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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Perhaps We Make Progress

That's one way of looking at the Democrats' new-found interest in the national debt.  After all, they've paid absolutely no attention to it for the last sixty years.  But now?  It's their number-one concern.


Though Charles Krauthammer isn't buying it:
Call Obama’s bluff
Washington Post

President Obama is demanding a big long-term budget deal. He won’t sign anything less, he warns, asking, “If not now, when?”

How about last December, when he ignored his own debt commission’s recommendations? How about February, when he presented a budget that increases debt by $10 trillion over the next decade? How about April, when he sought a debt-ceiling increase with zero debt reduction attached?

All of a sudden he’s a born-again budget balancer prepared to bravely take on his own party by making deep cuts in entitlements. Really? Name one. He’s been saying forever that he’s prepared to discuss, engage, converse about entitlement cuts. But never once has he publicly proposed a single structural change to any entitlement.

Hasn’t the White House leaked that he’s prepared to raise the Medicare age or change the cost-of-living calculation?

Anonymous talk is cheap. Leaks are designed to manipulate. Offers are floated and disappear.

Say it, Mr. President. Give us one single structural change in entitlements. In public. [link]
Under different circumstances I might believe that Obama has seen the wisdom in being fiscally restrained.  But circumstances over the last three years suggest that he - instead - just doesn't know what he's doing.  Does Obama want to balance the budget?  You bet!  Is he willing to keep running up his annual deficits?  Absolutely!  Is he for tax increases?  Is he opposed to tax increases?  Does he know what taxes are?

This from the president of the United States.

Mark this day on your calender.  It's the day that he was concerned about the debt.

For the love of God.

Maybe California Isn't a Basket Case

If liberals there have the time, the money, and the inclination to meander further down this road, maybe things aren't as bad as we thought:
Less Academics, More Narcissism
By Heather Mac Donald, City Journal

California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s regents. Well, not exactly to the bone. Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.

Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.

UC San Diego is adding diversity fat even as it snuffs out substantive academic programs. In March, the Academic Senate decided that the school would no longer offer a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering; it also eliminated a master’s program in comparative literature and courses in French, German, Spanish, and English literature. At the same time, the body mandated a new campus-wide diversity requirement for graduation. The cultivation of “a student’s understanding of her or his identity,” as the diversity requirement proposal put it, would focus on “African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, Chicanos, Latinos, Native Americans, or other groups” through the “framework” of “race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, language, ability/disability, class or age.” Training computer scientists to compete with the growing technical prowess of China and India, apparently, can wait. [link]
A graduate of the California system of higher education won't be able to read - or compete with the Chinese - except in hamburger flipping - but at least he'll know what contributions "transgendered" Americans have made to making our world a better place.

(Pop quiz: Name one human being who calls himselfherself a transexual who has contributed to the betterment of man/womankind.  Can't?  Maybe you need to go to school in California where such important matters take precedence over reading and math.  Where "diversity" takes precedence over the need to grow beyond ignorance.)

How proud the people of California must be.  Those who haven't fled the state anyway.

'What if they had a government shutdown and nobody cared?'

Hmm. Maybe this is why Obama went directly to frightening the elderly over Social Security checks. It may be the best - perhaps only - thing he's got:
Minnesotans Shrug Off the Shutdown
By David Strom, Wall Street Journal

What if they had a government shutdown and nobody cared? That about sums up what's just happened in Minnesota.

The fiscal year ended on June 30, and since then all but "essential" services of government have been closed down. Even most state websites have been taken offline.

For the past two weeks, a struggle raged within the confines of the Minnesota state Capitol, pitting perhaps the most liberal governor in the country against a newly elected Republican majority. Gov. Mark Dayton, elected by the slimmest of margins (a recount was necessary to determine his victory), faced off against a state legislature swept into office by the power of the tea party movement.

On Thursday, Mr. Dayton threw in the towel, largely accepting Republican demands to balance a $34 billion state budget without raising taxes.

The divisions could not have been more stark. The governor's allies insisted that it would be immoral to balance the budget "with cuts to services upon which Minnesotans depend"—hence Mr. Dayton opposed what he called an "all cuts budget." Republican legislators insisted that raising any taxes in the midst of a devastating recession would be irresponsible, and they refused.

The battle should have been epic, but most Minnesotans were merely annoyed. Indeed the most serious concern that average citizens (and bar owners) seemed to have was that without a budget resolution, the legal supply of beer and cigarettes would soon run out because regulatory enforcement was deemed "essential," while regulatory permitting was not. Permits to purchase alcohol from distributors expire annually and cigarettes require tax stamps, both unavailable during the shutdown. Fishing permits were similarly affected, evidence that for most people it's not the government's services that matter most to daily life, but its annoying restrictions.

For Mr. Dayton it was not supposed to end this way. The budget battle, and especially the shutdown, was to provide a teachable moment in which Minnesotans' eyes were to be opened to the necessity of government. After eight years of Tim Pawlenty's chipping away at the welfare state, Mr. Dayton wanted to return to the 1970s' "Minnesota Miracle," when taxes were high, government grew, and everybody was above average.

Democratic governors across the country have been accommodating themselves to the new fiscal constraints imposed by the economic downturn, because they must. Mr. Dayton chose to make a last stand for the moral vision of liberalism, counting on the support of average Minnesotans to embrace it.

Instead, they shrugged. As long as they could get their beer and cigarettes, government could stay shut for all they cared. [link]
Like I pointed out the other day, when the federal government briefly "shut down" back in Newt Gingrich's day, the worst problem that the mainstream press could hype was the devastating news that people were going to have to wait to get their passports.  Oh, the humanity!

Knowing that, Obama figured he'd better make up a scenario in which bad things were going to happen if he didn't get his way and a trillion dollars in taxes weren't raised to pay for his profligate spending.

Maybe we should look to Minnesota to determine what's really going to happen when the federal government shuts down.

And keep our TV's turned to the latest Casey Anthony news.

* Yeah, the international markets will be in turmoil.  But have you seen the news about the international markets in recent months?  The U.S. debt crisis is the least of their worries.

Tim Kaine's Proposing Tax Increases Again

Remember the battles that were fought, not long ago, between then-Governor Tim Kaine and the Republicans in the House of Delegates over taxes?  Kaine told us that revenue was desperately needed to stave off ... something or other and those stalwart delegates told him to shove it, that Virginia was doing just fine without burdening the people of the Commonwealth even more than they already were.

The delegates won.  There were no new taxes.  Kaine's scheme was exposed.  He was defeated.

And the Commonwealth of Virginia prospered.

Now Kaine's back.

And he wants to raise taxes again.

Good God:

Jobs are fleeing to China in droves and Kaine wants to take money out of the pockets of those who might create jobs here to pay down the debt that his kind have run up.

No. We're not raising taxes. And no, we're not electing Kaine to the Senate.