Income Inequality Arguments Are Bogus And Dangerous

Not long ago, President Obama instituted a tried and true gambit to garner political favor- he began to attack affluent Americas. As expected, our leader’s rhetoric gained traction with liberal members of Congress and progressives throughout the country. Income inequality is now the mantra of many people who have less than the “1%” in the United States. But some astute economists and social scientists believe this strategy is misguided and dangerous.

 

There are some basic questions that one should ask before adopting the president’s perspective. Do the affluent actively prevent the other 99% from improving their standard of living? No. Does incrementally higher compensation of the 1% come out of the pockets of the 99%? No. Does the income inequality argument foster class warfare? Yes.

 

What specifically is the objective of those who demonize the wealthiest among us? The obvious goal is to increase taxes on the 1% and distribute it to the 99% (via welfare and/or tax relief). Considering that the marginal federal tax rate is almost 40% for the wealthiest Americans, and they pay about 50% when state and local taxes are factored in, is it shocking that some people believe the wealthy are already paying their fair share?

 

One of the classic arguments against high compensation is “These people [the 1%] earn too much money. It’s selfish and un-American to want more.” Since when is there a limit on the amount of wealth a person may accumulate? I always thought that the free market decides the value of a worker. Now, philosophers and local government representatives have become compensation experts. The moral argument is another canard. I ask, do the scriptures say a person’s compensation be limited? And what about our laws?

 

Throughout history, aristocracies stole money from the lower classes. In France, the greedy upper class ultimately got what they deserved- revolution and execution because they were thieves. In Russia, the same story played out. The czars and the czarinas absconded property and money from their subjects. Once again, a revolution resulted, and now there are no more czars and czarinas.

 

The political implications of singling out an innocent group because they have a different skin color, a different God or even if they earn a high salary are inappropriate. Rallying the majority against a minority who is not breaking the law for political advantage is a dangerous precedent as we have seen in any number of situations throughout time.

 

There will be some who object to the position I have taken. But, consider that the vast majority of billionaires and millionaires in this country earned their money by working diligently. True, some inherited their fortune, and some broke the law (hopefully they will all be prosecuted). But, the vast number of affluent people in this country wake up every morning, go to work, try to be creative and think of new ways to earn money legally.

 

Notwithstanding this, some affluent people have advantages in the race for financial success. (Note: I totally understand and support those who have aspirations aside from the accumulation of money.) Children of wealthy parents usually do not pay for college. Parents may be alumni, increasing the probability that their offspring will be accepted to the most prestigious schools. And the list goes on.

 

But, the most important advantage of affluent children is that their parents emphasize the importance of education, good values and the ability to support one’s self. It is a given that these children will go to college and graduate, for the most part. Considering that a huge amount of money is available for scholarships and grants, the financial burden on middle and lower class children in not overly burdensome as we have recently learned (See my essay “The Real Cost of Education” published by Softball Politics).

 

Progressives have attacked affluence mercilessly over the past decade or so, as if every person with a high net worth is a felon. Of course, the economic crisis and the greed that fueled the recession did not help the reputation of the wealthy. They were targeted even more aggressively, as if every investment banker packaged and sold “crappy” mortgages. And, every financial person is a Bernie Madoff in-training.

 

The fact is that the group being persecuted pays the lion’s share of taxes. Every new dollar of ordinary income that they earn, results in 50 cents of new revenue for federal, state and local authorities. Every dollar of long-term gains is taxed at 20%. The 99% should hope that rich people earn more because the U.S. Treasury will collect more that can be used for entitlements and other benefits that accrue to the 99%.

 

The best outcome is for all economic groups to rise in unison. This has not been the case in recent years, but it should be the objective, rather than mass redistribution of wealth. In the first, everyone earns their keep. In the second, more people will become wards of the state.

 

 

 

 

The Real Cost of a College Education

Nobody is quite sure what the real increase in college tuition has been over the past two decades, but it has now been revealed that the increase is far lower than what the federal government has been telling us.

 

According to an article appearing in the New York Times titled “How Government Exaggerates College Cost,” the government says that “college tuition and fees have risen an astounding 107 percent since 1992, even after adjusting for economy-wide inflation . . .” No other household expense has increased at this rate.

 

Progressives and Millennials have been screaming and berating colleges for being insensitive to the needs of students and about skyrocketing student debt. Unfortunately, these groups have been using the wrong numbers to make their cases. The result is that many “experts” have discouraged students from applying to college. The rationale is that the debt incurred for college tuition is far greater than the benefits a student will receive in the workplace with a college degree. In other words, the return on the money spent for college is not great enough to offset the investment that must be made.

 

The rate of increase, until just a few years ago, was based upon the “list prices” published by colleges in their information brochures. Astonishingly, government grants were not taken into consideration. The result is that affluent families not eligible for aid did incur the increases calculated by the government, but middle and lower class families who did receive aid experienced far lower increases.

 

The Times article indicates that the Bureau of Labor Statistics began to change its methodology in 2003 to reflect the effect of financial aid. However, the general public has not known about this situation, and the numbers prior to 2003 were not recalculated.

 

The actual impact is best exhibited by considering the cost of attending a private college without aid- something that only wealthy families do. It is about $60,000 per year. Taking into account financial aid from federal and state sources, the cost is $12,460 for private colleges last year and $3,120 for in-state public four-year colleges.

 

I hope those deferring or eschewing college because of the expected returns recalculate the numbers. They are now staggeringly in favor going to school.

 

Other non-government sources that calculated the increase in college tuition including the impact of financial aid have said the increase has been 22 percent for private four-year colleges since 1992. The increase was 60 percent for public four-year colleges.

 

For your information, other prices have risen since 1992 as follows: gasoline, 83 percent; child care, 44 percent; and supermarket food, 3 percent. New vehicles have fallen 34 percent and furniture is down 39 percent.

 

Given the heated debate about college attendance, it is pathetic and hurtful that our government has misrepresented such an important statistic. Could this have been politically motivated?

The American Leadership Crisis

The reputation and influence of the United States has suffered immeasurably during the past few years because of poor leadership in Washington. The response of the U.S. to diverse threats from many places, domestically and internationally, has caused our allies to doubt our resolve in spite of this country’s great military and economic power.

 

The issues that are bringing America down are numerous. Domestically, the number one problem continues to be the economy and the impact it has had on unemployment and wages.

 

The housing bubble burst in 2008 and was probably the most important impetus for the Great Recession. Houses are the largest personal investment for most Americans, and these investments declined in value. Credit standards were loosened as part of the housing euphoria resulting in untenable levels of mortgage debt compared to home prices.

 

The current administration did not respond appropriately to the aftermath of the housing bubble debacle. Instead, trillions of dollars were directed into a universal health care system. In effect, the federal government subordinated the needs of over 300 million Americas to insure 20-30 million Americans. The money and political capital dedicated to Obamacare should have been used to stimulate the economy.

 

The long-term effect of this strategy has been systemic economic malaise. The most needy are ones that have suffered the most; consider the rapid rise in welfare and the persistent growth of long-term employment. Further, the disastrous decision to focus on health care rather than our economy has resulted in a blood feud between our political parties that has paralyzed the government.

 

Internationally, the administration has acted indecisively in response to threats of all kinds, thereby emboldening our adversaries. Our most dangerous nemeses can be broken down into four buckets- terrorists creating havoc in several strategic places in the world, Russia, nations that are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction and immigrants that have assaulted our borders.

 

Terrorism is now an old threat that became prominent on 9/11/01. The incredible success of the “box cutter skyjackers” changed history. The devastation, and the global response to it, caused by this amateur group of fanatics have impacted billions of people in a thousand different ways. There is no way to estimate the true cost of that fateful day.

 

But even more important, the 9/11 tragedy inspired thousands, and maybe millions of terrorist copycats. Every day, a group somewhere in the world declares a victory after killing innocents. The depressing truth is that America’s response to these horrible acts has been tepid at best, and our warnings are no longer a deterrent to radical nations and organizations.

 

Our most successful tactic has been drone attacks, as the U.S. has no stomach for new troop deployments. However, the collateral damage affiliated with drone attacks has infuriated some nations. The National Security Agency efforts to identify criminals have been severely hampered by civil liberties advocates even though some useful intelligence information has resulted from NSA efforts.

 

Russia considers the U.S. a paper tiger. Its flagrant disregard for long held international law in the Ukraine is a disgrace culminating in the downing of a commercial airliner. No one is recommending a military response to the Russian-supported militia in the Ukraine. But, our country’s hesitation to impose significant economic sanctions, with or without support from European allies, is deplorable. Putin no longer considers the U.S. a threat to his aggressive ambitions.

 

Iran and North Korea are going to develop nuclear weapons in the near future. The only question that will remain is when will they have the ability to deliver a nuclear strike over a long distance (possibly to the continental U.S.). We should end the diplomatic Kabuki dance with these two rogue nations and be more assertive.

 

Bankrupting Iran with economic sanctions would be a wise course. And, we should begin to plan for a military strike against North Korea if it does not agree to end its nuclear program. Neither country can be trusted with nukes, and neither has negotiated honestly or in good faith to this point.

 

Our borders have been under assault for years. Millions of immigrants have already entered our country illegally and thousands more are doing so every day. It is certainly a national security risk. I cannot comprehend why this is not the highest priority of our federal and state governments. I assume that those already in the U.S. will be granted a path to citizenship, something I am mildly in favor of. But, why do we allow the flow of immigrants to continue and exacerbate the situation?

 

These people are already creating a huge financial, health care and educational burden on our country. In fact, our ability to care for needy Americans has been greatly diminished by the money being spent on these interlopers. Why are they more important than the citizens of our country? Why haven’t the leaders of the downtrodden in America been screaming about the diversion of so many resources to illegal aliens?

 

The United States needs new leadership now. Our ability to keep the peace domestically is in question, much less our ability to protect our allies around the world. Our great military strength is being sapped each day as spending is cut. Our enemies know we are in flux, and they are taking advantage of our distractions. If this continues, the U.S. will soon lose its position of power among the global community of nations.

 

The NYPD: Respect The Brave Officers That Protect Us

Police departments throughout the country are under attack by civil liberty advocates. The power of paramilitary groups, such as the New York Police Department, needs oversight and regulation. But, if this is taken to an extreme, it may dramatically impact the ability of the NYPD to achieve its mission– “to enhance the quality of life in our City by working in partnership with the community and in accordance with constitutional rights to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment.”

 

By way of background, there are approximately 34,500 police officers in New York City, or about 41.8 officers for every 10,000 citizens. In 2013, this group investigated 111 thousand major felonies (e.g., murder, rape, robbery, etc.), 57 thousand minor felonies, 359 thousand misdemeanor offenses and 61 thousand violations.

 

One of the most common complaints about the police has to do with the Department’s use of  force in the line of duty. A current case involving the alleged use of a chokehold by police during an arrest has been reported widely by the press.

 

Some civil liberty advocates agitate citizens against local police to an extent that it could ultimately decrease the effectiveness of law enforcement in NYC in achieving its mission. I am a strong defender of the NYPD and believe the group should be evaluated considering the 500 thousand plus crimes investigated each year, rather than one incident that may have been handled inappropriately.

 

When any among us are assaulted or our homes are violated, what’s the first thing we do? We call 911. In a very few moments, the police are on the scene investigating the alleged crime. Our Constitution requires that every suspect be treated fairly, understand his rights and not be harmed while in custody, assuming he does not resist arrest. What about the rights of the police officer?

 

The question is: What methods are available to the police to restrain a suspect, if he resists arrest? Should the police huddle up and try to formulate a non-violent response to a violent action? No, the police should respond immediately using the appropriate amount of force to control the actions of an uncooperative suspect. In some cases, this requires deadly force; in other cases, physical force is sufficient. In too many of these situations, the media stresses the rights of the accused and disregards the danger that threatens the police and innocent bystanders. In some controversial cases, the media seems more focused on the accused rather than the people who were victims of crimes.

 

The unfortunate incident on Staten Island is an excellent example of premature judgment by civil liberty advocates and the liberal press. This had resulted in mass hysteria. What we know is that the suspect died during an arrest stemming from the sale of untaxed cigarettes. What is not clear is whether the police used an illegal “choke hold” on the suspect while trying to control him. Also, it is not known whether the man died of suffocation from an alleged chokehold or from natural causes; the suspect was obese and suffered from various health ailments.

 

To be clear, if a police officer did use a technique that is not allowed, I believe he should be censured (or prosecuted) regardless of whether it was the cause of death. However, it is interesting to note that many people were recording the incident, so ultimately, it will probably be clear whether an illegal chokehold was applied. Extraordinary scrutiny of police officers in general (by social media and the like) may result in a reluctance that could cost innocent lives. The specter of accusations and criticism may cause our protectors to be more concerned with their own legal status than the people they are supposed to protect.

 

The statistics mentioned earlier make it clear that New Yorkers and citizens across the country need protection from violent criminals. The police are our allies not our enemies. Keep in mind that police officers earn a barely subsistence salary of $44 thousand when they enter the Academy. For this meager salary, they risk their lives every working day. The least we can do is be supportive,  give them the benefit of doubt and presume their innocence until proven guilty, when they act to protect and serve.

 

 

 

 

Severe Economic Sanctions Could Bankrupt Russia And End The Conflict In The Ukraine

The Russian invasion of the Ukraine has taken a turn for the worst. The ultimate nightmare of every free country in the world has occurred as a result of the conflict. Russian-backed rebels in the Ukraine allegedly shot down a commercial airplane with a land missile. For years, the threat of terrorists using surface to air missiles to attack non-military planes has been on the minds of every government security person in the world.

 

Putting weapons in the hands of radical, undisciplined mercenaries is a great risk. Russia has decided to arm rebels in Crimea to create havoc for the legitimate government of Ukraine, and in the end to annex land. This strategy has resulted in an egregious crime against humanity- the slaughter of nearly 300 innocents on a Malaysian plane.

 

As in a number of other dangerous situations, the U.S. response to Russian actions has been timid at best, and totally ineffective in tempering Russia’s aggression. This is not to suggest that the U.S. should take military action against Russia, or even to provide armaments to the Ukraine government. The latter may also lead to increased casualties of civilians. Rather, truly harsh economic sanctions against Russia should be implemented immediately.

 

The current opposition to a more substantive U.S. response is that our country only does a relatively minor amount of business with Russia, while the European Union does substantially more. However, the dependence of the EU on Russian energy has caused the Europeans to be very reluctant to pressure Russia.

 

It has been noted that the U.S. could put maximum pressure on Russia by forbidding U.S. banks to deal with Russian banks. Even without European assistance, this tactic would create a serious economic crisis in Russia. Perhaps these actions should have been implemented earlier.

If so, we might not be in such a precarious situation at this time.

 

During the Cold War, Ronald Reagan effectively bankrupted the Soviet Union. There is no reason why the U.S. cannot act in a similar manner to force Russia to end the current crisis.

Bankrupt Iran If It Refuses To End Its Nuclear Aspirations

It must be very depressing to be Barack Obama these days. Daily, the media and politicians from both sides of the aisle are critical of the administration’s foreign policy tactics. The Iran negotiations relating to its nuclear development program are currently front and center.

 

American negotiators agreed to a four-month extension of the Iran nuclear talks. The deadline for substantive concessions by Iran has passed and the U.S., once again, allowed another enemy to step across a line “drawn in the sand.” It’s difficult to be specific, but it appears that Iran is continuing to move towards the development of a nuclear weapons capability while it applies its latest version of “rope a dope” delays. You can figure out who the dope is.

 

The “mumbo” from the mouths of the Iranian government is exasperated by the “jumbo” from the president and John Kerry. The only thing that is definite is that the U.S. released $2 billion plus in Iranian cash for the extension of negotiations. All the blathering about centrifuges, which enable Iran to crate weapons grade material is impossible to decipher by all of us mere mortals. So, I conclude that the U.S. paid Iran to agree to a delay.

 

The Iran government lead by its all-powerful clergy believes it has a “divine” right to develop a nuclear bomb. The rest of the world, led by the U.S. and Israel, believe such a capability creates an existential threat to Israel.

 

The fact is no nation, especially those that border Iran, should be sleeping comfortably. If Iran successfully develops a bomb and the ability to deliver it, the Middle East will be a much more dangerous place, if that’s even possible. Fortunately, Gaddafi and Hussein were unable to develop a bomb. If either had, does anyone doubt that these men would use it in a fit of rage?

 

The Iran clerics are not that different than past despots from where I stand. Iran has gleefully participated in all of the regional hassles between Shiite and Sunni factions (Iran supports Shiite causes). Why wouldn’t Iran use the clout of a nuke to bully its neighbors? Why wouldn’t it employ a nuke in a limited way to eliminate an enemy? Who is going to stop Iran when it has a nuke in its arsenal?

 

Frankly, I don’t care if Iran has a right to build weapons of mass destruction. Iran is our enemy, and the enemy of about half of the Arab world (the Sunnis). I do not trust the Iranians to be responsible with such power.

 

Besides a preemptive military strike against Iran facilities producing nukes, there is another nonmilitary option. The U.S. should bankrupt Iran with sanctions unless they agree to end their nuclear aspirations.

Obama Is Officially A Lame Duck President

In recent months, some observers of Barack Obama are attributing the president’s sliding approval ratings to uncomplimentary personality traits. These depictions go far beyond his seemingly detached method of governing. Frankly, it appears that the president would rather not be the leader of the free world any longer.

 

What does it take to be a great leader in the 21st Century? I’m sure managerial experts could provide any number of characteristics that define a leader. I want to focus on just one. Earlier today, I began reading “Blood Feud . . .” written by Edward Klein, a well-known Obama-basher. The book discusses the bad blood between the Obamas and the Clintons. Klein also wrote “The Amateur,” another tome about the shortcomings of Mr. Obama.

 

A few pages into “Blood Feud,” I came across a quote attributed to Vernon Jordan, D.C. powerbroker extraordinaire. He said, “Consultation is not in the DNA of the Obama administration.” Jordan was a former adviser to Bill Clinton and has worked with Obama since his first election.

 

The implications of Jordan’s comment really got me thinking. How could any president eschew consultation and be successful? Does Obama really believe that he can lead the greatest nation on earth with just the help of Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama, David Plouffe and a few others, and not confer with other informed people?

 

The most successful presidents in American history achieved greatness under difficult circumstances. Certainly, times have been tough for Obama, affording him a chance to build his legacy. But, many believe he is failing miserably, something that is reflected in his declining polls. What are missing in the White House are experts proficient at economics, policy, war, the Middle East, health care, etc. I believe the president has performed poorly because he is either not listening to or getting lousy advise from his current advisers (or both). And, he does not solicit help from outside his inner circle, including members of Congress.

 

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama bamboozled the world with his dazzling personality and carefully orchestrated rhetoric. In fact, he is a talented campaigner. But political campaigns consist of promises and beautiful days ahead. The really difficult stuff begins on Inauguration Day. The selection of very well qualified advisers is critical to a president’s success. Unfortunately, Obama needed capable advisers more than most new presidents. In his first book, Klein said, “[The president] is inept in the arts of management and governance.” After only a few months as Senator, Obama was elected president primarily because he’s a great orator. He might be one of the most unprepared men to become president of the United States.

 

The president has had many missteps during the past six years domestically and in foreign affairs. In all fairness, Obama inherited the Great Recession, but his first initiative was to enact the Affordable Care Act and set aside the need for economic stimulus. This decision has had a long-term impact, and it prolonged the current crisis.

 

ACA became law without any input from Republicans because the Democrats controlled all branches of government. That soon changed and the opposition never let him forget his demeaning approach. The result has been government paralysis ever since. The situation will likely worsen as Republicans make more gains in Congress this November.

 

Since then, the president has not made any great strides to improve the economy, but he has attempted to govern by fiat and regulation making business more difficult in a period that screams for more economic activity. It is true that the belligerence on Capitol Hill has exasperated legislative deliberations.

 

In foreign policy, the situation is just as bad. Our relationship with virtually every ally and opponent is worse now than ever. American might, money and counsel carry little weight. Even the Israelis no longer believe we can deliver.

 

I suppose it’s too late for Obama to change. The impending elections will only increase paralysis in Washington. But, Obama can always make speeches to unions, play golf and hang out with Hollywood celebrities to pass the time until his tenure ends.

The Impending Demise Of The Affordable Care Act

The title of President Obama’s signature health care initiative could not be more misleading. So far, it has not been affordable; additionally, it has not been easy to understand or enroll into.

The New York Post* reported, “[a] survey [taken by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits], which polled . . . employers, and their health-care pros, found that [54%] of respondents, . . . [believe] ACA . . . [is] ‘negative’ or ‘very negative.’”

Indeed, Universal health care is a noble ideal. Ensuring that every American can find affordable treatment for disease is something the U.S. should strive to do. Unfortunately, the current legislation was rammed down our throatsdoes not provide affordable care and its implementation is going to cost American taxpayers far more than originally forecasted.

Small businesses with 50 or less employees are being impacted along with larger corporations even though they are exempt from the legislation. The principal issue is that soaring health care costs in general, since the enactment of ACA, are devastating them.

The backlash to ACA has also included a response from the Supreme Court, which ruled that Hobby Lobby, a large retailer, is not required to provide contraceptives as part of the medical insurance it offers to its employees. The exemption is based upon religious grounds. As time passes, others will likely request exemption for other reasons relating to religious beliefs and civil liberty.

Michael Wilson, CEO of the International Foundation, stated that many companies are taking actions to offset higher health care cost resulting from ACA that are detrimental to the health of our economy. These actions include: reducing the working force, reducing hours worked so fewer employees are working full time, freezing or reducing compensation and cutting back hiring.

The Post article indicates that one positive benefit is that companies have increased the dialogue they are having with employees about health issues. It should be noted that this is happening as the same employers are reducing employment and compensation.

The enactment of ACA, also known as Obamacare, was an ill-timed and very costly initiative. The nation was in the throes of the Great Recession, yet the president pushed a health care initiative through Congress that the country could not afford. The generally accepted perspective in the U.S. is that the money spent on Obamacare, which has increased dramatically from the start, would have been better spent on propping up the economy and dampening the impact of the recession on the middle and lower classes.

The epilogue to this bad story is that ACA will continue to be attacked by its detractors. Recent Supreme Court actions are a precursor to a much greater assault that will surely occur if Republicans increase their majority in the House and gain control of the Senate in the impending elections.

The saddest part of this nightmare is that universal health care is important to many uninsured Americans and it will not survive because the administration mishandled the effort.

Stop Any Additional Illegal Immigration First

Most Americans understand that this country is a melting pot, and its great success, in large part, is based upon diversity afforded by immigrants from all over the world. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that millions of people in other countries would love to move to the U.S. After all, we are free, and we have the best standard of living in the world. The questions are how can the U.S. control the number of people entering this country, and what should it do about the millions who have already come here illegally?

 

Frankly, the U.S. has done a horrible job controlling the flow of immigrants, particularly into the Border States in the South and West. This lack of control has created a maelstrom, which has yet to be addressed by the president or Congress. A New York Times editorial, predictably, advocates an open door policy that would do nothing less than cause panic in large and small towns across the nation.

 

In Murrieta, California, protestors blocked buses transporting migrants to a border patrol facility. The mayor of the city and infuriated citizens reacted in “farcical” manner in the opinion of the Times. I don’t see the situation in the same light.

 

The negative reaction of the community to the influx of a significant number of illegal immigrants is totally understandable (the violent and lewd behavior of some is not). In this peaceful hamlet, the U.S. Government attempted to foist a number of strangers from foreign countries onto the local citizenry. The migrants on the bus came to the U.S illegally; they may be peace-loving individuals or maybe not. No one really knows because the authorities have not vetted the interlopers.

 

If they remain in town, the local government would be responsible for their well-being, provide medical assistance and send children to the local schools. The latter would increase the size of classes with non-English speaking children, thereby slowing the pace of the learning experience. The former two issues would cost taxpayers (local, state and federal) plenty.

 

I’ve been wondering what would happen if several buses of migrants rolled into Greenwich, Connecticut or Scarsdale, New York. Would the locals in these communities welcome the migrants with open arms?

 

The U.S. Government knows the impact of illegal immigration over an extended period of time. The costs of this phenomenon in California have been devastating to the state’s economy. And, every state in this position expects the federal government to pay a portion of the expenses. So, even those of us far away from the southern border will feel the pain.

 

The Times editorial addresses the “insensitivity” of Republicans as they attempt to offer a first step to solve the problem- close the border to new illegal migration. Our country has sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers overseas to fight for and protect allies. Why is it unreasonable to send large numbers of soldiers to southern California, Arizona and Texas to stop illegal entry into our country, a national security risk?

 

Capping the problem must be the first step. Preventing the headcount of illegal immigrants from increasing from 12 million to 20 or 25 million is not insensitivity.

 

After the flow is cut off, the federal government can then focus on dealing with those already here illegally. I am not in favor of treating  people who have violated our law as welcomed guests. Yet, I understand and support a humane and fair program to assimilate those already in the country. However, the process should not be an easy one. Citizenship should not be a cakewalk. Applicants must prove that they will be good Americans, care for themselves and obey our laws. The penalty for not doing so must be immediate deportation.

 

The problems of immigration will not be simple to rectify. Resorting to bleeding-heart and politically correct tactics by the pro-immigration group will not be effective. The financial, security and demographic implications of adding millions to our population must be carefully considered. If we can solve this dilemma and decrease unnecessary expenditures, just think how much more will be available to Americans that are suffering as I write this essay.

 

 

Does Karl Rove Help The Cause Of Republicans

The current political landscape is fraught with pols and talking heads, who do not necessarily help the party to which they are affiliated . Karl Rove is an excellent example of a person whose time has passed, but his commentary is still encouraged by  conservative media outlets.

 

Rove wrote an article  that was published by the Wall Street Journal on July 3, 2014 titled “The Democrats’ Top Leaders Wilt in the Polls.” Given that Rove’s reputation is still suffering from his disastrous prediction that Mitt Romney would win the presidency in 2012, how can Republicans depend upon the man for substantive, unbiased and accurate political input? I’m afraid Karl is a has-been whose greatest moments came when George W. Bush was president.

 

Rove’s op-ed is chock full of political gossip that surely delights the hearts of hardcore conservatives. Paragraph after paragraph of his piece attacks Obama and Clinton. I don’t necessarily disagree with anything mentioned, but his words are not impactful because he is, well, he’s Karl Rove.

 

For Obama, the IRS investigation (it’s a cover up), the economy contracted  in the first quarter (most analysts expect a recovery in the balance of the year), children from Central America (neither political party has done a damn thing to reform immigration), Iraq is disintegrating (Bush started this mess), Obama’s polls are down (just look at Bush’s poll numbers and those of the current Congress today) and the Supreme Court “slapped him down” in four recent rulings are all mentioned by Rove.

 

And then there’s Obama’s attitude. Most Americans now realize that the president is insular; he’s a one-man show, and he gets pissed whenever anyone criticizes him. Frankly, he’s arrogant. But this is old news. The president has always parsed his words carefully, but recently, he has uttered some inappropriate things. The worst comment may have been his “So sue me” admonition to the Congress.

 

Similarly, Rove went off on Hillary Clinton. Please, Hillary is such an easy target. We all know about her political warts. And, we recognize that she thinks she has a divine right to be president. Rove writes that Clinton’s popularity has dropped precipitously to the level at which she lost the 2008 primary. I’m not exactly sure what this foretells, as her favorability rating is greater than 50%.

 

Then, Rove makes a point that Clinton is unable to offer any significant foreign policy achievements during her tenure as Secretary of State, other than resetting the Russian relationship. Actually, Clintin’s comment really is a joke, especially since Putin has not been reset- he just invaded Ukraine while the U.S. and other western countries have done little other than imposing a few economic sanctions.

 

Clinton’s new book, according to Rove is ill timed. In it, the Clinton says the couple pays ordinary taxes (as they rake in $200,000 for one speech). And,  the happy couple was “dead broke” and in debt at the end of Bill’s term (but now they have many millions).

 

However, the worst aspect of the op-ed is when Rove starts to opine about the Clinton political strategy to win the 2016 presidential election. Here’s a news flash, Mrs. Clinton has not said she will run for president. If she does run, she will win the primary and be difficult to beat in the general election.

 

Demeaning comments about Democrats from the mouth or pen of Karl Rove are hurting the Republican cause. My recommendation is that Rove take a sabbatical until after the 2016 election along with all of his Tea Party supporters, or Clinton will surely win in 2016.