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Archive for February 9th, 2011

REAGAN FLASHBACK: Reagan’s Legacy: Our 25-Year Boom

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on February 9, 2011

Excellent article about the success of President Reagan’s free-market economic policies,  posted by Investor’s Business Daily at RealClearMarkets.


April 10, 2009

Reagan’s Legacy: Our 25-Year Boom

By Investor’s Business Daily

Golden Age: After 25 years of record-setting economic performance around the world, set off by President Reagan’s free-market policies, the world has fallen into a recession. Is this the inevitable end of an era?

Let’s go back to 1982, in many ways the bleakest year since the Depression. The economy had emerged severely damaged by the stagflation of the 1970s. Americans’ confidence, both in government and in the economy, had reached a low ebb in 1980. Many felt our best years lay behind us.

On the nations’ campuses and even in some of its boardrooms, people were talking about capitalism as a failed system.

Some advocated a “third way” between socialism and capitalism, as in Europe, which would include heavy doses of government intervention in markets to bring them back to life. Still others took up the call in E.F. Schumacher’s best-seller, “Small Is Beautiful,” to downsize expectations. Live frugally, they said. Inhabit small houses. Drive small cars. Don’t use oil. Rein in your ambitions.

One man didn’t agree with this: President Ronald Reagan, elected in 1980 amid a wave of voter disgust at his predecessor’s failures.

It was Reagan who brought America’s capitalist economy roaring back to life, ending energy price controls, slashing income tax rates by 25% and dramatically reducing tax rates on capital gains.

Americans had been told for years — as they’re now being told again — to expect diminished standards of living. Then they watched as the Reagan years set in place one of the most durable and remarkable booms in incomes and wealth in history.

Yet the media and academia rarely credited Reagan for his accomplishments — especially on the economy, where “Reaganomics” became a term of opprobrium among the intelligentsia.

But it’s a fact. As the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research once declared, we lived in the “longest sustained period of prosperity in the 20th century” from 1982 to 1999 — one big boom, the NBER said, set off by Reagan.

Reagan’s magic was simple. He wanted to lower interest rates, slash inflation, cut unemployment and boost economic growth. These things, at the time, seemed impossible. But he did it.

The so-called misery index — that is, unemployment plus inflation — hit 21% as Reagan was elected in 1980. By the time his terms were over, it had plunged to around 9%.

Interest rates likewise plunged — contrary to the predictions of many pundits, who boldly predicted that the budget deficits which emerged in the 1980s would send rates spiraling upward. From a stratospheric 21% in 1980, the prime rate fell to 7% by decade’s end.

During the 1970s, many Americans for the first time saw incomes shrink. But from 1981 to 1989, median real household income rose by $4,000. The poorest Americans, who saw their incomes fall 5% in the 1970s, watched their incomes rise 6% in the 1980s.

After the staunchly free-market Reagan, things got a bit rocky.

President George H.W. Bush’s four years included some mistakes and questionable moves — a record rise in regulations, for one, and the infamous breaking of his “no new taxes” pledge that, after 1991’s mild recession, handed the 1992 election to Bill Clinton.

President Clinton won largely because he promised change. He had also promised a middle-class tax cut, among other things.

But his popularity plunged when, instead of cutting taxes, he raised them by a record amount. That tax hike contributed to one of the slowest economic recoveries from a recession since WWII.

The young Arkansan president looked like a one-termer.

But things changed. Slashing defense spending after the collapse of communism (another Reagan victory), Clinton and the new GOP Congress in 1994 started to shrink the deficit. Clinton sounded Reaganesque declaring: “The era of big government is over.”

Meanwhile, after raising interest rates in 1994, Fed chief Alan Greenspan began cutting them as inflation and the deficit fell. The economy and the stock market soared. Budget surpluses emerged.

The Reagan era’s star companies begat the Internet boom; they helped save Clinton’s presidency. Two stand out: In 1993, Intel unveiled its Pentium chip. In 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95.

By 1996, the economy was rocking and so was the stock market. Employing his famous policy of “triangulation,” Clinton wisely signed welfare reform into law, bringing millions of people off the dole and into the productive work force, many for the first time.

A year later, and with much less fanfare, Clinton signed into law a tax bill produced by the Republican Congress to cut capital gains tax rates. The result was the record boom of 1997 to 2000, the result of which was an unprecedented expansion of wealth.

Indeed, this 25-year Reagan boom was the most profoundly democratic era of capitalism ever. In 1980, just 16% of all workers owned stock. By 2000, that had expanded to 52%. Stock ownership moved from Wall Street to Main Street.

Even so, President George W. Bush inherited a mess in 2000. The Nasdaq was at the tail end of a record plunge — which began in 1999 after the Fed aggressively raised rates to quell inflation and end “irrational exuberance.” As Bush entered office, the economy was already in recession. Job growth was nil. The 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 cast a pall over the nation’s spirit and the economy.

Still, Bush managed to push through two major tax cuts. The second one, in 2003, helped set off a five-year growth spurt that went all but uncovered by the nation’s media.

What’s more, as a backdrop to the Reagan boom, the world’s economy likewise moved strongly in a free-market direction, adding more output in the last 25 years than in all of history. In 1980, world GDP was just $11 trillion, World Bank data show. By 2007, it had soared to $54 trillion, the greatest economic surge in history.

Hundreds of millions of people were pulled from abject poverty into something resembling a middle-class existence.

Today the question is: Can Reagan’s free-market miracle survive? Or was it just a brief interlude of history?

President Obama has presided over the greatest expansion of government in history. Spending on the various bailouts and stimulus programs now totals $4 trillion — about a third of our total national output. And it looks to grow even bigger.

He has proposed new taxes and new rules that will put the government’s hand into our lives as never before. Expanding government spending from the 50-year average of 20% of GDP or so to as much as 25% will require sweeping new taxes — and not just on the rich.

A shocking new Rasmussen Poll shows that just 53% think capitalism is superior to socialism — despite the fact that socialism, wherever it’s been tried, has brought misery and poverty.

So is Reagan’s dream of free-market capitalism dead? Or is it just sleeping, as in the 1970s, waiting for a new champion to emerge?


 

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If Huckabee’s Reported PAC Closure Means He’s Out Then The 40% Palin/Huck Poll Support has Only One Place To Go

Posted by M.Joseph Sheppard At Palin4President2016 on February 9, 2011

Race For 2012 website reports Huckabee For President Inc. has filed termination papers with the FEC. If this means, which is one of two possibilities, that he will not run in 2012, then there are significant implications for Sarah Palin. Given his renewed Fox contract and his building a huge home in Florida whilst having paid off his last campaign debts, there seems a strong possibility he will not run.

Where does this leave the GOP “12 race?

As I have presented previously, the combined Palin/Huckabee polling amongst Republicans across the country and in many individual states gives a return of between 33%-40%.

Sometimes Huckabee leads and sometimes Palin does .The main point is however that, in general, their combined results are up to twice that of the nearest competitor-Mitt Romney.

Further polling analysis shows that the second choice of the majority of Huckabee’s supporters is, as would be expected, Sarah Palin. Thus, if that holds true for Iowa and South Carolina then, should she choose to run, Palin should win both states easily. If there is a credible leftist challenger to Romney in New Hampshire then on a split vote Palin might come through the middle.

If that was the case then even before South Carolina she would be unstoppable. In any scenario shown so far the main point is that the rank and file want a conservative candidate. If Huckabee is out of the running then that can only be Palin.

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PALIN FLASHBACK: Sarah Palin: A Star Is Born in the GOP

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on February 9, 2011

Excellent review of Governor Palin’s 2008 Republican National Committee Convention by Michael Barone at U. S. News:

Michael Barone

Sarah Palin: A Star Is Born in the GOP

By Michael Barone

Posted: September 4, 2008

Sarah Palin’s speech to the Republican National Convention last night was a home run. A star was born. While the Obama campaign has attempted to disparage it by saying that it was written by a former George W. Bush speechwriter, Matthew Scully—and thus link it to the McCain=Bush meme that was one of the chief ideas thrust forward in their convention in Denver last week—it cannot be dismissed as such. Scully reportedly had written a generic draft that could have been used by whichever vice presidential candidate McCain had chosen. But once Palin was the choice, she and Scully reportedly worked together and produced a draft that was brilliantly designed to promote the McCain-Palin ticket, and not to look backwards and justify the Bush administration. This will surprise no one who knows the independent-minded Scully (who left the Bush team to write a book on the responsibility human beings have to animals) and a woman who was described, by Fred Thompson on Tuesday night, as the only major-party nominee, with the possible exception of Theodore Roosevelt, who knew how to field-dress a moose. According to accounts I heard, they worked together quite satisfactorily and produced a text that reflected the VP nominee’s convictions and the ticket’s political imperatives.

Helped along by ad libs. For the first few paragraphs, Palin seemed half as wooden as her fellow non-Lower 48 Gov. Linda Lingle had been. But then, after describing herself as a “hockey mom,” Palin described the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: “lipstick.” From there on out she was entirely at ease, smiling and confident, not in the least bit nervous, smiling as she put the knife in the ribs of the other side and inspiring as, in her Midwestern accent (if I, as a native Midwesterner, can describe her Alaska accent that way), she hailed the leadership qualities of John McCain.

The speech itself was interwoven skillfully with themes that can work for the Republican ticket this year.

Attack the media. Democrats hate Republicans. Republicans dislike Democrats but hate the media. Palin, after the media have spent the last five days asking questions they never considered relevant, since the original National Enquirer stories 10 months ago, about John Edwards, said:

“And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

Polls show that the public appreciates that mainstream media has been overwhelmingly biased toward Barack Obama and that they’re actually sick of hearing how wonderful he is. The attack on the media was hugely popular in the hall but resonates far outside. I like to tell my Republican friends that the Constitution guarantees us a free press but not a fair one. The game is not on the level. Middle America knows this and identifies with Palin, not mainstream media (MSM).

Ridicule the secular religion of the Obamacrats. The eerie devotion of Obama’s audiences is off-putting to many voters. “We are the change we are seeking”: wonderful for believers, but weird for everyone else. Palin, always smiling, had lots of fun with this.

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.”

On the New Republic blog, Michael Crowley makes the point that Republicans are relying on ridicule of the Obamacrats. Yes. Ridicule, because they seem to be part of a secular, quasi-religious cult, complete with speeches to enchanted masses and newly invented symbols (one of them wants everyone to join their hands over their heads in a giant “O”). This is in line with Al Gore’s global warming legions: We have sinned, we must do penance, we must give up things (though not Gore’s own humungous houses and private planes). Palin notices.

“I’ve noticed a pattern with our opponent. Maybe you have, too. We’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers. And there is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform—not even in the state Senate. This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word ‘victory’ except when he’s talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed…when the roar of the crowd fades away…when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot—what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet?”

Obamania appears weird to Middle America. Even as far away as Wasilla, Alaska.

This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn’t just need an organizer.

Contrast Obamas experience with McCains. Rough stuff, from the viewpoint of MSM.

“In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change. They’re the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals. Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things. And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things. They’re the ones who are good for more than talk…the ones we have always been able to count on to serve and defend America….

“He’s a man who’s there to serve his country, and not just his party. A leader who’s not looking for a fight but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the majority leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee. He said, quote, ‘I can’t stand John McCain.’ Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we’ve chosen the right man.”

Note the use of the word “accolade.” It came naturally to her. It’s not a word you hear when friends run into each other at the mall in Wasilla. But she used it without hesitation or pretension. From somewhere or another, she has developed a strong command of the English language—something that that the Ivy League/Hyde Park-Kenwood apparat around Obama and MSM don’t expect but need to be on the lookout for.

“And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, ‘fighting for you,’ let us face the matter squarely.”

Squarely.

“There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you…in places where winning means survival and defeat means death…and that man is John McCain. In our day, politicians have readily shared much lesser tales of adversity than the nightmare world in which this man, and others equally brave, served and suffered for their country. It’s a long way from the fear and pain and squalor of a 6-by-4 cell in Hanoi to the Oval Office. But if Senator McCain is elected president, that is the journey he will have made…. It’s the journey of an upright and honorable man–the kind of fellow whose name you will find on war memorials in small towns across this country, only he was among those who came home.

“To the most powerful office on Earth, he would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless…the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God…the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome. A fellow prisoner of war, a man named Tom Moe of Lancaster, Ohio, recalls looking through a pin-hole in his cell door as Lieutenant Commander John McCain was led down the hallway, by the guards, day after day.

“As the story is told, ‘When McCain shuffled back from torturous interrogations, he would turn toward Moe’s door and flash a grin and thumbs up’—as if to say, ‘We’re going to pull through this.’ My fellow Americans, that is the kind of man America needs to see us through these next four years. For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.”

Pretty powerful stuff.

Unserious in the war against terrorists. Palin noted, as Rudy Giuliani had in speaking before her, that at the Democratic National Convention almost no one had spoken of the threat of Islamist terrorism. The assumption seemed to be that if we would just be emollient, there would be no threat. Palin would have none of that.

“The[Democratic] answer is to…reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy…our opponent is against producing it. Victory in Iraq is finally in sight…he wants to forfeit. Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay…he wants to meet them without preconditions. Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America…he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights?”

Evangelical language, but no concentration on abortion or other cultural issues. As I was leaving the convention, a liberal reporter noted something I didn’t notice: that Palin made little reference to abortion and other cultural issues (and, though he didn’t mention it, none to same-sex marriage). Instead, she spoke in coded language. “But we are expected to govern with integrity, good will, clear convictions, and…a servant’s heart.” But she didn’t have to talk about these issues. She’s lived them. She gave birth to a son with Down’s syndrome she could easily have aborted. She has endorsed her 17-year-old daughter’s decision to give birth to a child conceived out of wedlock. She and, on the airport tarmac, John McCain embraced the father of the child. Liberal MSM journalists imagine that evangelical Christians cast out girls who have become pregnant without being married. Factually wrong: They provide counseling and support to them. And, as Sarah and Todd Palin’s statement shows, tell them that they will have to grow up and take on responsibilities sooner than they expected. The convention is cool with that. MSM has been trying to spin it as intolerance. They don’t understand. But the viewing public sees religious conservatives with a happy face.

Against special interests. Change is the Obama campaign’s theme. Here, Palin annexes it:

“This was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau…when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network. Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That’s why true reform is so hard to achieve. But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up. And in short order, we put the government of our state back on the side of the people. I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law. While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work. And I thought we could muddle through without the governor’s personal chef–although I’ve got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her. I came to office promising to control spending–by request if possible, and by veto if necessary.”

Governors running for national office tend to frame their records in the most favorable light, and MSM will be on the lookout for discrepancies between Palin’s narrative and the truth. My sense is that they will be pretty marginal.

Energy issues. I think this, aside from her maverick reputation, is what most attracted McCain to Palin—more than the fact that she is a woman.

“I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history. And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence. That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart.”

Alaska governors, unlike those of the other 49 states (not 56 or 57 or 58, as Barack Obama would have it), have to deal with energy issues of national and international significance. Production in the North Slope oil fields has been declining, even as giant quantities of natural gas have to be pumped back into the ground for lack of a pipeline. Palin has spent much of her governorship on getting such a pipeline built, bucking the big oil companies on the terms and negotiating with Canadian federal, provincial, and Inuit authorities. She also seems to have a sense, despite her lack of foreign travel, of the worldwide reverberations of energy issues.

“With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers. To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies…or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia…or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries…we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas. And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: We’ve got lots of both. Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems–as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

“Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines…build more nuclear plants…create jobs with clean coal…and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources. We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers.”

This is powerful stuff and far beyond the quasi-religious imprecations we heard at the Democratic National Convention that wind and solar power can solve all our problems. There’s even a possibility that Palin can change McCain’s mind on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Economic issues. Some traditional Republican grist here:

“Government is too big…he [Obama] wants to grow it. Congress spends too much…he promises more. Taxes are too high…he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific. The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes…raise payroll taxes…raise investment income taxes…raise the death tax…raise business taxes…and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars. My sister Heather and her husband have just built a service station that’s now opened for business—like millions of others who run small businesses. How are they going to be any better off if taxes go up? Or maybe you’re trying to keep your job at a plant in Michigan or Ohio…or create jobs with clean coal from Pennsylvania or West Virginia…or keep a small farm in the family right here in Minnesota. How are you going to be better off if our opponent adds a massive tax burden to the American economy?”

This is the argument against Herbert Hoover’s policy of higher taxes on high earners in an economic slowdown. Who wants to say Sarah Palin is a lightweight now?

Also see:  A star is born:The country ‘fell in love with Sarah Palin tonight’.

 

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Governor Palin’s Interview with The Brody File

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on February 9, 2011

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Video courtesy of PalinTV

Governor Palin’s interview with CBN News correspondent  David Brody at the Reagan Ranch aired Monday morning on the 700 Club.   In his article at The Brody File, which also  includes videoclips and transcript from the interview, Mr. Brady notes:

In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin criticized President Obama for his handling of the situation in Egypt, saying that this was his, “3 a.m. White House phone call” and “that call went right to the answering machine.”

Her answers about Egypt are the first time she’s talked publicly about the situation.

Palin sat down with me Friday evening in Santa Barbara, Calif. after giving the keynote speech at the Reagan 100 Celebration Opening Banquet sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation.

In addition, she declared that, “much of the mainstream media is already becoming irrelevant.” She says since she has a degree in journalism, she wants to help them do a better job.

She also says that if she ran for President again she, “would continue on the same course of not really caring what other people say about me or worrying about the things that they make up, but having that thick skin and a steel spine.”

She also explains in detail why she chose not to attend the CPAC conference next week. Finally, she opens up about her devotional life and her faith in Jesus Christ saying, “I’m reminded so often of 2 Timothy 1:7 knowing that God ‘does not give us a spirit of timidity or of fear, but he gives us a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.’”

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Palin Gains 11 Points In Head To Head With Obama. Support Up 100% Rass Vs CBS Poll

Posted by M.Joseph Sheppard At Palin4President2016 on February 9, 2011

The latest Real Clear Politics polling showing President Obama in a direct match up with Sarah Palin has it, according to Rasmussen, as of February 7th at;

Obama 49%
Palin 38%

Obama +11%

The significant factors are that the President Obama percentage is below the crucial 50% mark. Further this poll result comes after a time of near unprecedented media adulation for the president following on from The Giffords shooting,the SOTU, and the “new civility” wherein the administration caved in on the Bush tax cuts but the media trumpeted necessity as a virtue.

On the other hand Palin, during this period was virtually accused of pulling the trigger for Loughner, for trying to upstage the presidents SOTU whilst delivering an “ungracious” speech, (noting that she was accused just before of staying silent at a time of tragedy)and no doubt for causing the snow to fall and for, well just being alive.

Yet through all this if we refer to the Wall Street Journal head to head poll dated December 16th in the RCP analysis we find;

Obama 55%
Palin 33%

Obama+22%

Thus there has been an 11% lift in Palin’s percentage in less than two months during a propitious media time for Obama and the reverse for Palin. Which shows the public are not fools.

In passing the last CBS poll has Palin at Favorables 19%. If anyone took that ridiculous poll seriously it shows a 100% lift in support compared to the latest Rasmussen

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