Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Democrats' true colors

The election is over, the Democrats are in power both in the House and the Senate, and now the gloves are coming off. Each day highlights another aspect of Democratic "governance". Boiled down to its essential elements, it works out to a massive attempt to grab more power for the government, at the expence of the people.

Let's start with "global warming". It's becoming more and more evident that the sun plays a far greater role in influencing the temperature of the Earth than previously thought, and that solar cycles can explain 90% or more of any "global warming" that's taken place in the last 100 years. It's also evident that even global warming advocates accept that most of what they propose will do little or nothing to answer what they claim the problem "really is". Yet these same advocates want to shove us back into the cave, decimate 50% or more of the earth's population, and force the rest of us to live like savages. This is supposed to be "progress". The latest idiocy can be found by following Rep. Henry Waxman's investigative committee examining whether President Bush has "orchestrated (a) campaign to mislead the public about climate change". As if former VP Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" wasn't a massive attempt by climate change adherents to "mislead the public". The bad science, cherry-picking of data, and other excesses of Gore's movie have been published here. More and more studies point to the role of solar variables in climate change - here, here, and here.

The truth is, we're not sure, first, if - or how much - climate is changing; secondly, what's causing those changes; and thirdly, what man can do about it. The United States appears to be on the right track by contributing money to research seeking answers to these questions. Until we can answer those questions, anything we do can come back to bite us - hard. The Law of Unintended Consequences is alive and well.

Let's also look at the economy. Today's economy is strong, vibrant, and moving forward. the DOW is at an all-time high, unemployment is low and may dip even further, and the average take-home pay (adjusted for inflation) of America's work-force is higher than it's been in decades. Yet the first thing the Democrats chose to do was to raise the minimum wage by almost 25%. Sixty years of economic studies have shown that minimum wage laws have no effect on poverty, the chief "reason" given for enacting and expanding them. It's plain economic reality that some labor is only worth a given amount of compensation, regardless of where it's done, how it's done, or who does it. If the value of labor - the worth gained from it - is only $5 an hour, paying $7 an hour for that labor will result in a net loss of $2/hour, no matter how you try to gussy it up. All minimum wage laws do is to take the control of establishing what labor is worth away from the employer and put it in the hands of Congress. That's not the wisest economic move. Anyone who believes that economic policy should be set by Congress should read Thomas Sowell's series, "A Dangerous Obsession from Town Hall.

The Democrats are also harping a "new" idea of insisting that all increases in spending have to be "offset" by either cuts elsewhere, or higher taxes. Guess which option they prefer. The economic expansion of the last four years has been fueled by the tax cuts of 2002. Rescinding those tax cuts, or adding additional taxes, will result in a slow-down or even reversal of economic activity. This isn't a guess - we saw the results of tax cuts/tax increases in the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and BushII presidencies. Taxing something ALWAYS results in getting less of it, whether it's oil, butter, aircraft, or income. Raising taxes would be an economic disaster, yet it's one of the major issues of the current Democratic Congress.

The war against Islamic terrorism. Let's start by understanding a basic fact: the United States is at war, whether anyone wishes to acknowledge it or not. It's not a new war - the first "shots" were fired in the 1970's. It doesn't matter whether we've declared war against our enemies or not - they have declared war against us. The Democrats don't seem to be able to grasp this simple fact. They believe that we can "mollify" our enemies, and they will stop. There is nothing to suggest this is true, and everything to suggest it's false, including the history of the last 30+ years. We can continue to take the fight to our enemies, or they will bring that fight to us. Cutting out in the middle of a war may be politically expedient in some sectors of today's society, but it's not smart. The Democrats have apparently adopted "defeat" as a major policy plank - first in Vietnam, and now in Iraq. It will cost our government and its armed forces dearly if they succeed.

I could go on for pages, but it's obvious just from these examples that the Democrats are far more interested in emassing additional political power than they are in effectively governing the United States. I wish there was a better solution than supporting Republicans, who seem to have caught the same deadly disease.


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