“Spit in the ocean” — it’s a phrase that’s well-worn, and for a reason, namely that it sums up so splendidly the idea of something that is itsy-bitsy relative to something very, very big. “Sequestration” — it’s a four-syllable word referring to across-the-board spending cuts of $85 billion scheduled for automatic implementation with the purpose of reducing deficits and better controlling the federal debt. However large it sounds, the amount is spit next to the oceanic gobs of owed money that could easily drown the American economy.
President Barack Obama delivered a State of the Union speech last week that, for all of its soaring rhetoric, presented very little beyond a deeply flawed analysis of the American condition. What stood out most in the speech was not Obama’s assessment of the problems the nation faces — with the exception, perhaps, of his notable dismissal of the most critical of those problems, namely the various rogue nuclear threats and mounting debt. What was most apparent in the speech was the underlying assumption government is not only A solution, but THE solution.
(Denver Post, Feb. 24) When a prominent man says he is stepping down to spend more time with his family, it’s usually a fib. He invokes the family as a fig leaf for failure, embarrassed to admit the horse bucked him off. But nothing like that is the case, I believe, with Ken Salazar’s return to Colorado after serving as a senator and secretary of the interior. The veteran Democrat’s words rang sweet and true to this Republican’s ear when he spoke of living up to “my highest moral responsibility… helping my family.” If there were a medal of honor for unsung homefront heroism, give one to Ken.
(CCU Student) On Feb. 18, Presidents’ Day, the Centennial Institute gave a fascinating presentation on the presidency of our 40th president Ronald Reagan. Special guest speakers included Donald Hodel, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Interior, and David Crouse, producer of the recently released documentary “The Reagan Presidency”. Donald Hodel spoke on his encounters with the famed President and his impressions of who Reagan really was. He saw that Reagan was a great man because of his abiding faith in God, his fundamental commitment to human freedom everywhere in the world, and his intense love for his country; and to further his recognition, he spoke of how Reagan was not in the mercy of his advisors when it came to economics like most Presidents are.
(Auckland) Broadly defined the Anglosphere is made up of six Christian, Western, Democratic sovereign nations where the dominant language is English. They are neatly paired into adjacent countries on three continents- the United Kingdom and Ireland in Europe, the United States and Canada in North America, New Zealand and Australia in the continent named for the latter. Roughly four hundred million people live in these countries, the vast majority of them in the U.S. and the U.K.
(Centennial Fellow) While it included some reasonably expressed generalities, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech was also a mix of black swan obliviousness and invisible gorilla syndrome, with some goulash for the gullible thrown in as well. The worst of it revealed much that’s wrong with politics, even as it was delivered in a tone of morally superior wisdom that clearly caused some commentators to forget the test of wisdom. It is found in outcomes far different from a recovery so mangled that average middle-class income per household actually declined thousands of dollars more than during the preceding recession.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama chided Congress, “Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep,” but then he did what politicians regularly do and raised false expectations. He claimed that “[e]very dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.” This is wishful thinking. The vast majority of research shows that preschool has no long term benefits. Some studies even show adverse behavioral impacts for children who participate.
President Obama insists that America is not exceptional. Yet for his flawed economic policies to work, he must rely on an amazing degree of exceptionalness. Like any nation, we are not exempt from the consequences of ill-considered choices.
At the recent National Prayer Breakfast, Dr. Ben Carson, the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital gave his solution to our nation’s health care crisis. He said, “ When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die…And also, for the people who were indigent who don’t have any money we can make contributions to their HSA each month…Now they have some control over their own health care.”
(Centennial Fellow) Like a lot of other people with big names, John Elway got out of his element and made a fool of himself. Right there on CNN with Piers Morgan. Elway had some magnificent years as the Denver Broncos” quarterback. Now he”s that organization”s Executive Vice President of Football Operations, their chief football executive. Fine. He recruited Peyton Manning, and in a few short months the Broncos became favorites to win the Super Bowl. Oops. The guys who took home the Lombardi Trophy, the Baltimore Ravens, were supposed to be little more than a bump in the road when they showed up in icy Denver and won their playoff game on January 12.