Thursday, May 28, 2009

Impertinent Observations (D.C. edition)

Is it just me, or are there others concerned about the proliferation of “czars" and "task forces” for this or that under the Obama administration? At least Cabinet officials have to be confirmed by the Senate, even if such approval is perfunctory; these so-called czars and task forces have been installed simply by executive fiat and given vast regulatory and administrative powers without even a hint of legal sanction or public accountability. No good will come of this.

Remember those tens of billions of dollars the Obama administration (and, in fairness, the Bush administration before it) threw at Chrysler and General Motors? After months of painting the legitimate bondholders as greedy roadblocks to recovery, while divvying up the companies to Obama’s union supporters, both automakers are headed toward bankruptcy of one sort or another. Both should have declared “real” bankruptcy months ago and let the courts settle their affairs according to the law. Instead, a staggering number of taxpayer dollars have gone down the bailout hole – never to be seen again. So the same guys who destroyed the home mortgage industry are now doing the same thing to the car makers. No good will come of this, either.

Advocates of more and higher taxes should take note of this. It seems that as taxes increase, the evil rich are, predictably, leaving Maryland in droves and thereby reducing tax revenue even as rates go up. As discussed in earlier posts, a similar thing happened here in our fair burg: after lecturing folks incessantly to save water, the Unified Government raised the rates so as to make up for the lost revenue when the populace did precisely as asked. Higher tax rates and utility fees affect behavior – but you would never know it by listening to those who propose the increases, so look for the same pattern to repeat itself at the federal, state, and local levels.

I fear that the White House is pushing Israel into a corner vis-à-vis Iran. Thus far, the Obama administration’s response to a series of missile launches, nuclear tests, and spinning centrifuges on the part of the Axis of Evil has been . . . nothing meaningful whatsoever (Joe Biden, call your office). As the Norks refine their nuclear and missile technology, the foremost importers of which have been Syria and Iran, Israel’s position becomes increasingly untenable. Iran, which funds and supports proxy wars against Israel via Hezbollah and Hamas, is developing and/or buying nuclear and ballistic technology as fast as it can, with the stated goal of obliterating Israel, a.k.a the “little Satan.” Because the western response in general and the American response in particular have been timid in the extreme (and again, this approach did not start with Obama), the Netanyahu government may have to take matters into its own hands. Of course, it would be ritually condemned for doing so, even if the alternative was national suicide – but it is always the fault of the Jews, isn’t it?

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