United States in Severe Decline Thanks to Obama

Obama King Tyrant Rules by Decreeby Deroy Murdock –
The Land of the Free is governed by an out-of-control egomaniac, neither bolstered by managerial competence nor hindered by the legislature’s institutional prerogatives. In the Home of the Brave, half of Congress cheers Obama’s unconstitutional behavior, while the other half grumbles and then meekly carpet-bombs his path with white flags.

America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim.

For starters, Obama now rules by decree. Reportedly for the 27th time, he has changed the rules of Obamacare singlehandedly, with neither congressional approval nor even ceremonial resolutions to limit his actions. Obama needs no such frivolities.

“That’s the good thing about being president,” Obama joked on February 10. “I can do whatever I want.” In an especially bitter irony, Obama uttered these despicable words while guiding French president François Hollande through Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson — a key architect of America’s foundation of limited government. [Read more…]

When Work Is Punished: Tragedy of America’s Welfare State

When Work Is Punished Welfare America by Tyler Durden –
A single mom in America today is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits [welfare], than earning gross income of $69,000 with net income & benefits of only $57,045.

Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained the painful reality in America: it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work.

This is graphically and painfully confirmed, in a chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As quantified and explained by Alexander,

“the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits [welfare] than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income & benefits of $57,045.”

[Read more…]

California Income Tax Rates 2013 Now Highest in America

California Income Tax Rates Highest in America by Chris Banescu –
Following the passage of Proposition 30 in November 2012, California’s income tax rates have reached an astronomical 13.3% rate. Not only does California now have the most progressive income tax rates of all the states, individuals begin paying an 6% rate at $27,898 and an 8% rate at $38,727 in income, but it now surpassed Hawaii (11% top rate) as the state with the highest income tax rate in America.

According to a 2013 survey from Chief Executive magazine California’s business climate ranks dead last among all 50 states. Is it any wonder that so many companies, corporations, and high income individuals continue to flee California and relocate to other states?

Proposition 30 raised income tax rates for all Californians earning more than $250,000 per year. It progressively increased tax rates from 1% to 3% for all individuals and families earning above that level. Higher income households now face a 10.8% to 29.1% increase in overall tax rates. [Read more…]

Sacrifice and Self-Interest

Sacrifice and Self-Interestby Jordan Ballor –
One of the complaints often rendered against the market economy is that it encourages selfish behavior. This picture of the marketplace is that of a kind of war of all against all, with each participant out only to maximize his or her own individual benefit. As American social gospel advocate Walter Rauschenbusch contended in his Christianizing the Social Order, “The trader has always been the outstanding case of the man who plays his own hand and sacrifices social solidarity for private gain.” This characteristic, claimed Rauschenbusch, has been exaggerated in the modern era, such that “the trading class has become the ruling class, and consequently the selfishness of trade has been exalted to the dignity of an ethical principle. Every man is taught to seek his own advantage, and then we wonder that there is so little public spirit.” [Read more…]

America is Going John Galt

America is Going John Galtby James McAlister –
Many of us are numb today. Numb with the implications of what happened last night. Numb with dread.

Endless days and countless lines of print will be expended in the post mortem of the election, from a conservative perspective. Romney’s failures and shortcomings will be examined with electron microscopes. Why didn’t he do this? Shouldn’t he have done that? “For all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these…”

But these things don’t really amount to much. Because the real reason for our election results were neatly summarized by Bill O’Reilly at about 7:00 last night, as the faint shape of events to come began to emerge. [Read more…]

On Consecrating the Entire Economic Order

Consecrating the Entire Economic Order by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon –
St. Luke’s account of Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree (19:1-10) is a story rich in spiritual reflection; preachers and Bible-readers, coming from a variety of backgrounds, have explored the narrative unto great profit for the education of the soul.

A certain liturgical use of the text is particularly instructive; namely, the story of Zacchaeus has long been read in the dedicatory service of a new church building. This liturgical custom—warranted by Jesus’ assertion, “Today, I must stay at your house” indicates a symbolism: The home of Zacchaeus represents the consecrated places where Christians gather to meet, worship, and commune with Jesus.

There is an irony here: Even as we insist that Jesus preached the Gospel to the poor, he sometimes did so in the homes of wealthy. The reason was very simple: the wealthy had larger homes; a greater number of people could actually assemble there. (Some folks, doubtless, will be offended by this consideration, but let me mention that the first complaint [Read more…]

Fallacy Of Redistribution Has Grave Economic Impact

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

by Thomas Sowell –
The recently discovered tape on which Barack Obama said back in 1998 that he believes in redistribution is not really news. He said the same thing to Joe the Plumber four years ago.

But the tape’s surfacing may serve a useful purpose if it gets people to thinking about the consequences of redistribution.

Those who talk glibly about redistribution often act as if people are just inert objects that can be placed here and there, like pieces on a chess board, to carry out some grand design.

But if human beings have their own responses to government policies, then we cannot blithely assume that government policies will have the effect intended. [Read more…]

Marriage: The Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty

Marriage is Greatest Weapon Against Child Povertyby Ken McIntyre –
The collapse of marriage, along with a dramatic rise in births to single women, is the most important cause of childhood poverty—but government policy doesn’t reflect that reality, according to a special report released today by The Heritage Foundation.

Nearly three out of four poor families with children in America are headed by single parents. When a child’s father is married to his mother, however, the probability of the child’s living in poverty drops by 82 percent.

Robert Rector, Heritage’s senior research fellow in domestic policy, provides a brief overview of each state with unique data and 14 charts per state, [Read more…]

The Rich Don’t Make Us Poor

Christians in Post-Welfare World by Charles Kaupke –
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the need for the wealthy to “pay their fair share” so that the federal government can pay down its debts and continue to fund programs to provide basic human necessities for the poor, such as food, shelter, and prophylactics. Their argument is that the greedy rich have been stealing increasingly large percentages of the nation’s GDP, and have been hoarding their riches, rather than generously giving them to the federal government to be used for the common good. The only solution is to increase taxes on the rich, so that instead of letting billionaires covetously hold onto (and thus waste) their excess wealth, which they don’t really need, the government can take that cash and use it much more effectively, to give the rest of us free stuff. After all, it just isn’t fair that some Americans control billions of dollars’ worth of wealth, while others struggle to make ends meet.

Sounds plausible, right? Of course it does. Unfortunately for those who make a living out of inciting class warfare, it’s not true. [Read more…]

Challenging Liberals on Economic Immobility

Christians in Post-Welfare World by Samuel Gregg –
When it comes to applying liberté, égalité, fraternité to the economy, modern liberals have always been pretty much fixated on the second member of this trinity. It’s a core concern of the bible of modern American liberalism: John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice (1971). Here a hyper-secularized love of neighbor is subsumed into a concern for equality in the sense of general sameness. Likewise, economic liberty is highly restricted whenever there’s a likely chance that its exercise might produce significant wealth disparities.

So while it’s tempting to ascribe the Obama administration’s more or less naked appeal to class envy in the current electoral cycle as resulting from immediate calculations about how to defeat Mitt Romney, one shouldn’t forget just how central the endless pursuit of ever-greater economic equality is to the modern Left’s very identity. [Read more…]

Earning Happiness — The Moral Promise of Free Enterprise

Prager University The words “happiness” and “free enterprise” don’t usually appear in the same sentence. Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, explains that the two are intimately and profoundly connected. The free enterprise system not only creates real wealth, it also provides individuals with the best chance to achieve personal satisfaction.

Brooks’ lecture, titled “Earning Happiness: The Moral Promise of Free Enterprise,” makes a strong case that the free market economic system is most conducive to human welfare. Brooks explains

“Free enterprise matters not just because of its unparalleled material benefits but because of its unparalleled moral benefits.”

[Read more…]

Welfare State: Immoral and Irredeemable

Welfare state: Immoral and irredeemableby Walter E. Williams –
Benjamin Franklin, statesman and signer of our Declaration of Independence, said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” John Adams, another signer, echoed a similar statement: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Are today’s Americans virtuous and moral, or have we become corrupt and vicious? Let’s think it through with a few questions.

Suppose I saw an elderly woman painfully huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. She’s hungry and in need of shelter and medical attention. To help the woman, I walk up to you using intimidation and threats and demand that you give me $200. Having taken your money, I then purchase food, shelter and medical assistance for the woman. Would I be guilty of a crime? A moral person would answer in the affirmative. I’ve committed theft by taking the property of one person to give to another. [Read more…]

Keynesianism and the Collectivist Dream

Democrat Communist Marxist no difference by William Sullivan –
It’s campaign season, and as usual, Democrats are employing their class struggle rhetoric to position a redistributive government agenda as the only way Americans can be saved from themselves and the greedy capitalists who prey upon them.

Accustomed though we may be, this might seem an odd campaign strategy in light of recent polls showing widespread distrust of, and even contempt for, the federal government.  But they have no choice but to keep their talking points emotional rather than substantive, you see.  The core economic model of the American left is Keynesianism, which is less a viable economic path than it is an unrealistic pipe dream that stirs the collectivist’s blood, much like the notions of world peace and Utopia.

Keynesianism is a model based upon how collectivists think the economy should operate, rather than how it actually operates.  As Ron Ross puts it, “Keynesianism is definitely not an evidence-based model of how the economy works. [Read more…]

What the Bible Teaches About Capitalism

Bible Capitalism America Freedom by Rabbi Aryeh Spero –
Who would have expected that in a Republican primary campaign the single biggest complaint among candidates would be that the front-runner has taken capitalism too far? As if his success and achievement were evidence of something unethical and immoral? President Obama and other redistributionists must be rejoicing that their assumptions about rugged capitalism and the 1% have been given such legitimacy.

More than any other nation, the United States was founded on broad themes of morality rooted in a specific religious perspective. We call this the Judeo-Christian ethos, and within it resides a ringing endorsement of capitalism as a moral endeavor. [Read more…]

The Economic Paradox No One Wants to Talk About

Patriot Post Economic Paradox by Arnold Ahlert –
There is an economic paradox that few people understand, much less wish to acknowledge, because to do so would reveal the level of societal deterioration that has caused it. In simple terms, there are two schools of economic thought: one posits that massive amounts of government spending, aka stimulus in all its odious forms, is the only way to save an economy.

The other posits that until massive over-spending by government is brought under control, aka austerity, economies over-burdened by debts and deficits will continue to founder. Who’s right? There is merit to both arguments — but only because we’ve reached the aforementioned level of societal deterioration. Let me explain.

For decades, the growth of government both here and in Europe, has been inexorable. [Read more…]