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Data points don’t support Obama’s claim that we’re ‘better off’

by the Oklahoman Editorial Board

obama reaganBarack Obama has always seen himself as an agent of change, a la Ronald Reagan. His goal was to do for progressive politics what Reagan had done for conservatism.

Thus it was no surprise that he parroted a Reagan trope in recently asking the question of whether Americans are better off today than when he took office — and then answering his own question by concluding that “the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office.”

For Reagan, it was a campaign strategy drawn as a weapon against Jimmy Carter in 1980. Are you better off, he asked voters, than you were four years ago?

Such comparisons aren’t unique to Reagan and Obama, of course, but Reagan put his own stamp on it — quite successfully as it turns out.

“By every economic measure,” Obama told college students the other day, “we are better off than when I took office.” So not only has this president adopted the Reagan line (even crediting Reagan). He’s turned it into yet another example of repeated, robotic rhetoric in the endless campaign speeches made by a man “who is not running for anything except the exit,” in the words of Caroline Baum, a former Bloomberg News columnist. [Read more...]

Obama’s super slow, trickle-up economy

by New York Daily News

Jobless RecoveryHappy days are not yet here again for American workers, regardless of the cheering generated by the government’s latest report on job creation.

The number of people collecting paychecks rose more than had been expected and the tally of people counted as jobless fell, placing the unemployment rate — 5.9% — at its lowest level since 2008.

While the trends are positive, they offer only distant hope to a middle class that is taking home less pay than it used to and can only watch as the wealthy enjoy ever greater prosperity.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way under President Obama, tribune of ordinary folks who, as he likes to say, play by the rules. [Read more...]

The Emerging Law of the Gun

Reagan Korea

by Peter Huessy

Russian President Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in gross violation of international law. What should America do, if anything?

There are many different ideas. Some suggest doing nothing. Some assert we cannot do anything. Others feel the consequences of letting such aggression stand will be serious.

The country’s divisions are certainly reflective of how divided on this Americans are.

What then is the proper role for America in the world that both keeps us safe and enhances our prosperity? [Read more...]

Economic Malpractice

obamanomicsIt’s amazing how little President Obama has learned about economics in his four and a half years in the White House. Growth, incentives, tax reform, tax increases, private investment, the middle class, a second great depression, the sequester—all these issues have one thing in common: Obama doesn’t understand their role in our economy.

Nor does he appear interested in finding out. Members of the now-defunct President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness have privately talked about Obama’s economic shallowness. After the 2010 election, he invited four conservative economists to the White House. When former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin broached the subject of the economic cost of Obamacare, the president dismissed it as politics, not economics.

Obama seems oblivious to the feeble recovery his policies have produced since the recession bottomed out in June 2009. The jobless rate is 7.3 percent. But if the millions who’ve dropped out of the job market altogether since Obama took office in January 2009 were counted, the unemployment rate would be 10.8 percent. “In other words, the United States faces a permanently larger pool of jobless Americans,” says the American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis. [Read more...]

Obama’s Economic Failure

Sluggish Economyby Larry Elder

How’s the left-wing, ivory-tower, we-know-best elitist Obamanomics working for you? Here’s the news.

First-quarter gross domestic product numbers for 2013 were recently revised — downward from 1.8 percent to 1.1 percent. For perspective, four years into the recovery from the last deep recession in ’81-’82, the economy grew at 4.1 percent.

What about the declining “labor force participation rate”?

This counts the percentage of civilians 16 years and older working or actively looking for work. When President Barack Obama took office, the labor force participation rate was 65.7. Today it is 63.4, up 0.1 from April’s 34-year low. Frustrated, many able-bodied and able-minded would-be workers have simply given up looking for jobs. [Read more...]

ObamaCare now even more unpopular … and with good reason

by Stephen F. HayesObamacare Opt Out

It’s been one year since the Supreme Court decision that allowed Obama administration officials to begin implementing the Affordable Care Act, and the frequency and volume of reports about the challenges facing those reforms—and the difficulties they are visiting on those who were supposed to benefit from them—are increasing dramatically.

Jeff Vernon, an employee of Scrambler Marie’s restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, told a local reporter that the owners were cutting his hours to avoid penalties under Obamacare. Businesses with more than 49 employees have to offer insurance to all “full-time” workers—defined as those who put in 30 hours or more each week. The result, for Vernon: $400 less in take-home pay every month. “That leaves me $27.50 for two weeks to live off of,” he explained. Vernon said the owners tried to avoid the cuts but didn’t have any other recourse. “They were real good about that,” he added. “The last thing they wanted to do was cut people. They don’t want to fire anybody.” [Read more...]

Americans Are Migrating to States with Lower Taxes and Less Regulation

by John Merline   red state blue state

Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.

It found that the freest states tended to be conservative “red” states, while the least free were liberal “blue” states. [Read more...]

Carbon Taxes and Leprosy: The opportunity of a life time? Who are they kidding?

by George Landrith   carbon tax

It is not surprising that there are liberals in Washington proposing new stealth carbon taxes. What is surprising is that a few “conservatives” support the idea. Even more inexplicable is the fact that some have called the carbon tax a “once in a generation opportunity.”

Let me see if I’ve got this right. A huge, gargantuan tax increase — one that would make everything cost more — is a “once in a generation opportunity?”

Every single day for the last 30 years and every single day for the next 30 years, liberals will crawl over top of each other to be the first one to sign-on to a new energy tax. This is a deal that liberals will always be willing to give. [Read more...]

The economy, jobs, and energy and carbon taxes

George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom, issued the following statement:   GL Speaking 1

The economy is not some theoretical concept or ivory tower idea. A strong economy means that Americans have jobs and growing incomes. It means that families can provide their children with the care and opportunities that will provide for a bright future. Conversely a weak economy means fewer jobs and less opportunity. It means lower incomes and it means that families have to do without.

Too often big government slows the economy by taxing and spending too much. Those who support more and more government taxes and spending always argue that government can do something good with the money. But the problem with that argument is that families and businesses also can do a lot of good with that money if government doesn’t take it away from them. [Read more...]

The truth about the minimum wage

by Gordon Jones   Minimum Wage

In early 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the constitutionality of ObamaCare (né the Affordable Care Act of 2009). One would think that the time for such a hearing might be before passage of the act, but that is the way we do things around here, and besides, that is not the point of this column, which (as you can see from the title), is about the minimum wage.

The point derives from an exchange between Utah’s freshman (very fresh at the time, only a day or two old) Senator Mike Lee and Walter Dellinger, heavyweight lawyer, professor of constitutional law at Duke University, Assistant Solicitor General, presidential legal adviser, and then Acting Solicitor General in the Clinton Administration. In the course of the exchange, Lee wondered why, if the Interstate Commerce Clause would support a requirement for everyone to buy insurance, it wouldn’t support a requirement that every citizen buy (if not actually consume) three servings of leafy green vegetables every day. (That was in the heady days when supporters of ObamaCare still thought it was a regulation, before Chief Justice Roberts discovered that it was actually a tax.) [Read more...]

The buck still stops with the president

by Nolan Finley  The Buck Stops with Bush, Not Obama

Playing the crisis card won’t work forever for President Barack Obama. At some point, the people will expect their leader to lead.

And the president hasn’t yet demonstrated the will to do so. Instead, he answers monumental moments such as the upcoming sequestration deadline with brinksmanship and blame-gaming.

For now, the approach is working. A Pew/USA Today poll last week found decisively more voters blame [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Second Inaugural Address: Human freedom is on the march, and nowhere more so than our own hemisphere

“The American sound . . . is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

One-term presidents rarely are considered our most successful presidents. Getting re-elected is not in and of itself an indicator of a successful second term. Of course, the more successful the first term, the more likely the success of a second.

During his second term Reagan built on the real economic accomplishment of his first. This success enabled him to ensure our freedoms and secure our defense. This freedom, then, spread around the world. Indeed, America became again the last best hope of earth. [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address: “We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around.”

“We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

The claim is made that the most important political event in history was neither the writing of the Declaration nor the crafting or ratification of the Constitution which secures our rights. It was neither of these two monumental accomplishments; it was the peaceful transition of the control of the executive office of the United States of America from George Washington to John Adams. [Read more...]

When Big Deficits Became Good

“The problem now is that there are not enough millionaires and billionaires to make up for the shortfall. And if interest rates rise just a bit, the debt will bury us all — fat cats and thin cats alike.”

Deficitby Victor Davis Hanson

As a senator and presidential candidate, Barack Obama said that he detested budget deficits. In 2006, when the aggregate national debt was almost $8 trillion less than it is today, he blasted George W. Bush’s chronic borrowing and refused to vote for upping the debt ceiling: “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’” [Read more...]

Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the ’88 Republican National Convention

“Our party speaks for human freedom, for the sweep of liberties that are at the core of our existence. . . . Together we’ve fought for causes we love. But we can never let the fire go out or quit the fight, because the battle is never over. Our freedom must be defended over and over again — and then again.”

by Scott L. Vanatter

At the end of a Super Bowl the winning head coach can rightly point to the day’s game plan, key plays, and stats. All these and more contributed to what was accomplished by the team – led by the coach.

At the end of his time in office, a successful two-term president can rightly point to the administration’s fundamental principles and key policies. All these and more produced the real-world accomplishments – led by the president. After eight years of concrete success and indisputable accomplishment President Reagan reported to the 1988 Republican National Convention. Prior to being elected Reagan had carefully and overtly taught — yes, taught — the country the key principles on which the Founders based the U.S. Constitution and preserved American culture. [Read more...]