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Presidential rerun: Empty promises

Cal Thomas's picture

Summertime is usually when TV networks air repeats of shows we’ve already seen. In his State of the Union Address last week, the president got a five-month jump on the summer season by re-running a class-envy video he has broadcast more times than local stations have shown episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Instead of a credible assessment of the state of the union, which is not good, the president delivered a slightly toned down campaign speech. We heard more of the same about how “the rich” aren’t paying their “fair share” in taxes.

There was an unserious nod to government overspending to which he has massively contributed. Why should those of us who work for a living give more money to a government that under Democrats and Republicans has been such a poor steward of what we have already provided?

Confiscating all of the wealth of Mitt Romney, Warren Buffett and every other billionaire and millionaire in the country would have a negligible effect on the national debt, unless government decided to live within taxpayers’ means.

Having Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, in the gallery with first lady Michelle Obama was cheap theatrics. If the president doesn’t think it “fair” that she pays a higher tax percentage than her boss, let him ask Congress to lower her percentage with a flat tax. Bosanek may pay a higher tax rate, but Buffett pays a lot more money to the federal government.

President Obama wants four more years to continue the policies he’s inflicted on us the last three years. Why would anyone believe that his policies, which are not succeeding and can’t succeed, will miraculously work given more time?

In his 2009 State of the Union Address, the president promised to “cut the deficit in half” by January 2013. He is headed in the opposite direction to the tune of $4 trillion in additional spending and a debt that exceeds $15 trillion. If he breaks that promise, should he be held accountable?

In his address to Congress, the president spoke of the need to create jobs, but he has rejected one of the easiest methods of creating jobs by opposing the Keystone XL pipeline project in order to curry favor with environmentalists. Some estimates put the jobs potential at 20,000. Canada, meanwhile, is threatening to sell the oil that could have been ours to China. The president will create jobs in China, not America.

This president has squandered a great opportunity. As the country’s first African-American president, Barack Obama had the chance to lead poor African-Americans out of poverty by encouraging them to embrace the principles that would allow them to become self-reliant instead of stoking envy of the successful. He had that responsibility. He has failed to live up to it. That is a tragedy, not only for him, but for those he left behind.

Envy has never created a single job, put a family back together, encouraged a man to provide for his children or endowed young women with the kind of self-regard that would encourage them not to create children they too often neglect.

The state of many poor African-Americans remains how it has been for years — too many fatherless children, too many uneducated, hopeless women and too many men in prison. President Obama might have done something about that beyond more government programs and handouts. Last week, he spoke of no more government handouts. Which ones will he cut?

Optimism, self-regard and the economic, social and spiritual principles that built and sustained America, offering opportunity, not guaranteed outcome, are what the president should be stressing.

Government is not our keeper. We are our own and our neighbor’s keepers. Addicting more and more people to government and the view that others owe them a living is the worst form of covetousness.

In case the president missed it in Jeremiah Wright’s church, there’s a commandment against coveting your neighbor’s property.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at] ©2012 TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

"Addicting more and more people to government"... Cal? like the military industrial complex Dwight Eisenhower warned of.... e.g. 1953(A Chance for Peace):"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. ... Is there no other way the world may live?"

S. Lindsey's picture

I am sure he will listen.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

he is a joke..... fear is what fuels the military industrial political boondoggle and all the lemmings who buy into the shrill proclamations of war mongering leaders.

PTC Observer's picture

"...Is there no other way the world may live?"

Well, not so far.

Was your great grandfather named Chamberlin by any chance?

coming from someone trying to to build a time machine to return to the world of 1789!

You find that 'police' word in the Constitution yet? Keep trying! Remember, it starts with a 'P'!

How many squirrels you bag yesterday?

PTC Observer's picture

Sie sind so konsequent absurd!

formal with me! You have my permission to use 'du bist' when addressing me!

Wir sind Freunde nachdem alle nicht wahr?

German was once my best foreign language, but another has since replaced it!

Ich mag Deutschland, aber ich bevorzuge Österreich!

You should watch Star Trek for tips on time travel!

PTC Observer's picture

Sagen wir, wir sind keine Feinde.

Österreich ist ein schönes Land, aber sie sprechen Deutsch falsch.

I will stick to the formal with you Ninja, familiarity is a two way street.

Pats by 3, Eli needs to show up his brother and show some revenge for the 2008 Super Bowl humiliation. Also he above all else must defend the $1.4 billion franchise value.

Beam yourself up Ninja.

collards and pinto bean diet again? You need to get them amino acids flowing to your overtaxed noggin! What 2008 humiliation? Eli and crew WON the 2008 Super Bowl. It was Brady and the Pats that lost and failed to complete a perfect 19-0 season! Perhaps the humiliation you are recollecting from 2008 is yours of getting caught shoplifting body building magazines at Rite-Aid!

I much prefer the German spoken in Austria to Hochdeutsch! Reminds me of the English of the deep south around here--less harsh and barky than Boston or Long Island English!

Them squirrels angering you up again today?

PTC Observer's picture

again Ninja, just wanted to see if you are paying attention. Will never forget that last minute catch, bummer.

Pats by 24. ;-)

OK, you like Austria--so why don't you speak Austrian, like some in the Administration? Und jetz du sollst aufpassen!

who in the administration? Does Hizzoner or Imker speak German?

Wrong administration--I mean the really big one!Schoenes wochenende!

Hilary only speaks English and Obama speaks pretty good Indonesian still! Who speaks German of the Austrian variety? I think Kissinger was the last true German speaker to have close presidential access!

On a European visit, in response to an Austrian reporter's question, the POTUS said "I don't know what the Austrian term is for "wheeling & Dealing"...thereby revealing that he indeed thought there was such a language.

I wouldn't put too much emphasis on that! Where you personally present for the Ich bin ein Berliner speech? There might indeed be a difference between the term for 'wheeling and dealing' in Hochdeutsch and Austrian German! You got that Grüß Gott thing to contend with right off the bat ya know!

Which way you going on the SB? I got the Giants by at least 3 over Brady and crew!

And don't forget the 'Servus' thingy too! Sorry, not a feetsball fan, only 'roundball' and beisbol!
I lived in Germany 60-65;68-71;74-77;83-86.

Busy Bee's picture

My Bavarian friends tell me that when someone from Austria or Switzerland is interviewed on German TV they often have subtitles scrolling on the screen because it is so difficult for Germans to understand what they are saying. I rather like the Austrian greeting of "Gruss Gott"; it seems friendlier than a curt "Hallo".

Gruss Gott! is commonly used in Bavaria; so is 'Grussdich'; 'hallo' is not commonly used;you don't get the "Guten Tag" until you get further North. Oh, you also don't get the
Brotchen" deal either, in Bavaria, it's'Semmel'

PTC Observer's picture

Loves Austria...hates Austrian economics.

What to do, what to do?

Must be something sinister in it don't you think?

I think Ninja pines for Nietzsche.

Pats by 3

that I HATE Austrian economics?! I spent years of my life studying that very topic, so it is not on my hate list! As for Nietzshe, I don't know much about the man except that some claim his ideas provided the underpinnings to Nazism and that he went bonkers toward the end of his life. I must say that I can't really grasp too much of what those German philosophers had to say--perhaps if my German were better I could read them in their native language and it would make more sense! Could be a good undertaking for the next 10 years or so of my life, or not! I think the Asian philosophers are more in tune with the universe, as they did not have to fit God into the equation or kill him, like Herr N. above! Taoism is the way to go you know! I think I will stick with my Goldilocks philosophy for a while longer!

At least you have the two teams playing in Super Bowl right! They let you have reading material in the padded cell?

PTC Observer's picture

Should I have said, rejects it?

Pats by 12

parts of Austrian Economics that are more or less correct. Mises did get some things right in all his bloviation! But, the scary Boogy man of the Road to Serfdom is fantasy! Corporatism is the more likely path to serfdom for most! Anyway, gotta go stock up on Chips, salsa, and mineral water for the big game on Sunday! Have fun with the squirrels!

PTC Observer's picture

I will be flying during the SB, but you have a good time sitting in Best Buy eating all that stuff and watching the Pats win.

Corporatism? I suppose you mean the unholy alliance between government and capitalism? Well, I think they call this fascism Ninja and what today we simply put in a politically correct way as "crony capitalism".

No matter what you call it, it is in fact the Road to Serfdom.

40 years after our president suggested freeing ourselves from the yoke of foreign oil and creating clean energy , Cal seems to think its a great idea to let some transnational company pipe the crudest of all crude oil across this great country so it can be refined and sold to who....? It will be sold to the highest bidder... It is not going to be sold to the U.S. customer because its the neighborly thing to do....The biggest export the U.S. currently has is energy.... We export refined oil all over the world to those willing to pay. As far as job creation , independent studies indicate that perhaps only 6,000 jobs( many temporary) will result from this potentially dangerous artery of superheated sludge snaking its way across the scenic American landscape.The development of clean energy sources such as solar, tidal,geothermal,and even nuclear... by American owned companies will produce ten to a hundred times more jobs many of which would be permanant

Cyclist's picture

I hope you are aware that the gasoline that you have in your car came via the Colonial or Plantation pipelines which runs from the refiners in the gulf coast and terminates in the New York harbor. And yes, at the New York Harbor terminus that product is sold on the world market.

BTW, The Colonial pipeline along transports over 100 million gallons a day of refined product.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Hey Cy, you're posting about someone who uses the Puffington Host as a source reference and doesn't realize that the price we currently pay for gas at the pump is partly driven by the amt of gasoline we are exporting.

S. Lindsey's picture

or Evergreen... Yep Solar is doing well. Let's dump some more tax dollars into unproven "clean" energy.
Oh btw you do know for every one job that is created in a production industry it takes 3-5 more support personal to support that job?

No probably you don't.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Solyndra?..... Lockheed?, Goldman Sachs?,The half billion lost to Solyndra is chicken scratch compared to the massive waste incurred in the weapons industry.
Tar sands are kinda like "clean coal" .... The Southern Co. is in the top five biggest polluters on the planet
Check out the operational Solar generating plants in the desert southwest....

PTC Observer's picture

Are you one of the 7,000 people who actually purchased a Volt last year?

Did you get rose colored glasses to go with it?

Alternative energy works only if there is an actual demand for it. So, here are the problems in adopting any alternative energy format:

1. Unless the next best alternative is less costly than the currently used energy source(s), it will fail to be adopted. This seems to be a point not lost on the current political elite. Suppressing supply of currently used energy sources is an excellent way to drive energy prices higher. Remember it's not what energy is easily extracted from natural resources, it's all about driving a vision using political/legal power. This vision can be reinforced by "proving" some dire consequence through government financed, "objective" scientific studies. Employing thousands government scientists, and "independent" scientists to prove the vision of the environmental catastrophe just around the corner. Call it the "sky is falling" approach to science but all with the purpose of moving from our current form and use of energy to something else....anything else.

2. Given #1 and the drive by government to restrict easily used and extracted natural resources, the prices of traditionally used sources, oil, coal, and hydro-power have all increased significantly over the last decade. However, there have been problems in getting prices high enough to allow for wide sweeping adoption of "alternatives". Why? Well it's been a combination of technology improvement in extraction, use, and geography.

3. Which leads us to another government solution to the problem of expensive alternative energy. The use of subsidy. Currently, there is no form of "clean" energy that is not subsidized by the government. Now this is not a perfect solution but it does reinforce the idea that the public can get something for nothing for being a "good citizen". Unfortunately, the free market keeps getting in the way. There are more people that simply want to use a lower total cost energy source than the government supported alternative. Let's take one example, the electric car. Now on the surface you see that the acquisition costs are reduced through government subsidy, but in the end net of gasoline savings, the running costs are significantly more that the alternative, the internal combustion engine. I suppose the next subsidy would be to have the government buy the electric car for the consumer and give it to them. This under the current thinking at the Federal level is not out of the question.

I could go on an on about this zoog, but my guess is that I am blowing in the wind against your vision on how the world should work and not how it actually does work. So one way you can help your cause for a "perfect" world, is to use you hot air to blow against one of those government subsidized wind farms outside of LA.

One final thought on this subject, where's the money going? Who's getting rich out of this "visioneering"? Just look at it realistically... could it be the car companies? Or the scientists? Or the companies building alternative "solutions"? Could it be the banks? Or maybe the politicians? Now who's paying for it? Could it be the little guy that just wants to get to work, heat his home, light his house, cut his grass and take a warm shower? I can tell you specifically who's not paying for it, Al Gore.

that is a joke..... right?
The energy "market" is controlled by oil companies,and the governments they buy. The general populace who believe the BP(Beyond Petroleum)and "clean " coal propaganda and say "look @ Solyndra" are just too lazy to think realistically. The technology of solar collector chips is rapidly changing, (which is unfortunate for evergreen,daystar,solyndra... )and that is good.The solar arrays being built in the desert to boil water for generators are imminently safer than the nuclear powered water boilers and create no toxic waste.

PTC Observer's picture

why yes, it is a joke, there is no free market.

Yes, the oil companies and government scratch each other's back. Now what do you think lead to all of this? Do you think the idea of using government to improve the bottom line is a new idea? If the government and oil, coal, etc are in each others pockets, how can government effectively drive BP? At the very least this is naive, if not intellectually dishonest.

As I said earlier and you choose to ignore it, it's the economics of boiling water with solar arrays that make it questionable vs. cheaper alternatives. Unless the government can push the cost of oil, coal, etc. up and punish the forgotten man, BP will remain questionable.

Pardon me, but I don't think I want people like you determining my cost of energy. I would like the market to do this....the free market. Let's agree to get government out of the energy business.

....."is questionable"...... and then... "cheaper alternatives..."
please elaborate .

These things that make sense are prevented from happening by the industry that holds the monopoly..... kind of like the 100,000 mile tire and the 10 year auto battery. The individual who invents the true alternative to petroleum power has more to fear from the petroleum industry than the govt.

Cal thinks envy is bad. So,according to conservative thinking, envy is bad and greed is good. I wonder about their opinion on the other deadly sins.

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