tax on foreign firms -- including a significant bloc of U.S. pharmaceutical firms -- late October in a rare weekend legislative session without any public debate in advance.

But now U.S. taxpayers, not the firms, could end up footing at least a significant chunk of the bill.

Gov. Luis FortuŮo signed the new tax into law Oct. 25.  That day, the Washington, D.C.-based white-shoe law firm Steptoe & Johnson issued him a legal brief arguing U.S. firms should receive money from the U.S. government to offset the Puerto Rico tax increase, which FortuŮo sent to the Internal Revenue Service, where a decision is pending.

The international tax law in question is complicated, but experts agree the tax, and the request, are an unusual use of portions of the tax code intended to avoid double taxation on U.S. firms in countries that have reciprocity treaties with the U.S.

"We would call it creative," said James Hines, an expert on international tax issues and the L. Hart Wright Collegiate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.  "It's an unusual tax for sure."

It's an "indirect bailout," said Dan Mitchell, an international tax expert and senior fellow at the Cato Institute

Continue reading here . . .
Obama Apology Leads To Foreign Lawsuit And Shakedown
Floyd Reports says Barack Obamaís coterminous policies of apologetic weakness abroad and guilt-riddled self-loathing at home have just made the United States the victim of a baseless lawsuit filed by a foreign government -- one that seems destined to further drain the wallets of the shrinking number of Americans still working.

For decades, the Left has claimed that if America atoned for our past sins, the "international community" would in turn respect us and treat us kindly.  More realistic analysts warned the world would interpret this as weakness and pounce like tigers on a wounded hyena.  Obamaís international apology has just proven us right.  On October 1, Obama apologized to Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom for medical experiments conducted in the 1940s and approved by both governments.  To be sure no nation missed the spectacle, Obama had the moment immortalized in a PR photo.  Hillary Clinton, Kathleen Sebelius, and then-White House spokesman Robert Gibbs beat their breasts and begged pardon.  This author was the only conservative who reported on it at the time, forecasting Guatemalans would demand reparations and that the money "will probably be forthcoming."

The Associated Press reported yesterday, "Attorneys representing potentially thousands of Guatemalans who were affected by U.S. syphilis experiments decades ago said Tuesday they will sue top federal health officials unless a system is created out of court to settle claims by the victims or their survivors."

What do you think inspired these foreigners to demand your tax dollars?  "The administrationís apologetic tone led the Guatemalansí attorneys to seek the unusual out-of-court settlement before a lawsuit is filed," according to the AP.  (Emphasis added.)  Guatemalan shakedown artists are demanding Obama "waive any sovereign immunity defenses to block the Guatemalan claims or, as an alternative, they want a claims process similar to those set up in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the 9/11 terror attacks."

Or more to the point Pigford, Pigford II, and the whole constellation of stealth reparations payments this administration has made to black, American Indian, Hispanic, and female "farmers."

Continue reading here . . .
 

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