CBS News: National Debt grew more under Obama in 3 years than Bush in 8.

The elite media will often report news like this on their web site so they can say they reported it, but don’t expect it to be highlighted in the evening broadcast…

CBS:


(CBS News) The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush’s last day in office, which coincided with President Obama’s first day.

The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.

Mr. Obama has been quick to blame his predecessor for the soaring Debt, saying Mr. Bush paid for two wars and a Medicare prescription drug program with borrowed funds.

The federal budget sent to Congress last month by Mr. Obama, projects the National Debt will continue to rise as far as the eye can see. The budget shows the Debt hitting $16.3 trillion in 2012, $17.5 trillion in 2013 and $25.9 trillion in 2022.

Federal budget records show the National Debt once topped 121% of GDP at the end of World War II. The Debt that year, 1946, was, by today’s standards, a mere $270 billion dollars.

Mr. Obama doesn’t mention the National Debt much, though he does want to be seen trying to reduce the annual budget deficit, though it’s topped a trillion dollars for four years now.

As part of his “Win the Future” program, Mr. Obama called for “taking responsibility for our deficits, by cutting wasteful, excessive spending wherever we find it.”

His latest budget projects a $1.3 trillion deficit this year declining to $901 billion in 2012, and then annual deficits in the range of $500 billion to $700 billion in the 10 years to come.

[Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton Comments: The FY2007 Budget which was the last one mostly controlled by the Republicans had a yearly deficit of less than $200 billion.]

If Mr. Obama wins re-election, and his budget projections prove accurate, the National Debt will top $20 trillion in 2016, the final year of his second term. That would mean the Debt increased by 87 percent, or $9.34 trillion, during his two terms.

 

The Weekly Standard:

Currently, as the chart shows, debt per American is at (or around) $50,000. Just four years ago, in 2008, the year President Obama was first elected, debt per person was at $35,000.

In 2037, if things stay relatively the same, debt per American will be at $147,000.

In that year, according to Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee, “the federal government will spend $2.7 trillion per year in interest payments alone, representing more than a quarter of our entire budget that year and greater than the total federal budget in 2003.”

Per American family, on average, debt will stand at $382,000 in 2037, only 25 years from now. That figure constitutes an increase of $287,000 per family.

The CBO’s numbers were released yesterday as part of its “long-term outlook.” The non-partisan governmental organization warns, “waiting to address the long-term budgetary imbalance and allowing debt to mount in the meantime would be detrimental to future generations.”

 

And this is just debt and obligations that are on the books. With of budget trickery and the fact that the CBO uses static models with assumptions that are handed to it by politicians the actual figure is worse.

Former ACORN Director Gets $445M from Taxpayers

More scandal plagued Obama allies get your money…

Judicial Watch:

The Obama Administration has given a former director at the scandal-plagued Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) nearly half a billion dollars to offer “struggling” Illinois homeowners mortgage assistance, a Judicial Watch investigation has found.

It means the ACORN official (Joe McGavin) will go from operating a corrupt leftist community group that’s banned by Congress from receiving federal funding to controlling over $445 million in U.S. taxpayer funds.  The money is part of a $7.6 billion Treasury Department program to help the “unemployed or substantially underemployed” make their mortgage payments.

In this case, JW found that a subcomponent of the state-run Illinois Housing Development Authority, known as the Illinois Hardest Hit Program, has just received a generous $445,603,557 Treasury infusion. The Obama Administration established Hardest Hit in 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hardest by the economic and housing market downturn, according to its website.

In early 2011 McGavin was appointed as director of Hardest Hit. Before that he was director of counseling for ACORN Housing in Chicago and operations manager for a Chicago ACORN offshoot called Affordable Housing Centers of America (AHCOA). His strong ties to ACORN make him a suspect candidate to handle such a huge amount of taxpayer dollars.

The Obama-tied community organization supposedly shut down after a series of exposés about its illegal activities, including fraudulent voter registration drives and involvement in the housing market meltdown. Read all about it in Judicial Watch’s special report, “The Rebranding of ACORN.” The legal scandals led Congress to pass a 2009 law banning federal funding for ACORN, which for years enjoyed a huge flow of taxpayer dollars to promote its various leftwing causes.

The Obama Administration has violated the congressional ACORN funding ban, however. Last summer Judicial Watch uncovered records that show ACORN got tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.” The money came via Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which awarded a $79,819 grant to AHCOA.

In addition to violating the ACORN funding ban, the grant was astounding because federal investigators had previously exposed fraud by the same Florida-based ACORN/AHCOA affiliate. HUD’s inspector general found that the group “inappropriately” spent more than $3.2 million in grants that were supposed to be used to eliminate lead poisoning in its housing program.

The Four Lies About the Economy That Obama Needs Voters to Believe

[Note, this column is abridged for length. Follow the link if you wish to see the complete piece.]

By Larry Elder:

President Barack Obama’s re-election turns on his ability to convince voters that

1) Obama inherited a “Great Recession,”

2) every “independent” economist supported the “stimulus,”

3) “bipartisan” economists agree that Obama’s stimulus worked,

4) as actor Morgan Freeman puts it, racist Republicans say, “Screw the country … we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here” — nothing to do with deeply held policy differences.

(1) Take this “Great Recession” business.

Remember the “misery index”? The term, popularized by former President Jimmy Carter, used to mean inflation plus unemployment. Unfortunately for John Kerry, by the time he ran for president in 2004, the misery index stood at 7.4 midway into the election year, the same as when George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. What to do? Change the definition. Kerry invented a new misery index, one that included only high-rising costs like college tuition, health care and gas prices.

Similarly, “bad economic times” used to mean, above all, high unemployment. Within a year of Obama’s presidency, unemployment climbed to 10.2 percent. Within three years of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment reached 10.8 percent. Under Obama, inflation has been — at least so far — rather modest. Early in Reagan’s presidency, inflation reached 13.5 percent. Rather than describe this era as the “Great-Recession-turned-around-by-Reagan’s-pro-growth-policies,” many pundits and scribes dismiss this period of extraordinary growth as the “me decade” or the “decade of greed.”

[Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton comments: Excuse me Larry, but under Clinton the Consumer Price Index was changed so that government would never have to face the misery index and a proper measure of inflation again. They removed “Food & Fuel” from the index, you know, because nobody ever buys that stuff anyways, and they weighted the formula towards housing….. that’s right folks, housing.

When the economy turns south or hits a bump new housing starts talk and housing prices fall, thus showing negative inflation. So when the economy is in trouble and inflation is going up, the government reads it as zero inflation. If we still measured inflation like we used to it would be about 9.3% every year for three years. Of course, every shopper knows this as they see the prices for themselves.] 

(2) “There is no disagreement,” said then-President-elect Barack Obama, “that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jump-start the economy.”

What?! More than 200 economists, including several Nobel laureates, signed on to a full-page ad placed in major newspapers by the libertarian Cato Institute. Eventually, over 130 more economists became signatories to the ad.

It read: “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true. Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance.

“More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s ‘lost decade’ in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today.

“To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

(3) Obama surrogate Steve Rattner recently said that Obama’s stimulus worked — as confirmed by “bipartisan” economists. As proof, Rattner offered the findings of “bipartisan economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder,” who “agree that … we would have had unemployment substantially higher than what we’ve had over the last two years.”

“Bipartisan”?

Blinder, a Democrat, served as a member of the Clinton administration and later advised presidential candidates Al Gore and John Kerry. As for Zandi, he did serve as a presidential campaign advisor to John McCain. Like Blinder, Zandi is a self-described Democrat.

As to the alleged unanimous expert opinion on the effectiveness of Obama’s stimulus, Stanford economist John Taylor debated this on NPR with Zandi. Taylor’s analysis, shared by many other economists: “I just don’t think there’s any evidence. When you look at the numbers, when you see what happened, when people reacted to the stimulus, it did very little good.”

(4) Democrats never tire of trotting out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said his “single most important political goal” was to make Obama “a one-term president.” Horrors! Why, doesn’t this just make McConnell the very personification of sinister! Republican opposition for the sole purpose of bringing down Obama, the first black president, yada, blah, etc.

Apparently, it is outside the brain capacity of people like Morgan Freeman to understand something: One way to defeat bad, leftist Democrats’ policies is to defeat bad, leftist Democrats, who seek to implement those bad, leftist policies. It’s not complicated.

Nothing personal.

[Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton comments:  On September 11th, 2001 famed Democrat Strategist James Carville said that he hopes President Bush fails.] 

Teachers Unions Losing Popularity Among Teachers & the Public

Wall Street Journal:

However Wisconsin’s recall election turns out on Tuesday, teachers unions already appear to be losing a larger political fight—in public opinion. In our latest annual national survey, we found that the share of the public with a positive view of union impact on local schools has dropped by seven percentage points in the past year. Among teachers, the decline was an even more remarkable 16 points.

On behalf of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and the journal Education Next, we have asked the following question since 2009: “Some people say that teacher unions are a stumbling block to school reform. Others say that unions fight for better schools and better teachers. What do you think? Do you think teacher unions have a generally positive effect on schools, or do you think they have a generally negative effect?”

Respondents can choose among five options: very positive, somewhat positive, neither positive nor negative, somewhat negative, and very negative.

In our polls from 2009 to 2011, we saw little change in public opinion. Around 40% of respondents were neutral, saying that unions had neither a positive nor negative impact. The remainder divided almost evenly, with the negative share being barely greater than the positive.

But this year unions lost ground. While 41% of the public still takes the neutral position, those with a positive view of unions dropped to 22% in 2012 from 29% in 2011.

Political campaigns may already have noticed this shift. In a recent address on education, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called teachers unions “the clearest example of a group that has lost its way.”

The survey’s most striking finding comes from its nationally representative sample of teachers. Whereas 58% of teachers took a positive view of unions in 2011, only 43% do in 2012. The number of teachers holding negative views of unions nearly doubled to 32% from 17% last year.

Perhaps this helps explain why, according to education journalist and union watchdog Mike Antonucci, top officials of the National Education Association are reporting a decline of 150,000 members over the past two years and project that they will lose 200,000 more members by 2014, as several states have recently passed laws ending the automatic deduction of union dues from teachers’ paychecks.

“Zero Tolerance Policy” Used to Turn the EPA Into a National Economic Planning Agency

To those of us who have been paying attention to the antics of the EPA under this administration this is no surprise. By the rational currently being used by the EPA they could ban all cars and justify it by saying that if cars put just one life at risk they must be strictly regulated or banned. The same can be said of anything. Of course, just like health care and other  regs, Obama donors get a waiver.

By Kathleen Hartnett White via The Daily Caller:

For the last three years, the Environmental Protection Agency has justified new air quality regulations — unprecedented in stringency and cost — on the assumption that even trace levels of particulate matter can cause early death.

A recent EPA report states that by 2020, the EPA’s rules “will prevent 230,000 early deaths.” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has gone so far as to testify before Congress that the new regulations would provide health benefits as valuable as a cure for cancer. If true, this is compelling. Unfortunately, such rhetoric is built on implausible assumptions, biased models, statistical manipulations and two cherry-picked studies.

Unwinding this tangled web is tedious but necessary to prevent the EPA from becoming a national economic planning agency that transforms our economy and undermines our form of democratic government, in which elected representatives — not federal technocrats — have the authority to make the country’s major policy decisions.

On Wednesday, a U.S. House subcommittee will conduct a hearing to examine the real costs and benefits of the EPA’s environmental regulations, with invited testimony from one of my former colleagues at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

As I noted in my latest report for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “EPA’s Pretense of Science,” the EPA now justifies almost every major new air quality rule on the basis of models indicating implausibly exaggerated health risks from fine particulate matter, rarely considered a killer by physicians or toxicologists.

Extrapolating from assumptions, the EPA in 2009 decided that no risk is too low, improbable or uncertain that it is not worth responding to with regulation. With a straight face, the EPA’s leadership now maintains that there is no safe level of ambient fine particulate matter — however near to zero — at which risk of “early” death ceases. Statisticians call this analytic approach a “no threshold linear regression to zero.”

The Clean Air Act requires that national air quality standards be set at levels adequate to protect human health with a margin of safety and regardless of cost. That’s a very cautious rubric. But through the no-safe-threshold assumption, the current EPA goes further: to zero risk. This methodological change leads the EPA to the implausible finding that mortal risks increase to the extent that ambient levels of fine particulates exceed natural background levels of 1 microgram per cubic meter. The current federal standard is 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

George Soros Funds His Own “Open Society” (read oligarchy) University and Spends $400 Million Influencing American Universities; Elite Media Silent…

..but if the Koch Brothers make a donation it is evil vulture capitalists buying the system and wrecking democracy in the “elite media”.

CNS News:

School is letting out around the United States, but for George Soros, education never stops. Soros has given more than $400 million to colleges and universities, including money to most prominent institutions in the United States. He also helped establish Central European University (CEU) which, in turn, uses its resources to promote his personal goal of an “open society.”

Imagine that, a whole university funded by one of the most controversial figures in the world. Soros has used that $400 million worldwide to indoctrinate students and teach them to promote liberal, and in some cases extremist, causes. But don’t expect the American news media to make it a big issue, even though they have done so for the Koch brothers.

CEU, which is essentially Soros’s own university, has received $250 million from the liberal billionaire. The Founder and Chairman of the Board is none other than Soros. More than half of CEU’s 20 member board are closely tied to the liberal financier. President of the Soros-funded Bard College Leon Botstein is Chairman of the Board.

While the Left shrivels at the thought of the Koch brother’s donations to universities, Soros gave more than 50 times as much. Bard College was the American institution that received the most from Soros (more than $75 million). Grants to Bard for “community service and social action” included a Palestinian youth group and an initiative to educate prisoners across the country.

All of the Ivy League universities, along with a variety of state schools, private institutions, and even religiously-affiliated institutions, were also funded by Soros.

The Koch brothers were vilified by the American political left for donating almost $7 million to universities while their beloved Soros gave more than 50 times that amount to the same type of groups.

Soros’s Center for American Progress, which received $7.3 million from his foundations, posted a report on their Think Progress blog titled “Koch Fueling Far Right Academic Centers at Universities across the Country.”  In the article, the Koch-hating leftist Lee Fang lists universities that received money from the Kochs to include George Mason University, Utah State, and Brown. Totaling nearly $7 million, grants as small as $100,000 were criticized. A donation of $1.5 million to Florida State University supposedly gave the Kochs “a free hand in selecting professors and approving publications.”

Alternet, funded by Soros complained about a “shady deal” that helped the Kochs fund Florida State University. Colorlines, also funded by Soros, said of the same donation: “FSU Trades Academic Freedom for Billionaire Charles Koch’s Money.”

This information is all part of an extensive new Special Report on Soros by the Business and Media Institute (a sister organization of CNSNews.com). The report, “George Soros: Godfather of the Left,”also detailed Soros’s many controversial dealings around the world.

The NRA Helped Defend Black Americans from the KKK

by Ann Coulter, based on the book Negroes With Guns by civil rights hero Robert F. Williams:

Gun control laws were originally promulgated by Democrats to keep guns out of the hands of blacks. This allowed the Democratic policy of slavery to proceed with fewer bumps and, after the Civil War, allowed the Democratic Ku Klux Klan to menace and murder black Americans with little resistance.

(Contrary to what illiterates believe, the KKK was an outgrowth of the Democratic Party, with overlapping membership rolls. The Klan was to the Democrats what the American Civil Liberties Union is today: Not every Democrat is an ACLU’er, but every ACLU’er is a Democrat. Same with the Klan.)

In 1640, the very first gun control law ever enacted on these shores was passed in Virginia. It provided that blacks — even freemen — could not own guns.

Chief Justice Roger Taney’s infamous opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford circularly argued that blacks could not be citizens because if they were citizens, they would have the right to own guns: “[I]t would give them the full liberty,” he said, “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

With logic like that, Republicans eventually had to fight a Civil War to get the Democrats to give up slavery.

Alas, they were Democrats, so they cheated.

After the war, Democratic legislatures enacted “Black Codes,” denying black Americans the right of citizenship — such as the rather crucial one of bearing arms — while other Democrats (sometimes the same Democrats) founded the Ku Klux Klan.

For more than a hundred years, Republicans have aggressively supported arming blacks, so they could defend themselves against Democrats.

The original draft of the Anti-Klan Act of 1871 — passed at the urging of Republican president Ulysses S. Grant — made it a federal felony to “deprive any citizen of the United States of any arms or weapons he may have in his house or possession for the defense of his person, family, or property.” This section was deleted from the final bill only because it was deemed both beyond Congress’ authority and superfluous, inasmuch as the rights of citizenship included the right to bear arms.

Under authority of the Anti-Klan Act, President Grant deployed the U.S. military to destroy the Klan, and pretty nearly completed the job.

But the Klan had a few resurgences in the early and mid-20th century. Curiously, wherever the Klan became a political force, gun control laws would suddenly appear on the books.

This will give you an idea of how gun control laws worked. Following the firebombing of his house in 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, who was, among other things, a Christian minister, applied for a gun permit, but the Alabama authorities found him unsuitable. A decade later, he won a Nobel Peace Prize.

How’s that “may issue” gun permit policy working for you?

The NRA opposed these discretionary gun permit laws and proceeded to grant NRA charters to blacks who sought to defend themselves from Klan violence — including the great civil rights hero Robert F. Williams.

A World War II Marine veteran, Williams returned home to Monroe, N.C., to find the Klan riding high — beating, lynching and murdering blacks at will. No one would join the NAACP for fear of Klan reprisals. Williams became president of the local chapter and increased membership from six to more than 200.

But it was not until he got a charter from the NRA in 1957 and founded the Black Armed Guard that the Klan got their comeuppance in Monroe.

Williams’ repeated thwarting of violent Klan attacks is described in his stirring book, “Negroes With Guns.” In one crucial battle, the Klan sieged the home of a black physician and his wife, but Williams and his Black Armed Guard stood sentry and repelled the larger, cowardly force. And that was the end of it.

As the Klan found out, it’s not so much fun when the rabbit’s got the gun.

The NRA’s proud history of fighting the Klan has been airbrushed out of the record by those who were complicit with the KKK, Jim Crow and racial terror, to wit: the Democrats.

In the preface to “Negroes With Guns,” Williams writes: “I have asserted the right of Negroes to meet the violence of the Ku Klux Klan by armed self-defense — and have acted on it. It has always been an accepted right of Americans, as the history of our Western states proves, that where the law is unable, or unwilling, to enforce order, the citizens can, and must act in self-defense against lawless violence.”

Contrary to MSNBC hosts, I do not believe the shooting in Florida is evidence of a resurgent KKK. But wherever the truth lies in that case, gun control is always a scheme of the powerful to deprive the powerless of the right to self-defense.

Judge estimates 30K secret spying orders approved yearly

Creepy. The camera in the nose costs $2.3 million and has infrared and ultraviolet capabilities that allow it to see into structures as well as tell if you have narcotics in your pocket from nine miles away. Coming to a city near you….

USA Today:

Federal judges approve about 30,000 secret warrants to spy on people in the USA every year, and the innocent probably will never know they were watched, says a U.S. jurist involved in issuing the orders.

Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith writes in a new paper, highlighted by Ars Technica, that the 2006 total outstripped the entire output of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courtsince it was created in 1979, and the number is probably growing.

The secret orders are authorized by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, known as ECPA. Smith writes that the volume of such cases “is greater than the combined yearly total of all antitrust, employment discrimination, environmental, copyright, patent, trademark and securities cases filed in federal court.”

The warrants and the court’s proceedings are not open to public scrutiny. A three-judge panel reviews denials of applications for the warrants, but the court is not adversarial or open, and many orders are never unsealed.