Why do Democrats live far beyond their means?

Republicans typically enjoy massive support from people who actually know how the world works, namely, small business owners, investors and entrepreneurs. But do Barack Obama and his new Supreme Court nominee know how the world works?

Sonia Sotomayor

Let’s look at Obama’s Supreme Court nominee first.

Here is what she says:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

So she discriminates against people based on sex and race. There are words for people who discriminate against others based on sex and race.

The American Thinker reports on how she lives within her means: (H/T Commenter ECM)

Sotomayor’s annual earnings come to $196,000 a year ($170,000 a year as an appeals judge and $26,000 for part-time teaching). She has served as an appeals judge for 17 years. This service was preceded by lengthy tenure at a corporate law firm of Pavia and Harcourt, where she was a partner, and presumably was well compensated.

Yet after a career that has spanned 25 years, Ms Sotomayor only has one thousand dollars in net savings. As reported in the New York Post, Sotomayor’s bank account holds $31,985. Her credit cards debts are $15,823, and she has $15,000 in unpaid dental bills. That leaves her with $1,162. Sotomayor’s total assets, revealed as $708,068, consist almost entirely of equity in her Manhattan apartment.

And here is what it means for us:

If confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, Ms Sotomayor will be ruling on numerous cases that involve investors, savers, corporate profits, business regulation, and related free-market issues…. the fact that Ms Sotomayor, after so many years of highly paid professional work, has no savings or investments and no experience or apparent “empathy” with savers or investors, should be highly troubling to the tens of millions of Americans who do have investments, 401Ks, and personal savings.

And here is how this has affected her previous rulings:

In one of her most important rulings (as reported in the New York Times), Sotomayor ruled that corporations must address environmental concerns in the most radical manner without consideration of the cost. If one particle of pollutant remains to be removed, even at the cost of bankrupting all of the companies in the S&P 500 index, that particle must be removed. If a small business has failed to purchase the most advanced equipment available to address environmental concerns, even if the price of that equipment is one hundred times the revenue of the business in question, the equipment must be purchased. That is how much “empathy” we can expect from Judge Sotomayor.

If she is confirmed, she will probably hurt our free market capitalist system, and the liberties grounded by it. The more that the court hurts business and commerce with judicial activism, the more we lose our jobs, our incomes and our liberty itself.

Barack Obama

Now, let’s take a look at how Obama lives. First of all, it’s well known that Obama was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth and went to all the best private schools, where he snorted expensive cocaine. And he awarded massive taxpayer grants to the hospital where his wife worked after her salary was nearly tripled.

The National Review reports:

One of Obama’s Earmark Requests Was for the Hospital That Employs Michelle Obama.

Dan Riehl notes, via Amanda Carpenter, that in the list of earmarks he requested, $1 million was requested for the construction of a new hospital pavilion at the University Of Chicago. The request was put in in 2006.

You know who works for the University of Chicago Hospital?

Michelle Obama. She’s vice president of community affairs.

As Byron noted, “In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama’s compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office.”

The NY Daily News reports on how well the Obamas live within their means. (H/T Sweetness and Light)

A close examination of their finances shows that the Obamas were living off lines of credit along with other income for several years until 2005, when Obama’s book royalties came through and Michelle received her 260% pay raise at the University of Chicago. This was also the year Obama started serving in the U.S. Senate.

In April 1999, they purchased a Chicago condo and obtained a mortgage for $159,250. In May 1999, they took out a line of credit for $20,750. Then, in 2002, they refinanced the condo with a $210,000 mortgage, which means they took out about $50,000 in equity. Finally, in 2004, they took out another line of credit for $100,000 on top of the mortgage.

Tax returns for 2004 reveal $14,395 in mortgage deductions. If we assume an effective interest rate of 6%, then they owed about $240,000 on a home they purchased for about $159,250.

This means they spent perhaps $80,000 beyond their income from 1999 to 2004.

The Obama family apparently had little or no savings during this period since there was virtually no taxable interest shown on their tax returns.

These numbers clearly show the Obamas were living beyond their means and they might have suffered financially during the decline in housing prices had they relied on taking ever larger amounts of equity from their home to pay the bills.

And what did the Obamas learn from this?

But in 2005, Obama’s book sales soared and the royalties poured in. Michelle explained, “It was like Jack and his magic beans.”

Without those magic beans, the Obama family would have eventually suffered the consequences of too much debt.

President Obama has never faced consequences in his private life when it comes to managing money. He always had enough money simply by borrowing more and more. And just when things got tight, those magic beans came along to save the day.

I guess this explains Barack Obama’s fiscal policy and his surprise at the consequent surge in unemployment. But he can count on his new judge to back him to the hilt in all of his unconstitutional interventions in the free market – neither of them knows the slightest thing about saving and investing… just borrowing and spending.

Ann Coulter puts Tiller’s murder in perspective

I was browsing on Neil Simpson’s blog, and, as usual, I found something amazing to link to in his latest round-up.

Check out this column by Ann Coulter. You will laugh at the hypocrisy of the godless, immoral left.

Excerpt:

According to recent polling, a majority of Americans oppose abortion — which is consistent with liberals’ hysterical refusal to allow us to vote on the subject. In a country with approximately 150 million pro-lifers, five abortionists have been killed since Roe v. Wade.

In that same 36 years, more than 49 million babies have been killed by abortionists. Let’s recap that halftime score, sports fans: 49 million to five.

Meanwhile, fewer than 2 million Muslims live in America and, while Muslims are less murderous than abortionists, I’m fairly certain they’ve killed more than five people in the United States in the last 36 years. For some reason, the number “3,000” keeps popping into my head.

The rest is even meaner. Good old Ann, always on the offense. Sigh.

Yes, it’s true. I once wanted to send Ann Coulter flowers, without even knowing what she looked like. She writes that good!

Neil’s round-up has other good articles, so pay him a visit!

Additional pro-life resources

Are Judaism and Christianity as violent as Islam?

At Muddling Towards Maturity, there is a post about a related article in the Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2009, by Raymond Ibrahim.

Excerpt from the article:

“There is far more violence in the Bible than in the Qur’an; the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the Crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam.” So announces former nun and self-professed “freelance monotheist,” Karen Armstrong. This quote sums up the single most influential argument currently serving to deflect the accusation that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant: All monotheistic religions, proponents of such an argument say, and not just Islam, have their fair share of violent and intolerant scriptures, as well as bloody histories. Thus, whenever Islam’s sacred scriptures—the Qur’an first, followed by the reports on the words and deeds of Muhammad (the Hadith)—are highlighted as demonstrative of the religion’s innate bellicosity, the immediate rejoinder is that other scriptures, specifically those of Judeo-Christianity, are as riddled with violent passages.

Muddling recommends that you print it out for reference.

UPDATE: The essay has been printed out at Jihad Watch, and there are lots of comments. (H/T Pursuing Holiness)

CRISIS! Evaluating the leaked Democrat health care bill

Keith Hennessey is the go-to guy for analyzing economic policies. He takes a look at the leaked draft of the health care bill that I blogged about before. He lists 15 things you need to know about the draft bill.

Below I’ve listed a few of the scariest parts.

Mandatory coverage

The Kennedy-Dodd bill would create an individual mandate requiring you to buy a “qualified” health insurance plan, as defined by the government.  If you don’t have “qualified” health insurance for a given month, you will pay a new Federal tax.  Incredibly, the amount and structure of this new tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and Health and Human Services (HHS), whose only guidance is “to establish the minimum practicable amount that can accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage (as so defined).”  The new Medical Advisory Council (see #3D) could exempt classes of people from this new tax.  To avoid this tax, you would have to report your health insurance information for each month of the prior year to the Secretary of HHS, along with “any such other information as the Secretary may prescribe.”

Employer mandate

The bill would also create an employer mandate.  Employers would have to offer insurance to their employees.  Employers would have to pay at least a certain percentage (TBD) of the premium, and at least a certain dollar amount (TBD).  Any employer that did not would pay a new tax.  Again, the amount and structure of the tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and HHS.

Mandatory services that I don’t use

A qualified plan would have to cover “essential health benefits,” as defined by a new Medical Advisory Council (MAC), appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services… The MAC would have to include items and services in at least the following categories:  ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and new born care, medical and surgical, mental health, prescription drugs, rehab and lab services, preventive/wellness services, pediatric services, and anything else the MAC thought appropriate.

That’s just redistribution of wealth for elective services, right there. I wonder whether support for contraceptives and abortion would also be required.

Premiums not related to lifestyle risks

Health insurance plans could not charge higher premiums for risky behaviors:  “Such rate shall not vary by health status-related factors, … or any other factor not described in paragraph (1).”  Smokers, drinkers, drug users, and those in terrible physical shape would all have their premiums subsidized by the healthy.

Guaranteed issue and renewal

All health insurance would be required to have guaranteed issue and renewal, modified community rating, no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime or annual limits on benefits, and family policies would have to cover “children” up to age 26.

…Guaranteed issue and renewal combined with modified community rating would dramatically increase premiums for the overwhelming majority of those Americans who now have private health insurance.  New Jersey is the best example of health insurance mandates gone wild.  In the name of protecting their citizens, premiums are extremely high to cover the cross-subsidization of those who are uninsurable.

Massive wealth redistribution, especially to Democrats

People from 150% of poverty up to 500% (!!) would get their health insurance subsidized (on a sliding scale).  If this were in effect in 2009, a family of four with income of $110,000 would get a small subsidy.  The bill does not indicate the source of funds to finance these subsidies.

…People in high cost areas (e.g., New York City, Boston, South Florida, Chicago, Los Angeles) would get much bigger subsidies than those in low cost areas (e.g., much of the rest of the country, especially in rural areas).  The subsidies are calculated as a percentage of the “reference premium,” which is determined based on the cost of plans sold in that particular geographic area.

Hennessey then goes on to explain all of the implications of his 15 points. READ IT ALL.

BONUS

Verum Serum has 2 posts up where they examine:

Comparing patient outcomes for cancer treatment in the USA vs Europe

Related chart:

Cancer mortality rates
Cancer mortality rates

AND:

Obama’s plan to pass the health care bill unilaterally, under a bi-partisan smokescreen

They have a plan to bypass the likely Republican filibuster. It’s a done deal.

Rich trust-fund leftists caught spying for Cuba

Heritage Foundation has the story:

Move over, Bill Ayers, you’ve got company. The arrest of retired State Department intelligence analyst Walter Kendall Myers has apparently uncovered yet another overweened Social Register Rebel in our midst. Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn, were arrested on June 5 and charged with being espionage agents for Fidel Castro for 30 years.

…Kendall Myers got his PhD and later taught at Johns Hopkins/SAIS…

Myers’s mother’s pedigree (AT&T money and top-drawer National Geographic Society founders) even topped Ayers’s father’s Commonwealth Edison/Chicago fortune. Both of these bad boys seemingly felt so bad about living large off the sweat of their ancestors that they became hard-core leftists and turned on their fellow Americans.

A bit more in a subsequent post:

Cases like those of Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Ana Belen Montes, convicted in 2002 of spying for Cuba, or the five Cubans convicted in Miami in 2001 on 26 counts of spying for the regime, demonstrate the ability of the Cuban operatives to work in the U.S. to the detriment of U.S. national security and interests.

What about Barack Obama?

Barack Obama launched his presidential campaign from the house of his friend, Bill Ayers. He was raised by a rich grandmother and went to expensive private schools, where he took illegal drugs like cocaine. His mentor Frank Marshall Davis was a member of the Communist Party and a Soviet-sponsored activist. I’ve posted before about whether Obama is destroying the United States with his policies. He voted against missile defense, but he favors nuclear plants for Iran.

And we know that Obama is traipsing around with dictators in Venezuela and is even trying to normalize relations with Cuba. Who cares about the torture and unlawful imprisonment that goes on in Cuba and Iran? Obama’s response to North Korea hasn’t been inspiring.

Richard Dawkins debates John Lennox: Does God Exist?

Audio of the debate is hosted by my buddy Brian Auten who operates the Apologetics 315 blog.

You can download the full MP3 audio here.

I listened to this debate and thought that Dawkins did well against Lennox. It is a very short debate. This is not a rigorous academic debate, as neither participant argued in a formal manner. Dawkins came across as firm, but gracious, and he does a lot better than Hitchens did in his recent debate against Craig.

This debate is recommended for beginners to get a bird’s eye view of some of the issues before moving on to professional academic debates featuring analytical philosophers such as William Lane Craig, Walter Sinott-Armstrong, etc. They don’t really go into complicated details.

My favorite academic debate is this one featuring William Lane Craig vs Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on the problems of evil and suffering. Another great debate featuring Bill Craig and Austin Dacey is here (video) and their re-match is here (audio).

A huge list of other William Lance Craig debates is here, courtesy of ChristianJR4.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

%d bloggers like this: