Tag Archives: Commerce

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.

CRISIS! Is Obama shutting down Chrysler dealerships owned by Republicans?!

Have we elected a worst left-wing fascist than Stalin? Time will tell.

Gateway Pundit has multiple stories.

First story excerpt:

Are we looking at the biggest political scandal since Watergate?

Big Dem Donor Group allowed to keep all 6 Chrysler dealerships open…. Local competitors eliminated by Obama’s task force!!

Earlier it was reported that the Obama Administration may have targeted GOP donors in deciding which Chrysler dealerships would have to close their doors.

Now there’s this…
RLJ-McLarty-Landers is owned by three men.
One was the former Chief of Staff for President Clinton.
One is the founder of Black Entertainment Television and a huge Obama supporter.
All 6 of their Chrysler dealerships will remain open.
And, get this… Their local competitors have been eliminated!

Second story excerpt:

But, so far in the shutdown list there is an extremely high correlation between dealers closing and congressional districts BHO lost.

Texas is getting killed and Blue States are sliding by. Florida is also taking major hits and nearly all are in Republican Congressional Districts.

Little West Virginia is getting hammered

UPDATE: Here is a list of the closings— Notice all of the Texas and Florida closings.

Last story excerpt:

Now this…Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla) lost his Chrysler dealership in Florida.

Again… It was Obama’s task force who made the decision about which dealerships would close and which would stay open.

Leave your suggestion for the name of this fiasco in the comments. I’ll start: Chrysler-gate. Serfdom-gate. Union-gate. Commie-gate. Banana-Republic-gate.

Should Obama pick judges who favor Democrat special interest groups?

Yes, I know he calls it “empathy”. And by empathy he means twisting the law to benefit the people who voted for him. What you don’t believe me? Well, check out the evidence here about who Obama’s bailouts really benefit. Nice Deb even links to a story that questions whether the recent Chrysler dealership closures were made because the owners donated to Republican candidates.

Now, what kind of judges does someone like Obama need to install in order to back his authoritarian regime? Well, it has to be someone who will help him to punish the people who disagree with him. Someone who believes that there are good Americans (Democrats) and bad Americans (Republicans), and that the laws should apply differently to those different groups.

Let’s take a look at what my favorite two economists, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have to say about this.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell has a four-part series on Obama’s judicial philosophy.

In part one, Sowell asks what it means that Obama will pick judges who come from certain groups, and who believe in twisting the law to favor those groups.

That President Obama has made “empathy” with certain groups one of his criteria for choosing a Supreme Court nominee is a dangerous sign of how much further the Supreme Court may be pushed away from the rule of law and toward even more arbitrary judicial edicts to advance the agenda of the left and set it in legal concrete, immune from the democratic process.

Would you want to go into court to appear before a judge with “empathy” for groups A, B and C, if you were a member of groups X, Y or Z? Nothing could be further from the rule of law. That would be bad news, even in a traffic court, much less in a court that has the last word on your rights under the Constitution of the United States.

Appoint enough Supreme Court justices with “empathy” for particular groups and you would have, for all practical purposes, repealed the 14th Amendment, which guarantees “equal protection of the laws” for all Americans.

In part two, Sowell talks about Olive Wendell Holmes’ strict constructionist jurisprudence, which allowed citizens to undertake economic enterprises because they could predict how the law would be enforced.

Justice Holmes saw his job to be “to see that the game is played according to the rules whether I like them or not.”

That was because the law existed for the citizens, not for lawyers or judges, and the citizen had to know what the rules were, in order to obey them.

He said: “Men should know the rules by which the game is played. Doubt as to the value of some of those rules is no sufficient reason why they should not be followed by the courts.”

Legislators existed to change the law.

In part three, Sowell talks about why the judiciary must remain impartial as a check on the power of the legislative and executive branches.

Barack Obama’s vision of America is one in which a President of the United States can fire the head of General Motors, tell banks how to bank, control the medical system and take charge of all sorts of other activities for which neither he nor other politicians have any expertise or experience.The Constitution of the United States gives no president, nor the entire federal government, the authority to do such things. But spending trillions of dollars to bail out all sorts of companies buys the power to tell them how to operate.

Appointing judges to the federal courts– including the Supreme Court– who believe in expanding the powers of the federal government to make arbitrary decisions, choosing who will be winners and losers in the economy and in the society, is perfectly consistent with a vision of the world where self-confident and self-righteous elites rule according to their own notions, instead of merely governing under the restraints of the Constitution.

In part four, Sowell explains how big government socialists like Obama view the Constitution as an obstacle to be overcome.

Judicial expansion of federal power is not really new, even if the audacity with which that goal is being pursued may be unique. For more than a century, believers in bigger government have also been believers in having judges “interpret” the restraints of the Constitution out of existence.

They called this “a living Constitution.” But it has in fact been a dying Constitution, as its restraining provisions have been interpreted to mean less and less, so that the federal government can do more and more.

For example, the Constitution allows private property to be taken for “public use”– perhaps building a reservoir or a highway — if “just compensation” was paid. But that power was expanded by the Supreme Court in 2005 when it “interpreted” this to mean that private property could be taken for a “public purpose,” which could include almost anything for which politicians could come up with the right rhetoric.

Walter Williams

And Walter Williams writes about the dangers of empathy using last year’s Super Bowl as an example.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowl titles, seven AFC championships and hosted 10 conference games. No other AFC or NFC team can match this record. By contrast, the Arizona Cardinals’ last championship victory was in 1947 when they were based in Chicago. In anyone’s book, this is a gross disparity. Should the referees have the empathy to understand what it’s like to be a perennial loser and what would you think of a referee whose decisions were guided by his empathy? Suppose a referee, in the name of compensatory justice, stringently applied pass interference or roughing the passer violations against the Steelers and less stringently against the Cardinals. Or, would you support a referee who refused to make offensive pass interference calls because he thought it was a silly rule? You’d probably remind him that the league makes the rules, not referees.

I’m betting that most people would agree that football justice requires that referees apply the rules blindly and independent of the records or any other characteristic of the two teams. Moreover, I believe that most people would agree that referees should evenly apply the rules of the games even if they personally disagreed with some of the rules.

But what if the Steelers had lost due to referee partiality? Well, presumably they would stop playing the game. And when enough small businesses get tired of being sued by special interest group plaintiffs, we will all be working for the government and that will be the end of our liberty.

Further study

Probably one of the greatest books ever written is Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions”. Go out right now and buy it if you don’t have it, but be warned, it was a tough read for a software engineer like me, and my Dad also found it difficult when I gave it to him.