“Our practical choice is not between a tax-cut deficit and budgetary surplus. It is between two kinds of deficits: a chronic deficit of inertia, as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy; or a temporary deficit of transition, resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues, and achieve . . . a budget surplus.” John F. Kennedy


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Dec 10 2012

“The Age of the Unserious”

C.M. Phippen

Our president claims that he is making an honest effort to negotiate with Republicans to avoid the fiscal cliff. He wants us to believe that they are the ones who simply won’t budge on their positions and won’t allow him to fix the horrific fiscal issues we face.

This is the president whom Tim Geithner claims is willing to go off the fiscal cliff if the Republicans don’t agree to his plan to raise taxes on the richest 2% because, in Geithner’s words, “remember, it’s only the top two percent.” Doesn’t unequal treatment under the law become a civil rights issue at some point!? Anyway . . .

This is the same president who has had his past two budgets shot down in Senate votes of 99-0 and 97-0, one of which looked an awful lot like Obama’s current proposal from which he is negotiating. He apparently expects Republicans to support the plan that his Democrat allies in the Senate refused to support?

In addition to major entitlement spending cuts, the greatest priority our government should have is that of allowing/encouraging/stimulating economic growth, which will in and of itself lead to the President’s desired revenue increases.

In fact, Bill Whittle recently made the point that “if you destroyed the entire government, burned every [public] building, fired every government worker, sank every aircraft carrier, even with no government to pay for – none – we’d still pay the same taxes that we’re paying today and still have to borrow or print money just to pay for entitlements.”

I would argue that if we do indeed have a shortage of money for schools, teachers, police and other government services, it is entitlement spending that is draining those resources, not tax cuts or wars.

Even Austin Goolsbee, former president of Obama’s Council on Economic Advisers, recently stated that any solution to America’s economic ills “cuts on discretionary and entitlement spending.”

In addition, Peter Orszag, former OMB director, recently came out urging his fellow Democrats to support reforming entitlements and putting “crucial programs on a sounder footing.”

I must assume that our president is well aware of the fact that nothing in his rejected budget plans or spending priorities will stimulate growth. And he has made it very clear that, despite his repeated declarations to the contrary, he is never going to cut any real spending.

Thus, his only plan to decrease the rate of growth of our historically unprecedented federal deficit seems to be an increase in revenue coming from the already over-burdened taxpayer. Unfortunately, the proposal on which he is willing to risk our entire economy, that of increased taxes on the top 2%, leads to enough revenue to cover expenses for about eight days! Brilliant!

Even the Obama-touted Buffet Rule, if implemented, would pay for about 28 hours of government spending. If you want to close the deficit through increased taxes on the two highest tax brackets – 33% ($178,650 – $388,350) and 35% (over $388,350) – it would be necessary to hike those rates to 159% and 166% respectively. I’m assuming most liberals would tell us that such rates would have absolutely no impact on economic growth or the willingness of those individuals to work!

AEI economists recently looked at the effect of tax increases v. entitlement reforms on fiscal crises management over the nearly three-decade period of 1970-2007. They found that countries that were able to successfully reform did so mainly with spending cuts; in fact, on average 85% of their budget gaps were closed this way. On the other hand, those with failed reforms were the countries that, on average, relied at least 50% on tax increases.

Just ask Jim Sinegal, co-founder of Costco, if those tax increases will most likely lead to greater or reduced revenue next year. He’s a supporter of Obama who preached the moral imperative of Obama’s tax plan, and of businesses large and small all “following the same set of rules . . .” while risking Costco’s credit rating to take on an additional $3.5 billion in debt in order to pay out dividends this year before Obama’s tax hikes kick in. Oh, and he is apparently the biggest beneficiary of this move.

Or ask Great Britain how a plan of tax increases worked for them last year when they raised rates on those making over £1 million (about $1.6 million) to 50%. The result was that they saw a £7 billion treasury loss as nearly two-thirds of the high earners were suddenly missing from the country or finding ways to shelter income.

Funny though, that even after the manifestation of the result of such policies, political supporters of the increased tax are now calling any reduction a “tax cut for millionaires,” as though resentment toward the wealthy is more important than the amount of money the government actually has for programs which benefit the less well-off.

Yes, Mr. Whittle, I think you’re right; this truly is “The Age of the Unserious.”

Aug 11 2012

Survival or Success

C.M. Phippen

The fundamental difference between liberalism and conservatism today:

Government dependence that drives the life and energy out of living and leads one to the point of being willing to march while demanding from someone else, “survival.”


Development of the human soul and spirit, leading to freedom and success within one’s abilities, interests and motivation, necessitating independence from the whims of government fiat.

Time to choose, America.

Aug 10 2011

Riots and Rhetoric

C.M. Phippen

“It’s the rich people, the people that got businesses, and that’s why all of this is happening, because of rich people. So we’re just showing the rich people we can do what we want.”

Oh, the dangerous rhetoric of . . . our president?! Oops, maybe it’s not such a smart idea to demand an end to “dangerous” speech when yours sounds just the same as so many mayhem seekers around the world. I’m racking my brain, just trying to come up with a time when I heard rioters say that they were destroying other people’s property and causing utter chaos because the government wouldn’t stop its out of control spending. Anyone? . . . Anyone? . . .

Jul 21 2010

I’ll be heading out tomorrow for the Americans for Prosperity RightOnline conference in Las Vegas. I’ll possibly check in while I’m there, if I have a free moment, to share any interesting information. Otherwise, see you all next week!

Jan 29 2010

Hayek vs. Keynes

Just a little econ rap diversion.  Give it a listen – it’s pretty amusing.


Economics Rap

Jan 29 2010

Proposed 28th Amendment

Came across this on Facebook and had to post it. I think this is something we can ALL agree on, unless you’re a politician, anyway.

Proposed Amendment to the Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”

Oct 19 2009

Real Philosophies and Political Appointees

C.M. Phippen

Videos are surfacing right and left (literally) showing public officials saying things that tell us a little bit more about them and their support of individuals and policies they might not want known.  I’ve been less than amused as I’ve watched some, and this morning came across a video presented as damning evidence against Chris Christie, Republican in the NJ gubernatorial race. 

According to the Corzine campaign posted a video Sunday night showing Chris Christie admitting that he raised money for Governor George W. Bush because he thought he’d be the best person to be President of the US.  He also states that his appointment to the job as US attorney for NJ was, in part, based on his relationship with the President, as is the case in any political appointment.

Compare that with this video  (bottom of page, 2nd one down) showing Anita Dunn, White House communications director, telling a group of high school students back in June that one of her two favorite political philosophers is Mao tse Tung.  Mao, the leader of China responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his own people, led a highly-regarded (at the time) cult of personality that has proven over time to have been destructive to the Chinese culture and economy.  Hmmm . . .