Posted by: Debby Durkee | August 8, 2010

The end of responsibility.

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The end of responsibility.

This is a great column from Kyle Smith over at the New York Post. Is responsibility an old-fashioned term now? It seems the longer the Obama administration is in office the less relevant the term becomes. Rather than being considered responsible, are normal Americans’ sense of fairplay and doing the right thing now just another term for schmuck, naïveté, or a mark?  And, once we all cave into the let’s-get-something-for-nothing mentality, where will we be as a nation? My guess? In the palm of Obama’s and his ilk’s hands. The following column captures some of that thinking. Other recent individual news stories show the theme of irresponsibility running through them.

“From Washington to Wall Street,” Reuters columnist James Pethokoukis wrote on Thursday, “there are rumors that the Obama administration is about to order government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive a portion of the mortgage debt of millions of Americans who owe more than what their homes are worth.”

That’s right. If you bet badly in the housing-market casino of the Aughties, the government is thinking of refunding some of your chips so you can play again. You may have heard something about a sub-prime real-estate bubble that popped and nearly took down the financial system with it? President Obama wants to double down.

Unlike most rumors, this one became more, not less, plausible when you examine the details. The White House has made it clear in recent months that it is frustrated by what the Framers called “the legislative branch,” what President Obama calls “politics” and what I call “the wishes of the American people.”

Obama craves a short-term sugar rush for the economy. If he feels cornered, betrayed and alone, he could use his new ownership of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a free federal candy store and tell America to line up and pig out.

Rewarding subprime borrowers would be characteristic. In more ways than one, Barack Obama seems to want to be known as the Sub-Prime President.

Obama often chides others for being irresponsible. When he does, the effect is a bit like Richard Nixon calling others ruthless. It is Obama who has created a $1.4 trillion deficit. It is he who, back in 2007, called for abandoning Iraq to the wolves by early 2008. It is he who voted against even continuing to fund our troops there. It is he who created a massive new health care entitlement with little means to pay for it except specious claims of efficiency savings.

Yet Obama deems Arizona guilty of “irresponsibility” for taking upon itself the federal duty to keep illegal aliens out of the country. Peculiar.

His favorite use of the word is in connection with Wall Street. Were the banks really irresponsible, though?

The term “responsible” seems to be turned on its head when Obama uses it. How can it be responsible for responsible people to bailout the irresponsible? And when responsible people in Arizona try to do the responsible thing by protecting their citizens when the irresponsible in Washington won’t, they’re called irresponsible. It’s enough to make one’s head spin, but I believe most Americans are on to him and his Democrat cronies (please, God.) Please read it all here: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/the_end_of_responsibility_wMUZX8RDtJliTA2kRAB1PP

Government: An out of control corporation.

Michael Medved pens a brilliant column in USA Today. He writes about the biggest out of control corporation: the United States government and how the Tea Partiers and like-minded individuals see the government aligned with favored corporations as a menace to the republic. Are we Americans first, or are we a greedy, self-indulgent, irresponsible people who want to slough off our problems and debts onto the rest of the nation’s back (or even worse, our children’s), along the way losing our core values as Americans? Or will we remain the responsible Americans of our forefathers?

What’s the most powerful, arrogant and dangerous corporation in the world?  Snip –

No corporation on the planet comes close to the United States government in sheer magnitude, or unimaginable, unprecedented power. The nation’s top 100 corporations combined still fall far short of the behemoth in Washington, D.C., which conducts extensive operations in agriculture, weapons production, medical care, housing, real estate, education, mail delivery, policing, resource development, banking, the arts, security services, food provision, transportation and much, much more. Within five years, federal spending will consume 25% of every dollar generated by the private economy.  Snip –

…(Obama) regularly attacks leading companies, suggesting that he will work against their interests and rein in their profits and growth.

This line falls flat with most people for two reasons. First, they understand enough about business to realize that any crackdown that damages major firms won’t help to fuel a recovery. Hitting struggling corporations with more taxes, regulation, lawsuits and rhetorical abuse can hardly assist them in their all-important mission of job creation.

Moreover, Obama fails to recognize what Matt Bai properly designates as “an underlying shift in the meaning of American populism.” In an insightful Times column, Bai suggests that ” today’s only viable brand of populism” shuns ancient tropes about “the struggling worker vs. his corporate master. It is about the individual vs. the institution — not only business, but also government and large media and elite universities, too.”

This new brand of populism, crystallized most forcefully by the “Tea Party” movement, doesn’t see government as the necessary counterweight to business excesses, but rather views “business and government as part of an interdependent system,” blaming that fearsome combination for most of the nation’s ills. Fearful Americans don’t trust business to serve the national interest, but they trust government even less. As Bai notes, they focus on the federal deficit “not because it presents an imminent crisis of its own, necessarily, but because it signifies a kind of institutional recklessness, a disconnectedness from the reality of daily life.”

The public also understands that such recklessness, such unsustainable spending, would bring individuals or small businesses to rapid financial ruin; only the largest corporations, and the federal government itself, can get away with long-standing patterns of irresponsibility. The contrast raises the painful issue of double standards: the application of different rules for the people and the powerful (a designation that includes both governmental and corporate elites).

This is a terrific column, showing how responsible Americans are the ones that are in the forefront of trying to rein in the irresponsible in government and those in business who are in bed with government at the steep price of the nation as a whole. It truly gives the term “multinational corporation” a dirty name if those corporations are aligned against the country and the system of capitalism that gave birth to them. You can read it all here:  http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-08-05-column05_ST_N.htm

Dems want to raise taxes only on Red states.

This outrageous proposal by Democrat (of course) Jerry Nadler of (of course) New York just puts bright lights around the theme of this whole exercise in responsible versus irresponsible Americans. Exempting those in states where the cost of living is higher from higher federal taxes would make it that much more difficult to vote with your feet to go to a lower cost state, thus giving the federal government even more control of your lowly life, you irresponsible peon. This is from Mark Hemingway over at the Washington Examiner.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, they blow the lid off of a rather shocking proposal by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and four other members of New York’s House caucus:

One irony of the tax increase that arrives on January 1 is that the it will hit residents of high-income, Democratic-leaning states like California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York the hardest. This is a problem for pro-tax Democrats.

Enter New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, who wants to exempt his own six-figure constituents from the tax hike he supports. Mr. Nadler’s bill would “require the IRS to adjust tax brackets proportionally in regions where the average cost of living is higher than the national average.”  Snip –

Hmmm. Why is it so expensive to live in New York? Oh yeah:

That point about “reality” and the tax code could certainly use some fleshing out, but leave that aside. A big reason the cost of living is so high in Boston, Manhattan and San Francisco is because of high state and local taxes, union work rules, and heavy business regulation that make it more expensive to produce, sell and buy things.

Why should someone in Spokane or Knoxville or Topeka be penalized because New York and California impose destructive policies? Mr. Nadler also conveniently forgets that the federal tax code already subsidizes high-cost states through the deductibility of state and local income and property taxes.

So here, once again, Democrats, whose ridiculous taxing and union policies have made their stronghold states the most expensive in which to live, would pass along their debts to the responsible states and their taxpayers. If this doesn’t tick you off, then you are already too far gone to be called an American. Read it all here:  http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/democrats-want-to-raise-taxes–but-only-on-red-states-99954334.html

What happened to the adults?

With Obama constantly blaming Bush (and actually calling him out by name just the other day), it’s obvious that this administration doesn’t want to take responsibility for any of the mess that has been visited upon the American people. Shifting blame is not what a responsible adult does, so this mindset of irresponsibility is top-down in the country. Will it show up in our young people just as oral sex did after President Clinton decided that kind of sex wasn’t sex? Rich Lowry finds the only adults in politics at present are in Republican statehouses. Let’s hope some of these types of people move on to bigger things.

The sweep of Obama’s ambition has necessarily forced congressional Republicans into a perpetual posture of “no,” but they are reluctant to outline their own agenda of “yes.” Out across the United States, a populist movement of great moment and promise wants to pull the country back to its constitutional moorings. Its favored candidates, though, are often shaky vessels, the likes of Rand Paul in Kentucky and Sharron Angle in Nevada, who are always one gaffe away from self-immolation.

For adults, look to the statehouses. Look in particular to New Jersey and Indiana, where Govs. Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels are forging a limited-government Republicanism that connects with people and solves problems. They are models of how to take inchoate dissatisfaction with the status quo, launder it through political talent, and apply it in a practical way to governance.  Snip –

Both Christie and Daniels are happy (or, in the case of the latter, pleasant) warriors. They both are distinctive politicians, not what a political consultant would cook up in his laboratory (Christie has too much girth and Daniels too little hair). They both feel the weight of responsibility as the chief executives of their states in a way that hyperbolic congressmen and commentators don’t. They prove that Republicans can govern, that budgets can be tamed, and that politics can work, so long as serious men and women put their shoulders to the wheel.

In short, they are adults. Their like can’t gain control of Washington soon enough.

Let’s hope that begins happening in November. If Nadler has his way (per the column above this one), it won’t matter whether your state’s governor and residents are responsible or not. We must not let that happen. I’ll continue with this theme tomorrow. Read all of Lowry here: http://article.nationalreview.com/438952/attack-of-the-adults/rich-lowry?page=1

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Responses

  1. The greatest irresponsibility of the federal government is when they reward companies (banks) for doing the wrong thing and then chiding them for their irresponsibility when they do it. I am not aware of one liberal government policy that has been successful in both achieving its desired outcome and being financially responsible. Most do not achieve what they set out to do and the blame is usually that it wasn’t funded sufficiently. The truth is that less funding and an expectation of responsibility from the recipient would have done more to accomplish both ends.
    The new name of the current Democrat party should be the party of irresponsibility! I started to say financial irresponsibility but it is so much bigger than that.


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