Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Barone: Income Inequality Begins with Entitlements

Entitlement, Not Tax Cuts, Widen the Wealth Gap

Michael Barone -

Read Story Here

What should be done about income inequality? That basic question underlies the arguments hashed out in the supercommittee and promises to be a central issue in the presidential campaign.
Supercommittee Democrats argue that income inequality has been increasing and can be at least partially reversed by higher tax rates on high earners. They refused to agree on any deal that didn't include such tax increases.
Supercommittee Republicans offered a plan to eliminate tax preferences and reduce tax rates, as in the 1986 bipartisan tax reform. They argued that high tax rates would squelch economic growth.
They didn't make the case that their proposals would also address income inequality. But House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, in a 17-page paper based largely on a Congressional Budget Office analysis of income trends between 1979 and 2007, has done so.
Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, makes the point that the government redistributes income not only through taxes but also through transfer payments, including Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and unemployment benefits. The CBO study helpfully measures income, adjusted for inflation, after taxes and after such transfer payments.
Many may find the results of the CBO study surprising. It turns out, Ryan reports, that federal income taxes (including the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit) actually decreased income inequality slightly between 1979 and 2007, while the federal payroll taxes that supposedly fund Social Security and Medicare slightly increased income inequality. That's despite the fact that income tax rates are lower than in 1979 and payroll taxes higher.
Perhaps even more surprising, federal transfer payments have done much more to increase income inequality than federal taxes. That's because, in Ryan's words, "the distribution of government transfers has moved away from households in the lower part of the income scale. For instance, in 1979, households in the lowest income quintile received 54 percent of all transfer payments. In 2007, those households received just 36 percent of transfers."
In effect, Social Security and Medicare have been transferring money from low-earning young people (who don't pay income but are hit by the payroll tax) to increasingly affluent old people.
The Democrats, perhaps following the polls and focus groups, have been protecting these entitlement programs that have done more to increase income inequality than the Reagan and Bush tax cuts put together.
Ryan makes three more points that may strike many as counterintuitive.
First, reductions in some transfer payments haven't hurt the living standards of most low-earners. The prime example is the welfare reform act of 1996, which reduced transfers to single mothers but induced many of them to find jobs that left them better off economically and, probably, psychologically.
Second, Americans aren't trapped in one segment of the income distribution. A Tax Journal analysis of individual income tax returns found that 58 percent of those in the lowest income quintile in 1996 had moved to a higher income segment by 2005. This comports with common experience. We move up and down the income scale in the course of a lifetime.
Finally, the inflation adjustment used in the CBO analysis was the Consumer Price Index. But that tends to overstate inflation (as any indexes tends to do, since it measures the cost of a static market basket of goods and services). A study by Chicago economist Christian Broda found that prices for goods purchased by low-earners have been rapidly decreasing, while prices for goods of high-earners have increased. Kids' school clothes may be cheaper at Walmart than they were years ago, while prices at Neiman Marcus keep increasing.
So if the question is how to compensate for increasing income inequality, higher tax rates on high-earners won't do much -- and could be counterproductive if they diminish economic growth.
A better way is suggested by the supercommittee Republicans: Limit future increases in transfer payments to affluent households, and cap deductions for home mortgage interest and state and local taxes, which are hugely lucrative for high-earners and worthless for low-earners who don't pay income tax.
These proposals won't reduce income inequality altogether. Much of the increased inequality comes from the huge increases for those in the top 1 percent of earners. But we wouldn't be better off if Steve Jobs had never existed.
Keeping entitlements as they are and raising tax rates on high-earners is a recipe for Europe-style stagnation. Ryan and the supercommittee Republicans point toward a better way.
Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Wells Report on the Road Monday Dec 5th!!!

Jon-David broadcasts live from the Greater Dallas Republicans Christmas Party!

Monday December 5th find him at Cantina Laredo in Addison.

He will be joined by:

The Honorable Tincy Miller
Former Chairman of Texas State Board of Education

The Honorable Maurine Dickey
Dallas County Commissioner

The Honorable Joyce Howard Pittman
First Elected Councilwoman in the City of Irving

Debra Medina
Former Candidate for Texas Governor
Executive Director of We Texans

Special Entertainment with Angela Blair
Singer, Actress and producer

Get information here.

AmericanAirlines Parent seeks Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

Associated Press
FORT WORTH, Texas — American Airlines and its parent company are filing for bankruptcy protection as they try to cut costs and unload massive debt built up by years of high fuel prices and labor struggles. There will no impact on travelers for now.
The nation's third-largest airline also said Tuesday that CEO Gerard Arpey had stepped down and was replaced by company president Thomas W. Horton.
AMR Corp. has continued to lose money while other U.S. airlines returned to profitability in the last two years.
Horton said the board of directors unanimously decided to file for bankruptcy after meeting Monday in New York and again by conference call on Monday night.
American said it would operate normally while it reorganizes in bankruptcy. The airline said it would continue to operate flights, honor tickets and take reservations. It said the AAdvantage frequent-flier program would not be affected.
Horton said, however, that as the company goes through a restructuring it will probably reduce the flight schedule "modestly," with corresponding cuts in jobs.
The company will delay the spin-off of its regional airline operation, American Eagle, which was expected in early 2012. AMR Eagle Holding Corp. also filed for bankruptcy.
American was the only major U.S. airline that didn't file for bankruptcy protection in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks that triggered a deep slump in the airline industry. The last major airline to file for bankruptcy protection was Delta in 2005.
Speculation about an AMR bankruptcy grew in recent weeks, however, as negotiations with pilots and other workers over cost-saving labor contracts seemed to stall. The company said that labor-contract rules forced it to spend at least $600 million more per year than other airlines.
Horton said, however, that there was no single factor that led to the bankruptcy filing. He said the company needed to cut costs in view of the weak global economy and high, volatile fuel prices. The average price of jet fuel has risen more than 50 percent in the past five years.
American was the world's biggest airline as recently as 2008, but has fallen behind United and Delta after those two companies bought other airlines.
Fort Worth-based AMR lost $162 million in the third quarter and has posted losses in 14 of the last 16 quarters.
AMR has about $4 billion in cash and has announced plans to order 460 new narrow-body planes used primarily in the U.S., plus other jets for longer flights.
American was founded in 1930 from the combination of more than 80 smaller carriers. It now flies about 240,000 passengers per day and has about 78,000 employees.
The airline operates out of five major hubs in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, Chicago, and Miami. It has major international partnerships with British Airways and Japan Airlines.
Bomkamp reported from New York.

Accuser: Cain Made Alleged 13-Year Affair "Intriguing"

WAGA FOX-5 calls a common number on accuser's cell phone bills and Herman Cain answers.

By Janita Poe 5:00am

Atlanta-area business woman and divorced mother of two Ginger White alleged on WAGA FOX-5 that she had a 13-year affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in an exclusive news story Monday with reporter Dale Russell.
"I was aware that he was married," White, 46, said in the report, "and I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation relationship."
In the 10-minute-long report, White details an affair that she claims began after he spoke to a group in Louisville, Ky., when he was president of the National Restaurant Association.
The story includes clips of cell phone bills with repeat calls and texts to and from one number that called her as early as 4:26 a.m. 
In the story, White, who lives in Dunwoody, claims the number is to Cain's personal mobile phone. At one point, Russell calls the number and Cain answers. However, Cain states that White had his phone number because he was helping her with her career.
A review of court documents by WAGA, reveal that White has been sued several times for not paying rent. In addition, records show White has filed bankruptcy and was once sued for libel by a former business partner. White says in the report that she was unaware of the lawsuit and that she inadvertently loss the case.
Cain, 65, who was profiled by Cascade Patch correspondent Yolande Minor in October in "The Herman Cain of Atlanta's West Side," grew up in segregated Atlanta and attended segregated schools, English Avenue Elementary, in the Vine City-English Avenue area, and the former Archer High School (now part of Harper-Archer Middle School) in an industrial, blue collar community on Perry Boulevard. At the age of 10, he joined Antioch Baptist Church, the intown southwest Atlanta church lead by the influential Rev. Cameron Alexander. As an adult, Cain has served as an associate pastor of the church.
Cain's father, Luther, worked as a janitor, a barber, and a chauffeur for Robert Woodruff, the president for Coca-Cola. His mother, Lenora, was a domestic worker. One of Luther Cain's high points in life was saving enough money from his three jobs to purchase a modest brick home on Albert Street off Oldknow in the Collier Heights neighborhood.
Cain graduated salutatorian from Archer in 1963 and was chose as both "Best All Around" and "Most Likely to Succeed" by his peers. Cain went on to graduate from Morehouse College in 1967 and a year later married Atlanta resident Gloria Etchison after she graduated from Morris Brown College.
Before Monday's development, news broke earlier this fall that two women had come forward to complain of sexual misconduct by Cain during his tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. Two more, including Sharon Bialek, the first to speak publically, have come forth since.
Cain has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

ESPN Sits on Proof of Syracuse Coach Sexual Abuse

Bobby Davis says Coach's wife admitted 'concerns' in audio recording

Published: 11/27 11:41 am
Updated: 12:22 am
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) –  Bobby Davis claims someone close to his coach knew that he was being molested as a teenager, but never told police.  The wife of Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is suddenly at the center of a sexual abuse scandal, after ESPN released an audio recording Sunday.

Davis claims he taped a phone call with Laurie Fine in 2002, in which the two discuss the alleged abuse.  Davis, now 39 years old, claims Laurie Fine saw her husband abuse him in her basement.

In the recording, ESPN says Laurie Fine can be heard saying "I know everything that went on with him...Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues... and you trusted someone you shouldn't have."

Davis goes on to ask her, "Do you think I'm the only one that he's ever done that to?"

The woman responded, "No...I think there might have been others but it was geared to...there was something about you."

While police have not confirmed reports that Laurie Fine is the woman heard on the tape, ESPN says they hired a voice-recognition expert to confirm the voice on the recording is Laurie Fine.  In a statement, the sports network admits they've had the tape for several years.

"Davis first gave the tape to ESPN in 2003. At the time, ESPN did not report Davis' accusations, or report the contents of the tape, because no one else would corroborate his story."

The average person is not held to the same standards as teachers and other professionals who are required to report suspicions of abuse to police.

Attorney Paul DerOhannesian told NewsChannel 9, "A third person down the street, a friend, a neighbor, someone who may know of child abuse, does not necessarily have the legal duty .  There may be a moral duty, there may be an ethical duty, but not necessarily a legal duty."

In an interview, ESPN reporter Mark Schwarz said Bobby Davis “recorded the tape to try to at least corroborate his story", after police had told him the statute of limitations for his claims had run out. 

In November, a second accuser, Mike Lang, came forward, prompting ESPN to finally report the allegations. Lang is Davis' step-brother. 

Bernie Fine's attorneys released this statement to NewsChannel 9 on Sunday:

"Mr. Fine will not comment on newspaper stories beyond his initial statement. Any comment from him would only invite and perpetuate ancient and suspect claims.  Mr. Fine remains hopeful of a credible and expeditious review of the relevant issues by law enforcement authorities."

Legal aspects of the recording

The recording may seem like a major piece of evidence for Davis, but Attorney Emil Rossi says it probably wouldn't be admissible if the case ever goes to trial. He says the portions of the call that ESPN released are hearsay, including the woman's statements that she was aware of possible abuse.

"To simply say 'I know what he did, I know it all', is more like a statement of opinion than it is a fact," said Rossi. "In terms of evidence, that establishes absolutely nothing."

Rossi says admissible evidence at a trial would include situations Laurie Fine witnessed first-hand.  Then, her husband legally has the right to dispute any claims and cross examine the person making accusatory statements.  A tape can't be cross-examined.

The recording includes a question from Davis: "Do you think I'm the only one that he's ever done that to?"

The woman responds: "No...I, I think there might have been others."

Rossi says the statements are only an expression of opinion by the woman.

"It is very explosive in terms of the current tenor of the investigation, but it's this (zero) in a courtroom."

Fine never talks about witnessing abuse in the portions of the call that ESPN released. She does recall a conversation with her husband, warning him that she knows "things" and fears they will become public if he pushes it.

"That's a conversation between a husband and a wife about the alleged commission of a crime and it is privileged," said Rossi.

Spouses have the right to private exchanges. The privilege is waived when publicly discussed, but Bernie Fine wasn't present during the call to waive his privileges.

Why Davis chose to record a call with Laurie Davis instead of his alleged abuser could also become a point of argument.
Copyright 2011 Newport Television LLC All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What is Jon-David missing about Ron Paul

Jon-David is discussing what our country would be like after 2 terms of a Ron Paul Presidency.  What do you think?  1.866.660.KSKY (5759)

An Editorial: For President, Newt Gingrich

Published Nov 27, 2011 at 3:00 am (Updated Nov 26, 2011)

This newspaper endorses Newt Gingrich in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary.

is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.

He did so with the Contract with America. He did it in bringing in the first Republican House in 40 years and by forging balanced budgets and even a surplus despite the political challenge of dealing with a Democratic President. A lot of candidates say they're going to improve Washington.

Newt Gingrich has actually done that, and in this race he offers the best shot of doing it again.

We sympathize with the many people we have heard from, both here and across the country, who remain unsure of their choice this close to the primary. It is understandable. Our nation is in peril, yet much of the attention has been focused on fluff, silliness and each candidate's minor miscues.

Truth be known, many in the liberal media are belittling the Republican candidates because they don't want any of them to be taken as a serious challenger to their man, Obama.

Readers of the Union Leader and Sunday News know that we don't back candidates based on popularity polls or big-shot backers. We look for conservatives of courage and conviction who are independent-minded, grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people, and best equipped for the job.

We don't have to agree with them on every issue. We would rather back someone with whom we may sometimes disagree than one who tells us what he thinks we want to hear.

Newt Gingrich is by no means the perfect candidate. But Republican primary voters too often make the mistake of preferring an unattainable ideal to the best candidate who is actually running. In this incredibly important election, that candidate is Newt Gingrich. He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the vision to lead this country in these trying times. He is worthy of your support on January 10.

Buyers click away as Cyber Monday sales jump 15%

By Hadley Malcolm, Jayne O'Donnell and Laura Petrecca, USA TODAY

The shopping season’s biggest online holiday was more popular than ever today as consumers rushed to the Web for exclusive Cyber Monday Deals.

Online traffic was up 43% from last year, says content delivery network Akamai, and online sales were up 15% over Cyber Monday 2010 as of 3 p.m. ET, says IBM Smarter Commerce, a Web performance analytics firm for 500 of the largest retail websites.
Matt Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation, says sales on Cyber Monday and over the long weekend show retail is "providing a needed shot in the arm to our nascent recovery."
Electronics are the most popular items this year, with sales up 26% over last year, and products such as flat-screen TVs and digital cameras are leading the pack, says PriceGrabber. EBay's Cyber Monday special Monday morning on a white Apple iPad2 for $449 sold out in less than two hours, says Richelle Parham, chief marketing officer for eBay North America.
Even with a flurry of online traffic, retailers appeared to pull off Cyber Monday without a glitch. Web performance expert Steve Tack says retailers have worked hard to deliver an online shopping season free of the website crashes and technical problems common in previous years.
"The industry has done a pretty good job of getting a stable site that is better at dealing with the demands placed on it," says Tack, chief technology officer for website and applications performance at Web-tracking company Compuware Gomez. "People only have so much patience. If a site is not loading fast enough, they'll abandon it."
Sara Mannone, 39, of Denver was enticed online Monday by Lands' End's promise of 30% off everything and free shipping. She says she didn't encounter any problems with the retailer's site and was happy with its customer service.
Sears spent more than a year preparing for this holiday season's deluge of digital shoppers, says Michael Murray, chief marketing officer of online for Sears Holdings. In addition to ramping up overall online capabilities, Sears also focused on making it easier for shoppers to buy via mobile devices.
"We spent the last year really focusing (to make sure) our mobile experience was full and complete," he says. They focused on speed, as well as features and functionality, he says.
Online luggage and handbag site eBags also did testing ahead of time to make sure its site could handle Cyber Monday traffic. It saw a record sales day, up 42.5% over last year, says Peter Cobb, the site's co-founder. He says luggage sets and packing cubes were among the day's best-selling items.

President Ron Paul-What is Jon-David Missing??

7:05P CT tonight Jon-David discusses why Republicans in Iowa want Ron Paul to be the President?

Why do you support Ron Paul?

1.866.660.KSKY (5759)

Minister of News and Reality Loves his Dr. Pepper!!!

courtesy of Josh Armstrong 

Black Friday Sales Increase 6.6% to Record $11.4 Billion, ShopperTrak Says

By Matt Townsend and Ashley Lutz -
 Nov 27, 2011 8:49 AM CT
Story from Bloomberg

Black Friday sales increased 6.6 percent to the largest amount ever as U.S. consumers shrugged off 9 percent unemployment and went shopping.
Consumers spent $11.4 billion, ShopperTrak said in a statement yesterday. Foot traffic rose 5.1 percent on Black Friday, according to the Chicago-based research firm.
“This is the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006,” ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin said in the statement. “Still, it’s just one day. It remains to be seen whether consumers will sustain this behavior through the holiday shopping season.”
As many as 152 million people were expected to shop at stores and websites on Black Friday, up 10 percent from last year, the National Retail Federation said. The Washington-based NRF is scheduled to release Thanksgiving weekend sales today.
The brisk turnout came as retailers from Gap Inc. (GPS) to Wal- Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) to Toys “R” Us Inc. opened their doors earlier than ever. The expanded hours also spurred online sales, which gained 39 percent on Thanksgiving and 24 percent on Black Friday, according to International Business Machines Corp.’s Coremetrics. Black Friday is so named because many retailers are said to become profitable then.
Some shoppers planned to spend more this year because their employment prospects have improved.

New Job

One was Pam Jones, a 51-year-old mother of two from Columbus, Ohio, who got a job at a medical billing office this year and said she planned to spend $1,200 this holiday season, or about twice as much as usual.
Jones was shopping yesterday for clothes for her 13-year- old son at an Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) store in Dublin, Ohio. The New Albany, Ohio-based teen-oriented chain was offering 40 percent off the entire store. Jones purchased jeans and t-shirts emblazoned with the Abercrombie & Fitch logo.
“My son is getting into name-brand fashions now so we want to get those for him,” Jones said. “The stuff is expensive, though, so I came out for the sales.”
Black Friday arrived with consumer sentiment at levels previously reached during recessions, as a record share of households said this is a bad time to spend, according to the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index. The measure has reached minus 50 or less in nine of the past 10 weeks, an unprecedented performance in its 26-year history.

Pent-Up Demand

Even with low confidence, shoppers paid more for goods and unleashed some pent-up demand, said Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, which is based in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Many shoppers are in the mood to buy for themselves. One is Kevin Fusting. While most of his gift budget will go to video games for his 10- and 12-year-old sons, Fusting, a 46-year-old oriental rug seller from Chevy Chase, Maryland, may buy himself a present this year: a Sony Corp. digital camera.
“I am not getting any younger,” he said, explaining the temptation.
Stacey Carfi, a 32-year-old controller visiting Washington from Charleston, South Carolina, is treating herself, too. She paid full price for two pairs of pants -- one for herself -- and a key ring at Michael Kors and Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) She planned to buy herself shoes this holiday, too.
“It is the season for buying, so why not get in on that?” Carfi said.

Online Sales

Sales at brick-and-mortar stores may rise 2.8 percent to $465.6 billion this holiday season, slower than the 5.2 percent gain last year, according to the NRF. Online revenue may advance 15 percent to $37.6 billion, according to ComScore Inc.
Not all shoppers planned to spend more this holiday season. Tanya Taylor, 39, bought clothes for herself at a San Diego Macy’s, and planned to spend 50 percent less this year because she’s getting less work as a freelancer in the beauty industry.
Chains such as Macy’s (M) Inc., Target Corp. (TGT) and Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), which all opened at midnight, may have taken revenue from competitors like J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) that didn’t open until 4 a.m., according Ken Perkins, president of Swampscott, Massachusetts- based Retail Metrics.
“It was a win for them,” said Perkins, who visited stores in Boston. “The additional costs of staying open a few more hours will be more than offset by the traffic they brought in and probably taking some market share.”

Foot Traffic

Macy’s early start prompted many malls to open at midnight. That helped boost foot traffic at Walt Disney Co.’s namesake stores because Cincinnati-based Macy’s is the anchor tenant in the malls that house most of its locations, said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide. Sales at Disney Stores met expectations by rising high-single percentage points, Fielding said.
Many shoppers were Black Friday rookies.
Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren said he was struck by how many people in their 20s descended on the chain’s flagship store in Manhattan.
“It was almost a continuation of whatever social experience they were having hours before,” he said.
The extended hours drew Amanda Rottmueller, a 20-year-old nursing student, to Black Friday for the first time as she bought herself bras and pajamas that came with a free pair of slippers from Limited Brands Inc.’s Victoria’s Secret at the Tri-County Mall in Cincinnati.

‘Good Deal’

“The deal is just too good, and I can get something really nice I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise,” she said.
Black Friday may illustrate a gap between what consumers tell pollsters and how they actually behave -- a trend that has prevailed for much of this year, said Retail Metrics’ Perkins. Industrywide monthly same-store sales, a key indicator for retail growth because new and closed locations are excluded, have gained for more than two years and missed analysts’ projections once this year, according to Retail Metrics.
“A solid Black Friday suggests the rest of the season should be pretty good,” Perkins said. “Those who have jobs have been willing to spend.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at; Ashley Lutz in New York at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Obama’s Growing Disdain for American Worker

Obama’s growing disdain for American Worker

By Joseph Curl-The Washington Times

They say that politics stops at the water's edge, but apparently, that doesn't apply to President Obama, as so many things apparently don't.
The president, jaunting around the world as America's economy crumbles and Congress lumbers along, leaderless, dropped into a high school in Australia. Talking to the Aussie kids, he said America's public school students have "fallen behind" them in math and science. And he said in the U.S., many children don't get the "support they need when they're very young" so they're "already behind" when they enter elementary school.
Of course, that doesn't apply to the president's and first lady's daughters. There was no chance the One Percent Couple were going to send their own children to a public school in the District of Columbia; they're off at a private school that costs $30,000 per child per year.
But that is what Mr. Obama - the president of the United States - thinks about the state of education in America. And we Americans should just get used to it. Our president now travels around the world to pronounce the end of the American era, kowtow to foreign leaders by saying the U.S. is no longer the singular force in the world, and essentially disrespect everything that has made this great country so great.
While the Nobel Prize winner courts the world, looking for lost love, he holds a special disdain for the working American. Now, mind you, this from a guy who has never held down a real job: from community organizer to Illinois state senator to U.S. senator to president, taxpayers have been paying his salary since the mid-1990s.
In the past three months, his real feelings about the state of the U.S. economy have come out and, more important, just who's to blame for it. You won't be surprised: It's YOU.
But before that, this. In 1979, with the energy market exploding, interest rates soaring and gas lines growing, President Carter took to the airwaves to deliver what came to be his most famous speech.
"I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy. ... I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might. The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation," the one-term president said.
Although Mr. Carter never said "malaise," the word has forever since defined the speech. With Americans looking for leadership, begging for it, the president came on television and blamed - Them.
Fast-forward 32 years to the New Jimmy Carter. Mr. Obama has decided to travel the country on his taxpayer-funded 747 to tell the taxpayers that they're doing a terrible job, that they just have to do more - and do it better. Sure, he blames Congress for the continuing gridlock over the economy (for him, there is no such thing as the bully pulpit), but he wants it to be known far and wide that it is the American worker who has so heinously let down his nation.
Sometimes, he even disses Americans while campaigning for their votes, as he did in September during a TV interview. "The way I think about it is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and, you know, we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track," he said in Florida.
In October, the president, collecting gobs of cash from loaded supporters, once again targeted the working man (not, of course, the white-collar throng gathered in, where else, San Francisco, but the blue-collar worker who actually built America). "We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge," he said as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi no doubt nodded, sipping her chardonnay.
Then, this month, Mr. Obama did it again overseas (well, it was Hawaii, but the president apparently thought he was abroad because he said, "Here in Asia ...").
"We've been a little bit lazy, I think, over the past couple of decades. We've kind of taken for granted. 'Well, people will want to come here' and we aren't out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America," he said at the Asian economic summit.
So, there you have it: The American worker has lost his "ambition [and] imagination," is "lazy" and has gone "a bit soft."
Spoken like a true one-term president.
 Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

As Blame Game Erupts, Debt Panel Appears Ready to Admit Failure

As Blame Game Erupts, Debt Panel Appears Ready to Admit Failure

The panel is sputtering to a close after two months of talks in which the members were never able to get close to bridging a fundamental divide over how much to raise taxes to address a budget deficit that forced the government to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spent last year.
Republicans and Democrats on the committee can't agree on much. But as the deficit-cutting panel careens toward a Wednesday deadline without a deficit-cutting deal, they can agree on this -- it's all the other side's fault.

In separate interviews across Washington Sunday, members of the committee charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings hurled recriminations at one another for their apparent failure to strike an agreement. Sources close to the discussions indicate that, despite scattered last-ditch appeals for a deal, members of the panel are trying to figure out how to bring the process formally to a close.
The ignominious end for the committee once touted as a must-succeed effort to rein in the debt tees up what is sure to be a protracted blame game.

Republicans said Sunday they offered Democrats a "breakthrough" deal by putting tax hikes on the table, but that Democrats never got serious about curbing entitlements while insisting on "huge" tax increases instead.

Democrats said they put every one of their "sacred cows" on the chopping block, but that Republicans tried to exploit the process to extend, even lower, the tax rates set during the George W. Bush administration.

"We are not a tax-cutting committee. We're a deficit-reduction committee," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said.

The panel was established over the summer as a condition for raising the debt ceiling.
As analysts warn about the economic implications of failure, as well as the political punishment members of Congress could endure at the hands of frustrated voters, lawmakers worked to explain away the impasse as the proverbial sand slipped through the hourglass. The committee technically has until Wednesday to reach a deal, but officials have said Monday -- or even Sunday night -- is the de facto deadline, because budget scorekeepers would need time to review the package.

A visibly riled-up Kerry dismissed GOP accusations as "nonsense" Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"If this weren't so serious, I might laugh," Kerry said, warning about the "real threat" of a credit downgrade and financial market revolt.
"Just the confusion and gridlock is enough to say to the world, 'America can't get its act together,'" Kerry said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Next Time on The Wells Report
Thanksgiving is upon us.  From The Wells Report, Jon-David wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and thanks you for choosing to spend some time with us each day.

November 22nd marks the 48th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination.  Robert Groden joins Jon-David to talk about the many conspiracy's that are still around and how this single event changed our lives.

Jon-David will also sit down with Lynette Shofner, founder of Sisters of Savings to find out where to get the best deal on those last minute Thanksgiving groceries.

Don't forget the Shopping!  Many stores are opening Thanksgiving evening to accommodate the shopping rush.  Jon-David talks with Terry Clower, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at The University of North Texas, discusses how gift buying this Holiday Season will help the Texas Economy.

Travelocity checks in with travel updates from DFW Airport.

November 21, 2011

Romney, Gingrich Now Top Choices for GOP Nomination

Gingrich's support on the rise this month

by Jeffrey M. Jones
PRINCETON, NJ -- Republicans are most likely to name Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as their first choice for their party's 2012 presidential nomination, with Herman Cain close behind. Among all Republicans nationwide, Romney is the choice of 20% and Gingrich 19%. Among Republican registered voters, Gingrich is at 22% and Romney at 21%.
These results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,062 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents conducted Nov. 13-17. Compared with the prior poll, conducted Nov. 3-6, Gingrich's support has increased from 12% to 19% among all Republicans. His support has gone up in each of the last three polls after bottoming out at 4% in August, and is now at his highest for the campaign to date.
Meanwhile, Cain, who has been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment, has seen his support dip slightly, from 21% to 16%. However, it remains well above the levels from earlier this year, which were generally in the single digits.
Rick Perry's support also slipped, to 8% in the latest poll, conducted after the two most recent candidate debates, including the Nov. 9 debate in which Perry failed to remember the names of all three cabinet departments he vowed to shut down if elected. Perry's support has declined in each of the last three updates after peaking at 29% in mid-August, shortly after he entered the race.
Romney, meanwhile, has been the leader or tied for the lead in nearly every poll conducted since May, when the Republican field largely came into shape.

Romney Appeals Equally to Conservatives, Moderates
Most of the candidates, including Romney, receive roughly equal support from conservative and moderate or liberal Republicans. Cain and, in particular, Gingrich, have greater appeal to conservative Republicans.

Overall, Gingrich has a slight edge over Romney and Cain among conservatives, while Romney has a wider margin over the others among moderates and liberals.

Older Republicans Lean Heavily to Gingrich, Romney
Republican presidential nominee preferences vary significantly by age. If the nomination were contested solely among senior citizens, it would be a two-man race between Gingrich (34%) and Romney (28%), with 6 in 10 Republicans aged 65 or older supporting one of those two candidates, and no other candidate above 8% in that age group.
In fact, Gingrich's support is heavily concentrated among Republicans who are at least 50, while his support is 4% among Republicans younger than 30. This pattern may reflect the fact that he has been out of public office for more than a decade, and thus a less familiar figure to younger Republicans.  Cain and Ron Paul do much better among younger than among older Republicans, a consistent finding for Paul throughout the campaign. And while Romney is competitive with the leaders in every age group, his support tends to be greater among older Republicans.

Older Americans in general are more likely to vote in elections than younger Americans, suggesting that Gingrich's and Romney's greater support among older Republicans may translate better to actual voting than Cain's and Paul's among younger Republicans.
With the first official nominating contest, the Iowa caucuses, now just six weeks away, there is no clear national front-runner for the Republican nomination. Romney remains at the top of the list, along with Gingrich, whose campaign has mounted a comeback in recent weeks, and Cain. Gingrich's rise coincides with the recent declines of Perry and, to a lesser extent, Cain,
Typically, well before the Iowa caucuses, Republicans have anointed a dominant front-runner who wound up being the nominee. The major exception was in the last campaign, when Rudy Giuliani led national polls by a healthy margin for much of 2007 but was largely uncompetitive in the 2008 primaries and caucuses.
Thus, the current contest stands to be the most competitive and perhaps most unpredictable for the Republican nomination since 1972, when the parties shifted the power to choose their presidential nominees away from party leaders at the national convention to the rank-and-file voters in state primaries and caucuses.
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