The National Whig

Serving to make the United States better by arguing for Liberty and its best ingredient Limited Government.

Location: Any Towne, Any State, United States

Editor and Publisher of The National Whig.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Talk Radio and Phony Soldiers

The American Left is at it again. This time they are using a "phony" controversy to attack talk radio generally and Rush Limbaugh specifically. It used to be comical to see the Left try everything short of murder to beat talk radio, but now it is infuriating. It's infuriating because, unlike before, the Left has the political power now to act on some of their threats, like shutting down talk radio. You see, they cannot compete within the sphere of talk radio, so they have to find all sorts of things to convince the American People that it needs to be shut down, even if some of those things are false accusations against people like Limbaugh. The most recent dust up is over the use of the term "phony soldiers" by Limbaugh in regards to a person who, after 44 days of bootcamp, washed out of the Army and then claimed to be a member of the Army Rangers sent to Iraq and Afghanistan where he committed and wittnessed brutal treatment of the people there. The Left and their willing microphones in the news media are claiming that Rush is calling soldiers who are against the war in Iraq "phony soldiers." Here is the actual event that caused the ruckus.

So, here you have the origin of this "phony" story fanned by the Left. Limbaugh was talking about a gentleman named Jesse McBeth and not about soldiers who are against the war in Iraq. Furthermore, it should be noted that there are hundreds of "Jesses" out there in the "phony military," anti-war movement.

The real story is not the use of the term "phony soldiers" by Limbaugh, but the blatent attack on free speech by the American Left. For a group of people who are very quick to claim that President Bush has destroyed the First Amendment, they sure are quick to turn a blind eye to Democrats in Congress that want to pass real legislation that does exactly that. First it was the Fairness Doctrine and the claim that there just is not enough "diversity" on the radio airwaves. Now it's the ceasation of "hate" speech as demonstrated by Rush Limbaugh and his "phony soldiers" comment.

First of all, why don't all you Leftists out there who hate Limbaugh and talk radio in general try listening to his show before you make stupid accusations that can be easily refuted. Second of all, knowing that you are not going to listen to his show, why don't you just ignore it. I mean how many people on the Right are looking to shut down the Daily Kos because of the vitriol that is spewed by that bunch, and Bill O'Reiley is not enough for me because he is not in a political office? No, I want a name of a person in office seeking to actually go out and shut down some one on the Left. Wait a minute, you can't because there isn't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hillary's Contorting Positions on Iraq

On Sunday September 23, Democrat Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton visited with ABC's This Week w/George Stephanopoulos where she was asked a multitude of questions about the current campaign to win the White House in 08. George opened the questions with Iraq and Clinton's answers were all at once about getting out of Iraq completely and having to wait and see before anything is done about troop levels. Here's the video from youtube.

George asks her flat out if she will remove all US troops from Iraq within her first term and her answer is that she is not going to answer that right now because she does not know what she is going to find when/if she wins the presidency. I suspect that she is saying this because she does actually have a brain and knows that an all out withdrawl would be desasterous. But what strikes me is that in the middle of a primary race in the Party that is dedicated to getting out of Iraq yesterday, is not so quick to claim that she will pull out on the first day. John Edwards has made such claims, as has Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Obama is her closest competitor and he is not shying away from the notion that there needs to be a withdrawl from Iraq.

From this situation, we can gleen two things: 1) the Clintons are in complete control of the Party despite how powerful the netroots think they are and 2) Democrats are not as interested in getting out of Iraq as they are in beating Republicans. Let's take these two ideas in reverse. If you think that the Democrats do not want to get out of Iraq, then you haven't been paying attention or you just arrived here from a far away galaxy. There is not question that the Democrats want out of Iraq. They do not look at Iraq as central to the War on Terror and some of them don't even think that there is a War on Terror. So this leaves us with the first assertion which is probably more true than any other theory.

The netroots, led by the Daily Kos, is not as powerful as they think they are within the Party or within the country. Clinton's answer to Stephy on Sunday is a clue to this conclusion. There are others including the fact that we are still in Iraq and there is still a Senator from Connecticut named Joe Lieberman. The netroots and Kos went all out to get rid of Sen. Lieberman and they failed big time in a state that is not the bastion of Conservatism that some may believe. Connecticut is a very Liberal state surrounded by a very Liberal region. Joe Lieberman is not the ragin right-winger that Kos makes him out to be, he simply thinks that the mission in Iraq is worthy and winnable. The netroots failed to oust Lieberman during an election that many believe was won by Democrats because of opposition to the war. Clinton's words on Sunday just amplify the notion that the netroots are not in control of the Party.

Other theories include the notion that the Democrats do not want to be perceived as the one's who lost this war. Their plan is to get Bush to concede defeat before the November 08 elections and pin the loss on him and Republicans. I don't doubt that there is some of that there but the rank in file Democrats have to be considered in the know on this. I don't think that is the case. Listen to C-SPAN's Washington Journal and listen to some of the callers on the Democrat side and you will come away with this conclusion. Another theory is that the American people are not totally on board with getting out of Iraq and Clinton knows this. She is playing to the sentiments that she is now a centrist instead of a devout socialist--which she still is. That theory holds more water than the former, but it also solidifies the theory that the netroots are not the all powerful group of radicals that they claim they are.

Clinton's performance on Sunday was very eye opening. On the one hand she expressed a desire to get out of Iraq and at the same time she said that we need to wait until she gets into the Oval Office to see what they are dealing with. From this, we can see a possibility of two things. One of these possibilities is the correct one. Either the Democrats really do not want to get out of Iraq and Hillary knows this and that's why she is leading in the polls. Or the radicals on the far Left of the Party are not as powerful as they think. Given the current state of mind of the rank and file Democrats out there, only one of these statments makes any sense.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Left vs. Right, State vs. Liberty

The United States is poised to elect into power a group of people determined to maximize the Power of the State over the Liberty of the People. The Legislature, run by Democrats, is hungry for a Democrat President to sign their bills that would further the government encroachment into the private sector. The Democrats running for the presidency are more than willing to announce that, if elected, they will do all they can to encroach on the private sector. Republicans at this time seem powerless to stop them because our top teir candidates are not rejecting the premise of the Democrats' arguements on issues such as healthcare, economics or the environment. In short, the Republicans, or at least this current crop of Republicans, are not fighting for Liberty. They are acquiescing to the demands of the Democrats that government be given more authority over the transactions that happen in the private sector. But Republicans need not do this for Liberty, when championed in an articulate manner, will always sway the American People.


Other than the issue in Iraq, no other issue seems to dominate the political world today like healthcare. All of the top tier Democrats hoping to win their Party's presidential nomination have unvailed a plan that would provide healthcare for every American. The premise behind this push for a "single-payer" system is that there are some 47 million people in the United States who do not have health insurance. At first glance, the number "47 million" is rather daunting and demands attention to be sure, but no one ever parses the number to see why these people are uninsured or who they are. Democrats use the number to hit on the emotional nerve of the voter and Republicans are quick to shy away from the debate for fear of being called heartless. But these questions need to be asked and debated if the voter is going to make a real, intelligent decision about healthcare.

Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein, writing in The Boston Globe, have found that the latest numbers provided by the Census Bureau show that the majority of uninsured are "neither poor nor elderly." The Census Bureau's numbers show that "[v]irtually all of this year's increase was among families with incomes above $50,000; in fact, two-thirds of the newly uncovered were in the above-$75,000 group." Woolhandler and Himmelstein's arguement is that the middle class is being priced out of healthcare and the Census Bureau's numbers seem to back this up. (I say "seem to" because the length of time these people go without insurance is, statistically, rather short as we will see.) Is it rational to say that we need to socialize one-seventh of the economy for people who make over $50,000 a year? I will not argue that the price for healthcare needs to be delt with so as to no price the middle class out, but this is not a reason to implement a Canada-style healthcare system. Furthermore, the Democrats have painted a picture of despare among the poor and elderly in regards to healthcare in an effort to push their agenda to socialize medicine. In response, the Republicans have offered to only slightly socialize medicine, in essence giving up on the debate.

So, if the United States is going to socialize medicine for the middle class, it is important to ask how long does the middle class go without health insurance. In August 2004 Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., examined Census Bureau statistics dealing with the same subject as Woolhandler and Himmelstein did this year and he found that, on average, people do not go long without insurance. Dr. Johnson's first arguement is that the Census Bureau's year-to-year statistics, called the Current Population Survey (CPS), do not measure the numbers of uninsured accurately. He suggests that looking at the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a better when it comes to getting the full picture of uninsured Americans. When looking at SIPP you can see that the length of time families/individuals go without insurance is about 5.6 months on average and "[o]nly 3.3 percent of all Americans [go] without some kind of health insurance for four or more years."

Socialized Medicine--or "single-payer" healthcare--is not going to improve the healthcare in the United States. All it will do is increase the amount of authority that the State can weild over the individual. The State will determine who your provider is, how often you should go to the doctor and what kind treatment you can receive. Moreover, it will have a detrimental effect on the provider side of the issue with more regulations on doctors than exist now. Repubicans would be better served by arguing for less State intervention.

The Economy

The economic system of the United States has produced the wealthiest nation in the history of Man. Even our poor live high on the hog when compared to the poor of the rest of the world. Our GDP is roughly $13.2 trillion and makes up about 20 percent of the world economy. The current unemployment rate in the US is just under five percent, and it hasn't reached double digits in thirty years. And despite these numbers and the importance our economic wellbeing plays on the global stage, the Democrats are deadset against the free-market philosophy of our system. Former Clinton administration Labour Secretary Robert Reich has claimed that "supercapitalism" is bad for democracy. Senator Obama wants to raise the taxes on capital gains which will discourage investment. The Democrats in Congress want to punish mortgage lenders because the borrower can't make the payments. All of these statements is an announced desire for socialism. It's not enough that Democrats want to control the healthcare sector of the economy, but they want to control the entire economy.

Republicans have a better footing in this arguement than they do in the healthcare issue because the American People are not ready to turn the US into France. But the candidates running for the GOP's nomination are not hitting this issue hard enough. All they have to do is hold up the words of the Democrats and ask the voters if this is what they want. Voters will not choose socialism. The Democrats are using half-truths to stir up negative emotions about the economy within the voting population. For instance, the sub-prime mortgage issue has become a huge talking point for the Left. The mantra is that everyone with a mortgage on their home is having the lenders foreclose on them. This is simply not the case. Only five percent of the mortgages have resulted in foreclosure. The biggest arguement that the Left has and uses effectively is that the Bush tax cuts have only benefitted the wealthiest of Americans. But if you look at the numbers not only is the use of the term "wealthiest" wrong, but the tax cuts have benefitted all Americans.

First off, to say that a cut in income taxes helps the wealthiest of Americans is incorrect. The US does not have a wealth tax, so therefore, you cannot pay taxes on wealth, meaning money that is not earned. Second, the highest income earners in the United States are the ones who pay most of the federal income taxes. Both the IRS and the Congressional Budget Office support this claim. The IRS shows that the percentage of income taxes collected from the bottom 50 percent of income earners in 2004 was 3.3 percent. In 1994--the first year of Clinton's tax increase--the percentage for the same group was 4.77 percent. When you go from the 50 percentile to the 75 percentile the percentage in 2004 increases by 11.84 percent. The CBO shows that in 2006 the top ten percent of income earners in the United States paid 48.7 percent of the total tax share. When you look at these numbers, the conclusion that you have to come away with is that the top income earners are the ones paying the income taxes so naturally they would be the ones benefitting from an income tax cut.

Democrats use tax policy to control the lives of the People. Where there are increases, rest assured that there will not be much interaction; likewise where there are tax incentives you can be sure that there will be a rush to be a part of that. There are a few exceptions--like gas or to some extent cigarettes--to this rule, but when taxes are raised on certain actions, those actions will decrease. When an incentive is given there will be an increase in that activity. So you see, the actions of the individual are dictated by tax policy. The best arguement that the Republicans have in this debate is also the best safeguard for Liberty: the Flat Tax. One rate for all income earners with no incentives and no targetted taxes will not only foster a large economic boom, but will ensure that the federal government becomes more frugal with the money that it spends. Afterall, if Russia can implement a flat tax, why can't the United States?

The Environment

The environment has become a huge disguise for the Left's socialist agenda. They argue that in order to save the planet we must regulate industry to the point of extinction. The desire is to control how companies operate and not to save the planet. In this arguement the Republicans have completely surrenderd. The arguement should not be focused on whether or not there is global warming, but whether or not man is the sole reason for it. The Democrats and the Left are staunchly arguing that man is the culprit and because of this industry needs to be controlled. They argue that there needs to be higher CAFE standards on automobiles, even though the efficiency and cleanliness of automobiles today out perform cars produced just twenty years ago. The Left says that the US should be put under the restrictions of the Kyoto Treaty, even though that same treaty exempts China from the same restrictions. The Left also keeps us dependent on foriegn oil because they will not allow the US to drill for oil within our own territory. The response of the GOP is so silent that it is deafening.

In regards to the automobile industry, the answer should be focused on the current efficiency and cleanliness without the increase in CAFE standards. The US automobile industry is already hurting economically and having to retool their manufacturing process will only further hamper their viability. Kyoto should be refused outright because the United States should not be subject to regulation by a foriegn/global governing body, especially when the world's biggest polluter is exempt. Kyoto hits on a soveriengty issue that is a winning issue for the GOP. And the oil issue should be argued from a twofold approach: drill for oil while at the same time the energy companies come up with real, viable means of alternative fuel. The switch from oil to alternative is not going to happen over night and it will be more efficient to allow the private sector to handle the issue without government involvement. The estimated amount of oil in ANWR is said to be enough to last approximately twenty years. Well, certainly within twenty years there can be some sort of development on alternative fuels. One thing is certain, whether we get the oil from within our own borders or from the Middle East, we are still going to need oil.

The presidential election cycle of 2008 is going to be packaged as staying in Iraq or leaving Iraq. But underneath this packaging is going to be a huge debate over Statism or Liberty. As things sit right now, the Democrats are poised to win the presidency and keep control of the Legislature, leaving them with plenty of room to usher in a Statist agenda. If the GOP does not come out wholeheartedly for Liberty, not only will they loose big, but the American People will be one step closer to serfdom.


1) Healthcare:

2) Taxes:

(The IRS information was an Excel file and did not have a URL to paste. It can be quickly found by searching the keywords "IRS, tax returns". Sorry for the inconvienence.)

3) Robert Reich:

There is a good video on this page. Highly recomended that you watch it to get the full story about "supercapitalism."