Posted by: Debby Durkee | August 18, 2011

Let’s make D.C. Inconsequential.

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Let’s make D.C. Inconsequential.

Love him or hate him, Texas Governor Rick Perry has a knack of saying things the normal American says to his neighbor every day. From saying that Ben Bernanke’s continued printing of money for purely political reasons is near treasonous to wanting to make Washington, D.C., inconsequential in our lives, Perry is never boring, and he is usually correct. This is from Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe.

When Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his campaign for president last weekend in a speech to the RedState Gathering in Charleston, S.C., he saved his best line for the end. “I’ll promise you this,’’ he said to exuberant cheers and applause, “I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, DC, as inconsequential in your life as I can.’’

To a Democrat steeped in the big-government tradition of the New Deal and the Great Society, there could hardly be a greater heresy.

For liberals, perhaps the only thing more absurd and disagreeable than the prospect of a Washington with radically reduced influence in American life is a presidential candidate pledging to make that reduction a priority. Snip —

Of course, the crazies at MSNBC got their mouths out in front of their brains when they reacted, but that’s pretty much an everyday occurrence. Chris Matthews equated Perry’s statement to wanting anarchy. Sheesh…don’t talk about limited government in colorful terms or Matthews sees a bunch of pitchforks in the streets, perhaps that’s what he fears.

…to countless libertarians and free-market conservatives, it is exhilarating to hear a candidate talk this way…In promising to curb Washington’s outsize authority, Perry is responding to an alienation from government that is very much a Main Street phenomenon.  Snip —

Over the past half-century, Washington has insinuated itself into a thousand-and-one decisions that individuals or local governments are more than capable of making for themselves. Which medicines can you buy? How efficient should your light bulbs be? Can your children’s school day begin with a prayer? Who qualifies for a mortgage? When do unemployment benefits run out? Can you pay an employee $5 an hour if that’s what his labor is worth? Should abortions be restricted? Is health insurance optional? Do artists or farmers or broadcasters require subsidies? Are you in charge of your retirement income?

In Federalist No. 45, James Madison emphasized that, under the Constitution, the powers of the federal government “are few and defined,’’ while those left to state and local communities “are numerous and indefinite.’’ For the first 150 years or so of US history that was largely the case. But New Deal and Great Society liberalism has turned the framers’ careful arrangement inside out. Today, there is almost nothing in American life that Washington does not consider itself fit to regulate, control, ban, tax, or mandate.

…Between 1960 and 2010, Title 42 metastasized from 403 pages of statutory language to more than 6,300. Title 42, bear in mind, is just one of 50 titles in the US Code.

Has the staggering growth of the federal establishment made America a better, more humane, more optimistic place to live? …

…in crucial ways, the flow of power upward to the federal government has impoverished American culture and weakened civic society. A presidential candidate who was serious about making Washington less consequential in the lives of Americans would render his nation a great service. Whether Perry is really that candidate remains to be seen.

Read all of Jacoby here:

As if to prove Perry’s point about needing to get Washington, D.C. out of our everyday lives, Obama promises to “help” us even more, which, of course, reminds us of Ronald Reagan’s quip: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” That’s pretty much all Perry was saying, and that’s pretty much all you need to know about Barack Obama, he is the government that’s here to “help.” This is from David Harsani over at The Blaze.

The Obama administration is finally going to focus on jobs — again. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And nothing says jobs like food stamps, unemployment insurance and a shiny new federal department of … yes, jobs!  Snip –

This week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was ready to “announce something that’s never happened in this country” (never?!). If anyone had actually been paying attention, people might have imagined for a moment that a rogue idea had somehow bubbled up in a corner of the federal behemoth. Perhaps a great leap forward in genetic engineering? Or some new advance in nanotechnology?

Food stamps. The administration’s announcement was to tout a new program expanding “economic stimulus” through food stamps. An idea Americans had “never” heard … this week. Then again, considering the nation is awash in food stamps, this must portend a colossal recovery. So that’s certainly good news.

Similarly, when a Wall Street Journal reporter recently asked the White House press secretary to explain the administration’s contention that extending unemployment benefits would be an economic stimulus, Jay Carney answered, “Oh, uh, it is by, um, I would expect a reporter from The Wall Street Journal would know this as part of the entrance exam.”  Snip –

According to BSU graduate Carney, all educated folk understand that dependency is stimulative, so perhaps the problem is in the way government delivers. Word from The New York Times is that the administration is chewing over a proposal that would merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and economic divisions of the State Department to form a tremendously useless department, possibly named the Department of Jobs or maybe the Department of Competitiveness.  Snip –

Now, considering the failure of Washington to help shake off this prolonged slump, it is no surprise that a recent Washington Post poll found that 73 percent of Americans — up from 52 percent last year and 41 percent a decade ago — doubt the ability of government to solve the nation’s economic problems.

I suppose it’s not surprising that this administration refuses to budge a single food stamp away from its faith-based beliefs. But if it really wanted to help, it would stop “helping.”

Thank you, Mr. Harsani, for that brilliant example of what Rick Perry was talking about in his speech. Perhaps you could forward your column to Chris Matthews. I think he no longer hears what people on the right say, he hears what he want s to hear. Read all of Harsani here:

Oh, and have you heard that David Stockman, former director of Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget agrees with Perry about the Fed printing too much money? Oh, you haven’t? Well, check this out:

…David Stockman agrees with Obama about Perry’s poor choice of words but also wholeheartedly agrees with Perry’s sentiment. ” I think he was dead on in his thought,” the former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration tells Aaron Task in the accompanying clip. “I think it’s time Republicans woke up to the fact that is the fundamental problem in our economy today.”

Click over to read it all and to view the interview with Stockman here:

More on Bernanke and Perry from Larry Kudlow, who also agrees with Perry, saying it’s a much-needed defense of the dollar, although he doesn’t agree with the “treasonous” part, here:

The Texas governor, who by some polls is the new Republican presidential frontrunner, went on to say, “We’ve already tried this. All it’s going to be doing is devaluing the dollar in your pocket. And we cannot afford that.”

Well, to me that is exactly right.

Let’s take a quick look at Bernanke’s QE2 record of pump-priming: The dollar fell 12 percent on foreign-exchange markets. The consumer price index jumped over 5 percent at an annual rate. And the $600 billion cheapening of the greenback led to skyrocketing commodity prices, including oil, gasoline, and food. That oil-price shock is one of the principal factors behind the 0.8 percent first-half economic stutter. As a result of the jump in inflation linked to QE2, real consumer incomes slumped badly and consumer spending fell substantially.

Before QE2 the economy was growing about 2.5 percent, even though it was already blunted by numerous tax and regulatory obstacles. But the cheap-dollar oil shock came perilously close to pushing us into recession.

So it turns out that Governor Perry — even with his overly strong language — is a pretty sharp economic and monetary analyst.

Plain talk. Straight talk. When’s the last time you heard that? Never from Obama, and rarely from a politician. Read all of Kudlow here:


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