Thursday, December 17, 2009
Apparently this is not a concept that congress is familiar with. They've just scooped out another big shovel full this week by raising the debt limit that they had previously imposed upon themselves.
When the Democrats came fully into power and the Obama spending spree began in earnest, Congress sugarcoated the pill that our children and grandchildren will have to swallow with a self-imposed debt cap as if to say "see, we're responsible and can set limits for ourselves." The trouble is that rules, for Congress anyway, were made to be broken or, in this case, changed if they're inconvenient. (cute editorial cartoon here)
Now that Congress has a foot in the "stimulus" door they will continue to nudge the opening wider and wider.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
High among these concepts is an understanding of consequence. In fact, an understanding of consequence is requisite to the understanding and, more important the practice of personal responsibility.
Study the etymology of the word "consequence" and you'll find that it boils down basically, to the Latin word "consequi" which means "to follow". From the same Latin root we get the word "sequel". Consequence is then an action (or reaction, if you prefer) that follows an initial action or choice more surely than a sequel follows an initial movie. No action or choice is without consequence.
One of my sons and I have been through the study of consequence together in great detail. As a standing rule in our home, corporal punishment is doled out solely for willful disobedience. The offender must know that their action is in violation of an established rule and willfully choose to engage in the activity regardless of that fact. On one particular occasion several years ago, my son received a swat on the butt for some willful act of roguishness. As he nursed a stinging bum-cheek and wallowed in self-pity, the following conversation took place:
“If you love me, why would you want to hurt me?”
“Most of the rules that I make buddy, are to keep you safe; I want you to be safe because I love you.”
“But spankings hurt!”
“Do you want another one?”
“That’s the point then.” “If you choose to break that rule again, you’ll know that the consequence is unpleasant and you will, I hope, choose differently and stay safe.”
What followed was a discussion of how consequence flows naturally from action or choice. I told him how an egg dropped on the floor will crack and splatter. That is the natural result of dropping an egg, the consequence of the act. Logic tells us that holding a raw egg out at arm’s length and releasing it will not result in the egg being suspended in mid-air. No matter how much we wish for a different result, there’s going to be splatter. The laws of the universe do not care how you came to drop that egg, whether you were coerced, bumped, had butter-fingers… it makes no difference, the end result is unquestionable.
The same law of consequence applies to all areas of life. If you quit your job, you eventually run out of money. If you break a law, you will suffer the consequential punishment. If you purchase a home that you cannot afford, you’re going to be foreclosed upon. If you load your business with toxic debt, you’re going to go bankrupt.
Even avoiding natural consequence has consequence. Consequence is there to teach. In avoiding consequence, one avoids the lesson and will likely be faced with the same situation again. If you are rescued from the consequence of your folly, you will consequently repeat it in one form or another because you cannot make an egg hover in mid air.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Thursday, October 1, 2009
First, I've been reading. I ordered three books through Amazon and have been engrossed nearly to the point of orphaning the kids and widowing the wife.
The second reason is the rate at which information has come at me with regard to the advancement of the left's agenda which has made it difficult for me to pick one topic, one point, to condense, analyze and comment on.
I want to talk about health care, about Afghanistan, about bringing the Olympics to Chicago, about tariffs on Chinese tires, about the recent U.N. speeches... There are so many topics that I want to cover that I haven't been able to narrow my focus and pick one. I aim to rectify that.
I'll start with former president Jimmy Carter, a recent favorite topic of mine. Carter ran his mouth to CNNPolitics regarding Iran's recently publicized second uranium enrichment facility.
To quote the Peanut Man, himself:
"They have a right to purify uranium and plutonium to use for nuclear power," Carter said. "If Iran is on the borderline, the constant threats that we or the Israelis are going to attack Iran is the best thing to force them to say, 'Let's defend ourselves.' I don't think Iran has made up their mind what to do, and I think the best thing we can do is engage them and stop making these idle threats."
I find it funny that the man whose middle east policies were disastrous would be touting himself as an expert and that CNN would give air to his opinion. The fact is that Iran is not "on the borderline" with regard to nuclear weapons. They are committed to attaining them. No threat by the U.S. or Israel is going to suddenly give them reason or resolve. They already have reason and resolve in their repeatedly stated goal of wiping Israel off the map.
As for idle threats, those are usually the territory of the U.N. in the style of the ever escalating and ultimately empty Security Council resolutions against Iraq. However, I have no doubt about the idleness of any threats our commander in chief might make, should he find it politically necessary to make them.
The one thing that I have absolutely no doubt about is that any threat of action by Israel against Iran's nuclear program will be gravely serious.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
From The Washington Times:
North Korea has continued to be openly belligerent, testing a nuclear weapon and long-range missile, withdrawing from the 1953 armistice agreement with South Korea, and declaring it will weaponize its plutonium stocks. In response, the United States unilaterally conceded to long-standing North Korean demands for bilateral talks.
North Korea's success has encouraged Iran to move forward with its own nuclear program. The Islamic regime has agreed to talks Mr. Obama requested, but the mullahs refuse to negotiate the nuclear issue. The United States finds itself to the left of the United Nations and France on the question of acknowledging that Iran even has a nuclear-weapons program, which is quite an achievement.
I don't believe for a minute that Obama is the "babe in the woods" that his opponents claimed during the campaign he would be. I think he knows exactly what he's doing.
When a state sponsor of terrorism, Momar Gadhafi, wants the leader of the opposition to stay in power forever, it does not bode well for the country.
Friday, September 18, 2009
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that eliminating FFEL would lead to significant cost savings for the government, enough to more than offset increases in the costs of the Direct Loan program and the other spending increases included in the bill. However, there are questions about whether the CBO's projected cost savings will fully materialize if these reforms are enacted.
In July, CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf acknowledged that the original CBO projection did not adjust for the cost of market risk of increasing defaults that the federal government will assume with the shift to direct lending. In addition, there is a danger that taxpayers' costs could balloon if the federal government proves less efficient in administering and collecting loans than current private-sector lenders, which have an incentive to administer and collect loans efficiently in order to maximize profits. (emphasis mine)
The details from yesterday's post:
While we're all distracted by Jimmy Carter's accusations of racism, the Obama administration and a Democrat controlled Congress continue to saw yet more legs off the table of our free market economy.
Add to the takeover of banks and the auto industry the expulsion of private lenders from the student loan market. From WSJ:
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that would effectively end private-lender involvement in the student-loan market, establishing the federal government as the sole provider of college loans.Rep. George Miller (D., Calif.), claims that this move will cut out the middle man and funnel college funding "directly to dorm rooms." And yet:
Under the legislation, all lenders would be cut out of the market for originating loans. There would still be a role for private banks and lenders to bid for a limited number of contracts to service the loans after they are made by the government.
For companies like SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae, the proposed changes are already having an impact. This week, Fitch Ratings downgraded Sallie Mae to triple-B-plus status and called its outlook negative.
Sallie Mae's shares were recently trading down more than 2% at $9.
Having lined up additional contractors to handle the anticipated increase in direct-loan volume, federal officials say they are prepared.Does anyone think that the government can contract out loan services in such a manner that the process is more efficient than private industry can? I didn't think so.