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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Making Noise In An Empty Forest

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a noise?

President Bush answered that question yesterday when he strolled over to the United Nations and told the august membership assembled that they needed to clean up the corruption, effect the necessary changes in order to be more efficient and far less wasteful, and to begin doing what they were sent there to do.


His was a great speech. Nobody there listened.
Bush hits U.N. corruption
By Bill Sammon, The Washington Times


NEW YORK -- President Bush yesterday implored the United Nations to rid itself of corruption and scolded the global body for squandering the world's respect and making a mockery of human rights.

"When this great institution's member states choose notorious abusers of human rights to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, they discredit a noble effort and undermine the credibility of the whole organization," Mr. Bush told the U.N. General Assembly. (link)
More telling than the President making a speech to a pack of thieves who will pay no attention to him is the clear excitement exhibited on the faces of our diplomatic leadership shown above in the possible outcome of his scolding. President Bush raises his hand to vote on something absolutely meaningless and incomprehensible and mutters under his breath, "The whole lot of them should be sent down to the Superdome." Condolleeza Rice is munching on Fritoes and thinking about her Fantasy Football picks. And John Bolton is off in dreamland, wishing he were down in Escuintla sipping some fine Guatemalan rum and smoking an exquisite Macanudo.

This is one of the many attributes I like about Mr. Bush. He went to the U.N. because ... well, he's supposed to occasionally, slapped the membership around a good bit, to no avail, and participated in a meaningless vote in a meaningless session of a meaningless organization - and let everyone assembled there know - by the disdainful expression on his face - that they are all fools and scoundrels and should be lined up against a wall and shot.

I'd vote for him again on the basis of this photo alone.

Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy of AP.

So Close & Yet So Far

The Roanoke Times offered up an interesting editorial today decrying the Bush administration's mishandling of the federal budget. His budget is, without doubt, a mess, only exacerbated by the profligate and embarrassing expenditures on Katrina "relief." The column cites a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that says, among other things:
"The fiscal policies in place today -- absent substantive entitlement reform and changes in tax and spending policies -- will result in large, escalating and persistent deficits that are economically unsustainable over the long term."
The Times goes on to state:
Yet that is exactly the road the Bush administration wants to follow. It seeks to make its tax cuts permanent and has increased discretionary spending much faster than economic growth.

The GAO released its report as a primer on basic tax principles, not an arcane tome for policy wonks. President Bush ought to give it a read before tackling more advanced treatises on the relationships between taxes, services and the economy.
Well, I'm no policy wonk but I know a good thing when I see one. Have the Bush tax cuts generated spectacular growth in federal tax revenue or have they brought about financial calamity, as the Times editorial staff would have you believe?

Here's an expert on the subject:
Amity Shlaes: Growth often follows tax cuts
By Amity Shlaes

Better than expected. That is the headline being given to the progress of the US economy. Last year the deficit was a humiliating 3.6 per cent of gross domestic product. The deficit this year, new numbers suggest, will be 2.7 per cent of GDP – acceptable. The difference? Extra revenues. It seems federal revenues for this year will be $85bn (£47bn) higher than anyone was predicting as recently as March [my emphasis]. Growth, too, may be stronger than expected, remaining above 3 per cent. Unemployment? Some forecasters now believe it will dive deep into the mid-4 per cent range.


These data are all impressive but perhaps most impressive are the inflows. (link)
Hmm. "Growth often follows tax cuts." "Most impressive are the inflows." And the folks at the Times think Bush needs to study up on tax principles. It seems to me that he's proving that he could have written the book on them.

Now if someone could just explain to him the meaning of this word we could actually solve the spending/deficit problems.

Tell Me Again Who's In Charge Around Here

I'm pretty sure I'm right on this. I even went to my trusty - but admittedly aging - Constitution to reread the following;
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article I. - The Legislative Branch

Section 1 - The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
I've been out of town for a few days so I've not been able to get the latest news from Oprah but I checked AP Breaking News and didn't see where Michael Moore and MoveOn.org have overthrown the government and rescinded that which is written above.

If I'm right, then, in assuming that we are still at least nominally in charge, how does one explain these two news items?

First this regarding a Michigan law:

State's late-term abortion ban overturned
Federal judge rules law places 'undue burden' on women, calls it confusing and vague. Associated Press (link)

And this regarding a California law:
Judge says reciting pledge in school is unconstitutional
By Dean E. Murphy / New York Times (link)
You know, we could save ourselves a bundle of money if we just give up on that quaint old - and ever more farcical - notion of holding elections and asking those duly elected to make law for us. As long as we have an isolated and unaccountable class of citizenry that is going to ultimately decide what the law is anyway, why not just cut out the middleman and get on with it.

It seems to make good sense these days.