Who’s Looking out for you? Another tough day in Hawaii

By GOPUSA Staff December 30, 2011 8:59 am

Have you seen any coverage of the president’s $4,000,000 vacation in Hawaii? Never fear, the British press is doing the job that American media refuses to do.

Yes, your president spent yesterday on the links, but this time with a john. That’s not with John, it’s with a john, arrested, convicted and vacationing in Hawaii with the leader of the free world. His name is Robert ‘Bobby’ Titcomb, and the UK Daily Mail will tell you rest of the story and even show you some pictures.

Just lay those unpaid bills aside and settle in to see how rough your president has it.

 

A five-course meal at Honolulu’s priciest restaurant after golf with his hooker-loving buddy… Obama faces another tough day in Hawaii

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER

 

 

 

 

 

President Obama is clearly not roughing it as he plays a lot of golf between trips to the beach with his wife and two daughters. But as the commander-in-chief teed off at the Ko’olau Golf Club yesterday, the one thing more eye-opening than his handicap is who he golfs with.

With him at Ko’alau was Robert ‘Bobby’ Titcomb, a close friend of Obama’s since high school, who was arrested in a prostitution sting. Titcomb was one of four men who allegedly approached an undercover police officer for sex in downtown Hawaii on April 4. A judge fined him $500 but accepted his request for a deferral, meaning the charge will be wiped off his record if Titcomb stays out of trouble for six months.

After several hours on the course with Titcomb and two others, the president kicked back with the First Lady, his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, and several other friends at one of Honolulu’s priciest restaurants.

The presidential motorcade made a stop last night at Alan Wong’s Restaurant, located close to the Honolulu area where Obama spent his teenage years.

Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

Patton: Throwing Good Money After Bad

By Doug Patton December 6, 2011 7:59 am

The Los Angeles Times is impressed with the patriotism of Atanacio Garcia. The paper reports that for the last two years, the 84-year-old San Antonio, Texas, veteran and retired postal worker has been sending fifty dollars a month of his pension money to Washington, DC. For what possible purpose? To reduce the national debt.

“I’m a believer in our country,” says Garcia, a father of five who has lived for decades in the same two-bedroom home, and who collects aluminum cans for extra money. He says he intends to contribute “until the debt is paid or until I die.” He also admits that he usually votes Democrat.

Fifty years ago, when America’s national debt was a paltry $300 billion, President John F. Kennedy established a fund to allow Americans to contribute to its reduction. Since then, Kennedy’s successors, Democrats and Republicans alike (although Dems are currently far in the lead in the race to turn America into Greece), have spent so much more of our tax money than they were allotted that most of us can no longer even comprehend the amounts.

As author and columnist Mark Steyn has observed, “Trillion used to be a term used by Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking to describe the distance to far-off galaxies. Now, it’s become a common part of our daily discussions of the federal budget!”

Running such staggering numbers can be instructive, however, once you figure out how many zeros there are in a billion (nine) and a trillion (twelve). Consider this: Mr. Garcia donates $50 per month, or $600 per year, to the fund. At that rate, it would take him 2,500,000,000 years just to pay off this year’s deficit. That’s two billion, five hundred million years! And that would be with no interest added on.

Put another way, it would take Garcia nearly seven million years to pay off what our government will spend today over and above what it takes in.

Of course, the well-intentioned Mr. Garcia is not alone in his desire to help reduce the national debt by sending in his own money. The Times story reports that “hundreds of public-spirited Americans have sent money, from pocket change to million-dollar checks.” The Bureau of Public Debt claims that individual donations over the years have ranged from a single penny to $3.5 million.

Time for some more hard, cold math. Since JFK signed that legislation a half-century ago, $83 million has been collected. Sounds impressive, right? I don’t know about you, but eighty-three million dollars still looks like a lot of money to me. Not in Washington, where our elected officials rack up debt faster than the Obamas rack up vacation miles on Air Force One. When that entire $83 million — so lovingly sent in over the last 50 years by well-meaning little old ladies and patient patriots like Atanacio Garcia — is applied to the debt, it covers approximately 30 minutes of the annual deficit created by this government.

Which brings us around to the hypocrisy of billionaires like Warren Buffett, whose calls for higher taxes on the mega-rich are really just calls for higher taxes on the middle class. Because, you see, there are not enough rich people to make a dent in the national debt. In fact, confiscating every dime 81-year-old Warren Buffett has accumulated over a lifetime of work would fund Barack Obama’s bloated bureaucracy for less than a week! And Buffett knows it. Which is why he won’t write that big check.

My advice to Mr. Garcia and anyone else contemplating throwing good money after bad: give it to your favorite charity. Give it to your church. Give it to a homeless shelter supported by private donations. Give it to your family. Stop giving it to the government. I cannot think of a worse waste of revenue than sending it to the bottomless pit of quicksand that is Washington, DC. You would be better off burning it. That’s what they will do with it.

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.

Obama’s missed opportunity on the debt

By , Published: December 4

Fred Hiatt

So after all the talk about fiscal balance and responsible choices, the pre-Christmas rush in Washington has come down to this: one more belly-up to the middle-class tax-cut bar.

If, as seems likely, enough Republicans manage to overcome their sometime scruples and join President Obama before last call, Washington will prove once more that bipartisanship is alive and well — as long as it is in the service of digging the deficit hole deeper.

With unemployment at 8.6 percent, extending the payroll tax cut for another year is the right thing to do.

The problem lies in it being the only fiscal accomplishment of the Christmas season.

In principle, Obama has other items on his wish list. He’d like to extend unemployment benefits. Pay for those and the tax cuts, too. Build more roads and keep more teachers and police officers on the job. Even, in theory, reduce the long-term debt. After all, the mantra is short-term stimulus, long-term balance, restore confidence.

But the president has drawn only one line in the sand, issued only one non-negotiable demand, insisted on only one achievement without which he will fight Congress going home for the holidays: extending the payroll tax cut.

His rhetoric risks transforming this giveaway, like so many “temporary” giveaways before it, into something permanent. This one was supposed to be different, because it siphons money from the supposedly sacrosanct Social Security trust fund.

Now, though, Obama says anyone favoring a return to normal is voting for an unconscionable tax hike on the struggling middle class. His logic will fit nicely into Grover Norquist’s narrative a year from now when the Bush tax cuts, including on the wealthy, are due to expire.

I asked an administration official what level of unemployment would justify an end to the Social Security tax break — 7.5 percent? 7 percent? I didn’t get a direct answer. It seems unlikely that anyone, a year from now, will argue that working Americans no longer need a break.

But the official said the problem can be worked out as part of a larger package of tax reform.

Tax reform is the answer to all problems, for Republicans and Democrats alike. We’ll “close the loopholes” and “broaden the base” and “lower the rates.” It sounds terrific, as long as you pretend that the loopholes consist of things such as private jet depreciation, the president’s favorite example and one that costs the government, in the great red-ink scheme of things, almost nothing.

Eventually, though, someone will have to explain to voters that the only way tax reform works is by limiting their deductions for mortgage interest, charitable giving, state and local taxes, and employer-provided health care. At that point it will become savagely clear that one man’s loophole is another man’s birthright.

And it’s not only by increasing the debt that this tax cut makes an eventual solution more difficult. The proposals Congress is considering to “pay for” this cut, meant to prove its fiscal discipline, ironically also make a grand deal more difficult.

Democrats want to increases taxes on million-dollar earners; Republicans want to charge high earners more for Medicare. In an age of growing inequality and out-of-control entitlement spending, both measures may make sense, but both will be needed in the hard bargaining ahead. Commit 10 years of them now for a one-year shot in the arm, and the bargaining gets that much tougher.

The economy still needs stimulus, and Obama is hardly the first incumbent to want to give voters a present as he gears up for reelection. Fifteen hundred dollars in each of our pockets will be a handy conversation-opener on the campaign trail, for the president and members of Congress alike.

That’s good politics.

Drawing one additional line in the sand, for at least a down payment on the long-term debt, would have been good leadership.

That true leadership also might make for good politics is a chance that, so far, no one has been willing to take.

fredhiatt@washpost.com

$15T Federal Debt Equals $160,545 for Each Full-Time Private-Sector American Worker

By Terence P. Jeffrey  November 16, 2011

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Treasury Department reported on Wednesday that as of the close of business on Tuesday the federal government’s debt had exceeded $15 trillion for the first time in the nation’s history–hitting precisely $15,033,607,255,920.32.

The Bureau of Labor Statisticsestimated that there were 93,641,000 full-time private sector workers in the United States in 2010 (and 18,073,000 full-time workers in federal, state and local government). That means the $15.0336 trillion federal debt equals approximately 160,545 per full-time private sector worker.

Given that the Census Bureau estimates there were approximately 76,089,045 families in the United States in 2010, the federal debt equals approximately $197,579 for each American family

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