Sorry, Liberals, Obama is No Reagan

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The Ronald Reagan Foreign Policy Legacy Distorted

 writes: One of the more amusing things to see in journalism is for committed liberals who didn’t work for Ronald Reagan, who didn’t vote for Ronald Reagan and who were fiercely critical of Ronald Reagan to invoke his name in order to instruct conservatives on how to better understand Ronald Reagan.

“J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post…argues in his column that Barack Obama’s Iran strategy parallels Reagan’s approach to Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. In fact, the lessons are exactly the opposite.”

The most recent example of this is E. J. Dionne, Jr. of the Washington Post, who argues in his column that Barack Obama’s Iran strategy parallels Reagan’s approach to Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s. In fact, the lessons are exactly the opposite.

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“Both Reagan nor Thatcher were able to revise their assumptions based on new facts, new actors on the world stage, and new opportunities. They were not dogmatists. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, most assuredly is.”

For all the criticisms of the left against Reagan that he was a rigid ideologue, he was, in fact, a man who was quite willing and able to adjust his views in light of shifting circumstances. That is precisely what he and Margaret Thatcher did in the case of Mr. Gorbachev.

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“Barack Obama is all about trust and completely indifferent to verify. The president was determined to strike a deal with Iran, any deal, for the sake of a deal. The Iranians, knowing this, were able to win one concession after another from the president.”

To their credit, both Reagan and Thatcher were dedicated anti-Communists. They understood the evil nature of the Soviet regime and they took a hard-line stance against it for most of their careers. But equally to their credit, they saw that Gorbachev was someone with whom, in Thatcher’s words in 1984, “We can do business together.” And they did. Both Reagan nor Thatcher were able to revise their assumptions based on new facts, new actors on the world stage, and new opportunities. They were not dogmatists.

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“Mr. Reagan negotiated from a position of strength and operated within the four corners of reality; Mr. Obama negotiates from a position of weakness and operates in a world of his own imagination.”

Mr. Obama, on the other hand, most assuredly is. He has been ideologically committed to a rapprochement with Iran even before he was elected president; it has been his foreign policy holy grail for his entire tenure. Nothing was going to keep him from striking a bargain with which he was obsessed. (It explains in part why the president was so passive during the Green Revolution in 2009, essentially siding with the Iranian regime over the democratic movement seeking to topple it.)

[Read the full text here, at Commentary]

And here’s a key difference between Reagan and Thatcher and Obama. The former revised their approach based on an accurate assessment of Gorbachev and, therefore, the Soviet regime he ruled. Read the rest of this entry »


SMIDGEN REPORT UPDATE: Improper Payments by Federal Agencies Reach World Record Cuckoo Bananas $125 BILLION

Witnesses-AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal agencies set a new record for improper payments last year, shelling out $125 billion in questionable benefits after years of declines.

The payments included tax credits for families that didn’t qualify, Medicare payments for treatments that might not have been necessary, and unemployment benefits for people who were actually working.O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

“This taxpayer money was not spent securing our borders, it was not spent on national defense, and it was not spent contributing to a safety net for those in need.”

— Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Improper payments increased by $19 billion over the previous year, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. In addition to fraud, the errors included overpayments and underpayments, as well as payments made without proper documentation.

“This is a problem that is going to get worse year after year if we do not get a handle on it now.”

— Sen. Ron Johnson

While the errors were spread among 22 federal agencies, three programs stood out: Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Together, the three programs accounted for more than $93 billion in improper payments.

“This taxpayer money was not spent securing our borders, it was not spent on national defense, and it was not spent contributing to a safety net for those in need,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. “This is a problem that is going to get worse year after year if we do not get a handle on it now.”

Johnson’s committee held a hearing Monday on reducing improper payments.

Federal agencies are required to estimate the amount of improper payments each year as part of a government-wide effort to tackle the issue. Read the rest of this entry »


Phyllis Schlafy: Democrats Plan To Win Elections With Illegal Immigrant Votes

David Simas, right, in the White House last year. His new job is political director, and his goal is to help Democrats do well in political campaigns, even if it means violating the Hatch Act, because White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston believes Simas is immune from congressional process and can refuse to respond to subpoenas. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Phyllis SchlafySchlafly_Phyllis_big.jpg.cms writes: The Obama Democrats have an audacious scheme for winning future elections. They just plan to import 5 million non-citizens and credential them as voters who will, in gratitude, vote Democratic.

The way this devious formula works is stunningly simple. Just get the new Republican Congress (under Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell) to pass a full-funding bill for Homeland Security without any exception for the funding of Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, which will allow Obama to give work permits, Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses to 5 million illegal aliens.

Once the 5 million so-called undocumented persons are given those valuable documents, there is no way to stop them from voting. That conclusion is drawn from the testimony of voting experts such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who told the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Feb. 12, “It’s a guarantee it will happen.”

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Kobach’s warning was reinforced by testimony before the same committee by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who noted that the 5 million non-citizens would receive the “same documents that federal law requires the states to recognize as valid forms of identification for voter registration.” And once an alien registers to vote, Kobach said, it is “virtually impossible” to remove him from the voter rolls.

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A third witness, Hans von Spakovsky, suggested that Social Security numbers issued to the 5 million illegal aliens should contain a code (such as “N” for non-citizen) that would instantly reveal their ineligibility to vote. But that simple fix would happen only if the Obama administration sincerely wants to keep them from voting, which I doubt.

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two "coyotes" or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

A large group of Immigrants, guided by two “coyotes” or guides, walk on the desert of Sonora bound for the border with Arizona. This group consisted of 37 border crossers, from four different countries- They included people from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and one Brazilian. Sasabe, Mexico. 01/23/05

In case the illegal aliens need spending money, they can collect a special handout from the U.S. taxpayers called Earned Income Tax Credit, which was designed to help parents who are working to support their families. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 3 that as soon as the illegal aliens receive their Social Security numbers, they will be allowed to go back and claim the EITC for up to three previous years in which they worked illegally. Read the rest of this entry »


OOPS! IRS erroneously paid out $132.6 billion in tax credits

moneymoneyCaroline May reports: The Internal Revenue Service improperly paid up to $13.6 billion in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) last fiscal year alone, according to a government report.

For the uninitiated, the EITC is a refundable tax credit for low to moderate-income individuals and families. An individual or family does not have to pay taxes to qualify for the credit, but must file a tax return.

According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Internal Revenue Service’s rate of improper EITC payments for fiscal year 2012 was between 21 to 25 percent. That year, EITC payments totaled $62 billion.

Inspector General J. Russell George called the level of improper payments “disturbing.” Read the rest of this entry »


On Labor Day 2013, Welfare Pays More Than Minimum-Wage Work In 35 States

Charles Murray launched the welfare reform movement in 1984 with his landmark book, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Charles Murray (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Since 2009, the Fair Labor Standards Act has dictated that the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Some people think that’s too low; others think it’s too high. But it turns out that, in 35 states, it’s a better deal not to work—and instead, to take advantage of federal welfare programs—than to take a minimum-wage job. That’s the takeaway from a new study published by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes of the Cato Institute.

Read the rest of this entry »


Welfare: A Better Deal than Work

America’s public-assistance system pays many people better than the jobs they’d otherwise have.

National Review Online

By  Michael Tanner

Suppose someone offered you the same amount of money that you currently make at your job on one condition — you don’t work. Might you be tempted? That is exactly the deal that our welfare system offers too many people today.

The federal government currently funds 126 separate anti-poverty programs at an annual cost of $688 billion. Of these, 72 provide cash or other benefits directly to poor families. State, county, and municipal governments often operate additional benefit programs. The combined benefits from those multiple overlapping programs can easily add up to the point where welfare simply pays better than work.

Read the rest of this entry »