True Bi-Partisan Economic Stimulus

obama-rush.jpgRush Limbaugh proposed a great comprise in leading the country out of this recession: Keynesian AND Supply Side economics – divvied up by voter split (54/46 for Obama in this case)  This is quite brilliant politically. Rush is calling for President Obama to put his money where his mouth is – both figuratively with all his talk of bi-partisanship and literally with his economic idealogy.

And this second part is the kicker.  If Obama and the Left are sooo convinced that their grow government tatics are the only way out of this recession – why not once and for all prove it.  Side by side with the republican’s tax cut methods – real life economic turn around data could be gathered.  Both sides CLAIM their method works, but never in history have both be tried in such a side by side manner.

How many jobs does a $100B tax cut create vs how many jobs does a $100B infrastructure program create?  Done simultaneously, you remove most of the external factors (since they would the same for both) that make such historical comparisons so difficult.  So again, if you are sure your stuff works – why not prove it?  Put up or shut up.

There’s a serious debate in this country as to how best to end the recession. The average recession will last five to 11 months; the average recovery will last six years. Recessions will end on their own if they’re left alone. What can make the recession worse is the wrong kind of government intervention….

Keynesian economists believe government spending on “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects — schools, roads, bridges — is the best way to stimulate our staggering economy. Supply-side economists make an equally persuasive case that tax cuts are the surest and quickest way to create permanent jobs and cause an economy to rebound. That happened under JFK, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. We know that when tax rates are cut in a recession, it brings an economy back.

Recent polling indicates that the American people are in favor of both approaches…
Congress is currently haggling over how to spend $900 billion generated by American taxpayers in the private sector. (It’s important to remember that it’s the people’s money, not Washington’s.) In a Jan. 23 meeting between President Obama and Republican leaders, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.) proposed a moderate tax cut plan. President Obama responded, “I won. I’m going to trump you on that.”

Yes, elections have consequences. But where’s the bipartisanship, Mr. Obama? This does not have to be a divisive issue. My proposal is a genuine compromise.

Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let’s say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion — $486 billion — will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% — $414 billion — will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me…
Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people’s wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth.

I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate — at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations — in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way! …

Obama Values ACORN Voter Fraud at $5 Billion

It’s a good thing Obama denies all of his ties to ACORN… otherwise this would look like a political payoff…

A rising chorus of GOP leaders are protesting that the blockbuster Democratic stimulus package would provide up to a whopping $5.2 billion for ACORN, the left-leaning nonprofit group under federal investigation for massive voter fraud.

Most of the money is secreted away under an item in the now $836 billion package titled “Neighborhood Stabilization Programs.”

Ordinarily, neighborhood stabilization funds are distributed to local governments. But revised language in the stimulus bill would make the funds available directly to non-profit entities such as ACORN, the low-income housing organization whose pro-Democrat voter-registration activities have been blasted by Republicans. ACORN is cited by some for tipping the scales in the Democrats’ favor in November.

According to Fox news, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., could appear to be a “payoff” for community groups’ partisan political activities in the last election cycle….

Regarding the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Vadum writes in American Spectator: “Although ACORN operatives usually get their hands on such funds only after they have first passed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or state and local governments, the new spending bill largely eliminates these dawdling middle men, making it easier to get Uncle Sam’s largess directly into the hands of the same people who run ACORN’s various vote fraud and extortion rackets. And the legislative package provides these funds without the usual prohibition on using government money for lobbying or political activities.”

The charges of partisan political payback appear to be resonating in part due to Obama’s longstanding association with partisan get-out-the-vote operations. He was endorsed by ACORN, and during the campaign paid an ACORN affiliate $832,600 to get-out-the-vote assistance. Early in his career, he led a voter drive for an ACORN-affiliated group called Project Vote. (emphasis added)

Obama Poised To Flub First “Crisis”

Engadget summed this up nicely:

Shortly after Barack Obama’s transition team urged Congress to postpone the looming digital TV transition, FCC chairman Kevin Martin has hit back with suggestions to keep things on track. His primary concern is that delaying the cutover, which has been scheduled for years and advertised as such, will confuse consumers — and honestly, we think he has a point. If the February 17th changeover date suddenly becomes meaningless, we could definitely see consumer confusion about this whole ordeal hitting an all-time high. Martin was quoted at an interview at CES as saying that “there are options they can do without having to delay to get coupons flowing immediately,” suggesting that extra funding should be hastily given or that those 90-day expiration dates be marked null and void. Additionally, many broadcasters have already scheduled work to take down their analog equipment, and cancellations could be costly and disruptive.

The “crisis” is over an estimated $2 Million backlog of converter box coupons.  While I find it hard to believe that many people simply can’t afford the $40 box to make their TV continue to work (verses $10 w/ coupon), it seems like a small problem.  I mean Obama is spending $140 million on his inauguration but $2M isn’t anywhere to be seen?

UPDATE:  Obama spent $170 Million and now holds the record for the largest temporary toilet even in US history.

Seriously, if Obama’s best solution to a $2M crisis is to kick the can down the road – God help us with impending problems in health care, energy, social security, and others.  The sad part is that hundreds of millions have been spent over the last few years hammering this one specific date and switchover… Why are we going to WASTE all the money and effort to not spend $2M that we are going to go ahead and spend anyway a few months down the road?

Of course at this point it comes as little surprise from the President that is already kicking the can on catching Bin Laden, ending the war in Iraq, reviving the economy, energy independence and just about anything else he promised during the campaign.  It seems his re-election strategy is to push off any problems into the future – so he can fix them in his second term!

Sen Majority Leader Reid: Smelly Tourists Stopped

DC Examiner covers Sen Harry Reid’s thoughts on the $600M upgrade:

The Capitol Visitors Center, which opened this morning, may have tripled its original budget and fallen years behind schedule, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found a silver lining for members of Congress: tourists won’t offend them with their B.O. anymore.

“My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway,” said Reid in his remarks. “In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”

But it’s no longer going to be true, noted Reid, thanks to the air conditioned, indoor space.

And that’s not all. “We have many bathrooms here, as you can see,” Reid continued. “Souvenirs are available.”

$621 million well spent.

Internet Monk Discussion Panel Reviewed

So the Internet Monk introduced a new discussion panel a few days ago.  The panel consists of spiritual leaders from most of the major Christian denominations allowing for comparative discussion of spiritual topics.  Which is a pretty cool idea for anyone that likes to contemplate such significant matters. The credentials of “The Liturgical Gangstas” panel are listed at the beginning of the I Monk post.

The first question for the panel was the following:  A person comes to you and says “I want to grow significantly as a Christian in the next year.” What kind of guidance would you give this person? Be as specific as possible. I have summarized the panel responses below:

Father Ernesto/Orthodox:

  • Read the Bible daily. (using a read the Bible in 2 years plan)
  • Pray daily using an Anglican prescribed morning and evening prayer.
  • Read about the lives of the saints.
  • Confession.
  • Church community.
  • Serve others outside the church.

Matthew Johnson/United Methodist:

  • Participate in a 32-36 week Methodist Discipleship Bible study.
  • Pray for each other in the study.
  • Church community.
  • Respond to bible readings.

Peter Vance Matthews/Anglican:

  • Worship every Sunday with preaching and communion
  • Read the Bible and pray daily using The Daily Office (Anglican/Episcopal/Catholic) prescribed prayers and verses.

Alan Creech/Roman Catholic:

  • Lower your expectations for growth. (I’m not making this up)
  • Place yourself inside the liturgical rhythm of the Church with the traditional Christian calendar.
  • Attend mass frequently.
  • Find a spiritual mentor.
  • Pray liturgically and often.
  • “Find a way to get a steady diet of Scripture.”
  • Take a yearly retreat.
  • Don’t try to measure your growth.

Wyman Richardson/Southern Baptist:

  • Make sure your expectations for growth aren’t too high.
  • Love your neighbor through acts of service and giving time.
  • Give away a possession you value each month.
  • Make the “I” in the question a “We” (as in Jesus and me)

William Cwirla/Lutheran:

  • Look towards Jesus not inside you for growth.
  • Attend church regularly in a disciplined way, hearing the Word preached – faith comes by hearing – and taking communion.
  • Pray daily from hymns, readings from Scripture and the church fathers, the Creed and the catechism.
  • Avoid Drunkenness, gluttony, and sexual sin.
  • Confession.
  • “Active use of the fruit of the Spirit.”

So I have a three comments after reading this panel discussion:

1) Should I be concerned that 2 of the 6 spiritual leaders want us to lower our expectations for spiritual growth?

How can one believe that Jesus was raised from the dead or that God parted the Red Sea but not think that God could produce “significant growth” in a person in as “short” a time as one year? Wasn’t Saul changed instantly on the road to Damascus? Didn’t the disciples quickly change from cowardly hiding in a house to boldly preaching on the streets? Isn’t the fact that God changes lives at the very CORE of the gospel? If God can’t help me grow in a significant way – why should I become a Christian?

2) Are Christians incapable of praying without a guide?

3) How understandable is this seemly foundational Bible?

Should you only hear it?  Or read proscribed excerpts from it?  Can you read it only with a study or another book to guide you?  Or can read it all alone with out help or guidance from another person or book or some other resource?


Two of the panel responded to my comments (below), so I respond to them and (hopefully) reinforce my point.

I don’t think so, personally. Not if the two weren’t talking about “lowering expectations,” but were instead trying to caution against a naive idea that we become super-saints in a moment and encouraging people not to despair and abandon the whole enterprise if they struggle in their advancement.

Mustard seeds and all of that.

– Wyman Richardson

Amen and all that, Wyman. Exactly. Quick change in people is unusual, not because of God but because of us. It’s the nature of real spiritual growth that it takes a long time. Yeah, weeds and all that too. Peace.

– Alan Creech

Well the question wasn’t how do I become a spiritual superstar overnight – it was how do i achieve “significant” growth in a year.

Now personally I read “significant” as the opposite of “insignificant”.  IE measurable, real, growth or change.

Wherein, I became concerned when given any possible methods for a full year – spiritual leaders are hesitant to promise too much.

In defending my position, however, I decided to look at the actual definition and I found it illuminating:

– of a noticeably or measurably large amount (basically my earlier def)
– probably caused by something other than mere chance (as in statistically significant)

This second definition opens up what I consider the heart of the matter – is not significant spiritual growth evidence of the divine? Proof that Christianity works? If all we can promise is small growth – how are we sure that isn’t just chance or human efforts?

Without SIGNIFICANT growth – can Christianity claim to be more than a support group? Or a 12 step program?  Those both can do SOME good but they are really only man’s efforts and will at work.  Wherein is the God that changes people?  Are we afraid to set the bar too high lest God’s reputation be tarnished?  Is not God able to deliver on his promises to make someone a new creation?

While I understand the whole instant gratification culture, I feel that a year is a reasonable time frame.  Consider that the Human lifespan is 40-80 yrs depending on where in the world you live.  1/40th of your life is not a small commitment. Jesus only trained his disciples for 3 years.  Most grad schools consider 3 years enough time to significantly train students.  Are college professors better teachers than the Spirit?

Here are some more examples of quick significant growth/change:
– In the span of an hour a naked, possessed, crazy man living in the cemetery was sent as a clothed, sane, missionary alone to Decapolis (“ten cities”)
– In a few hours, an Ethiopian court official was converted, baptized, and left to go back to his country.
Slower change happens too: today Mission USA is working with Chicago gangs.  Over time, Gang members are putting down guns and taking up bibles.  Still “significant”

Quick changes are COMMON in the bible.  And in desperate parts of the world.  Here in comfy cultures and comfy churches – comfortable Christians struggle to standout from nonchristians.

As for mustard seeds: they start out the smallest of seeds but become large plants in a matter of months.
As for weedy soil: there is also GOOD soil that yields a 3,000-10,000% return.
I would say both of those are significant growth!