Tag Archives: Iraq War

OCCUPY DEMOCRATS, A LYING CORRUPT ORGANIZATION – PART TWO

According to politifact.com, Occupy Democrats is an advocacy group that was created to counterbalance the Tea Party and to give President Obama and other progressive Democrats a Congress that will work with them to grow the economy, create jobs, promote fairness, fight inequality, and get money out of politics. Occupy Democrats also has a Facebook page, and most of my liberal Facebook friends are fans of the page. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

Of course, I often see posts where my liberal FB friends have shared memes from the Occupy Democrats Facebook page, and those memes are almost always wrong about everything. Here is another example, and there will be several more to come over the next few days.

According to politifact.com, during the last four presidencies, deficits disappeared under one Democrat (Bill Clinton), went up under two Republicans (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush) and traveled both up and down under one Democrat (Barak Obama). It’s actually a complicated story, but Occupy Democrats boiled it down into one graphic with five short lines.

  • Bush Sr. handed Clinton a $269 billion budget deficit.
  • Clinton handed Bush, Jr. a $127.3 billion surplus.
  • Bush Jr. Handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit.
  • But tell me again which is the party of fiscal responsibility?

Politifact asked the group’s founder and editor-in-chief, Omar Rivero to explain his numbers, and he offered a small correction. Rivero said that the number for the first President Bush should be a deficit of $255 billion or $14 billion less than stated. “A tiny error, really,” Rivero said. “We stand firmly by our meme and its implication that Democrats are better stewards of the debt.”

For this particular instance, Politifact focused on the claim that Bush, Jr. handed Obama a $1.4 billion deficit and Obama reduced Bush, Jr.’s deficit to just $492 billion.

Rivero said he picked the first year of a new president’s first term and relied on data from the White House Office of Management and Budget. Politifact used figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which runs an interactive database for this figure for the Federal Reserve, but the two were largely the same. Then they color coded the four presidencies and marked the years Rivero picked in red.

Politico indicated that in terms of reducing the deficit, Obama did a little better than the meme said. However, the federal fiscal year begins in October. A new president takes office in January and for the most part, typically operates under the budget he inherited. Thus, it’s reasonable to use the years that Rivero picked. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

2009: Not your typical year:

The great recession hit hard in 2008 and grew worse in 2009. In that period, the unemployment rate doubled from about 5% to 10%. With Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House, Washington passed a stimulus package that cost nearly $190 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That included over $100 billion in new spending and a somewhat smaller amount in tax cuts, about $79 billion in fiscal year 2009.

George W. Bush was not in office when those measures passed. So a more accurate number for the deficit he passed on might be closer to $1.2 trillion.

But Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group concerned by rising deficits, told PunditFact that the budget numbers don’t tell you much. It’s very difficult to untangle responsibility during those years.

In fiscal year 2009, you didn’t just have the stimulus, according to Ellis. Many of the fiscal decisions at the end of the Bush presidency were don’t in consultation with the president-elect, such as the Detroit auto bailout. Even with TARP, both campaigns were consulted.

Ellis is wary of what he calls snapshot comparisons because he doesn’t think they are fair to either president stepping down or the one taking over. They ignore too much context. Ellis noted that before deficits plummeted under Obama, they remained quite high. The Occupy Democrats post brushed past that fiscal reality.

The debt has increased more under President Obama so far than it did in the entirety of President Bush’s eight years, according to Ellis (and we all know that). Mr. Ellis also indicates that he doesn’t think that’s an accurate measure either, but it tells a different tale. Ellis feels that since Congress is really responsible for the budget, it’s always a little strange to blame the president for it.

Ellis noted that about two-thirds of all spending is mandatory, in the form of programs such as Social Security and Medicare. That said, according to the CBO, policy changes under George W. Bush, including tax cuts, the Iraq War, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and agricultural subsidies, greatly increased the deficits.

While Occupy Democrats said that George W. Bush handed Obama a $1.4 trillion deficit and Obama reduced Bush’s deficit to just $492 billion, the post picked certain years to back that up, and for those years, its numbers were accurate.

However, many factors complicate this simple-Simon picture. Bush did push policies that drove up the deficits, the federal response to the great recession was to some extent shared by Bush and Obama. While deficits have fallen under Obama, the claims brushes over that deficits remained above the trillion dollar mark for several years after Bush left office. Thus, Politifact rates this as Half True.

Note: The above information was provided by politifact.com.

Politifact, above, indicates that under President Bill Clinton, the deficit was reversed and turned into a surplus. This is true, but it took Speaker Newt Gingrich and the House Republicans, who were in the majority, to push through measures to allow this.

According to Ryan Dwyer, in an article in the Washington Times, in February 2010; while liberals, including President Barak Obama, love to say that President George W. Bush squandered the Clinton era budget surpluses and piled up deficits with expensive wars and tax cuts for the rich, the truth is that President Bush’s deficits were the product of spending, not tax cuts.

Mr. Dwyer quotes Stephen Moore’s (Wall Street Journal) book, The End of Prosperity,” which indicates that Mr. Bush’s 2001 tax cuts failed to revive an economy still staggering from the bursting of the dot-com bubble. Mr. Bush’s strategy had been to adopt a demand-side, Keynesian stimulus, hoping that putting a few extra dollars in Americans’ pockets would jump-start the economy through increased consumption. This approach faltered, not just because Americans opted to save their rebates, but because it neglected the importance of business investment to overall growth. The economy lagged and revenues stagnated.

In 2003, Mr. Bush cut the dividend and capital gains rates to 15 percent each and the economy responded. In two years, stocks rose 20 percent. In three years, $15 trillion of new wealth was created. The U.S. economy added 8 million new jobs from mid-2003 to early 2007, and the median household increased its wealth by $20,000 in real terms.

Dwyer further goes on to indicate that the real jolt for tax-cutting opponents was that the 03 Bush tax cuts also generated a massive increase in federal tax receipts. From 2004 to 2007, federal tax revenues increased by $785 billion, the largest four-year increase in American History. According to the Treasury Department, individual and corporate income tax receipts were up 40 percent in the three years following the Bush tax cuts. Furthermore, the “rich” paid an even higher percentage of the total tax burden than they had at any time in the previous 40 years.

Unfortunately, much of the increase in revenue resulting from the Bush tax cuts was offset by spending, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Medicare prescription drug plan.

9/11 happened. What were we supposed to do? Bend over and say, “Thank you, may I have another?” Also, the Clinton administration called for regime change in Iraq and the Iraq war had supports from both Democrats and Republicans. See: Can Democrats be that Forgetful? Plus the Democrats were pushing the Medicare prescription drug plan.

President George W. Bush lowered taxes and revenue to the federal government increased while individual citizens prospered. For some of the spending, we had no choice, and Democrats were pushing for a Medicare prescription drug plan.

Taking into consideration, all of the above, I would rate this claim by Occupy Democrats as much too complex to draw any sort of conclusion. But remember, Occupy Democrats lies, tells half-truths, and takes things out of context. The above is no exception.

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DEMOCRAT LIES ABOUT GEORGE W. BUSH – PART 2

In part one of this series, I outlined the Democrat lies about former president George W. Bush with regard to the Iraq war and the WMDs that were not found. I also refuted the Democrat lies about the Bush tax cuts.

In the following paragraphs, I will outline another liberal lie about George W. Bush. It’s the allegation that President Bush borrowed from Social Security to fund the Iraq war and his tax cuts.

We all know that anytime a Republican president cuts taxes, liberals scream to the top of their lungs that it’s a tax cut for only the very wealthy. Not true and I refuted this in part one of this series.

In summary, the Democrats are saying that President Bush spend every dime of Social Security surplus revenue that came in during his presidency. He used it to fund his big tax cuts for the rich, and much of it was spent on wars.

This is what really happened. For about 50 years, Social Security was a “pay as you go” system, meaning annual payroll taxes pretty much covered that year’s benefits’ checks. Then in 1982, President Ronald Reagan enacted a payroll tax hike to prepare for the impending surge of retiring baby boomers, and a surplus began to build.

By law, the U.S. treasury is required to take the surplus and, in exchange, issue interest-accruing bonds to the Social Security trust funds. The Treasury, meanwhile, uses the cash to fund government expenses, though it has to repay the bonds whenever the Social Security commissioner wants to redeem them.

In this broad sense, President Bush technically “borrowed” Social Security surplus to pay for the Iraq war. But even if this loose definition is used, we still run into a few issues.

The amount that President Bush borrowed is actually around $708 billion, and little more than half of the $1.37 trillion the Democrats have alleged. While around $1.52 trillion in bonds was added to the trust fund from 2000 to 2008, the Treasury only has access to the cash revenue collected every year, not the interest accrued on the entire surplus.

Second, President Bush didn’t exclusively spend it on the war, which has an estimated cost of $1.7 million. Other big costs include the financial bailout in 2008, something the liberals should be cheering, since their guy, Obama, carried on the bailouts.

The cash that the Treasury received from the Social Security surplus was not earmarked for any specific government program, according to Andrew Eschew, a former Social Security research analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and current spokesperson for the Center on Retirement Research at Boston College. The larger question is whether the existence of the surplus influenced Congress’ spending decisions. But Eschew pointed out that no one can prove what was on the lawmakers’ minds. He further indicated that the idea that lawmakers consciously thought they could only go into Iraq because of a surplus was a stretch.

Eschew concluded that if we characterize the entire trust fund system as the government borrowing from Social Security, Bush was by no means the only debtor. By law, the Social Security surplus is converted into bonds, and the cash is used to pay for government expenses. If we agree then this is borrowing, that every president since 1935 has done it to fund all sorts of items. Even if Bush borrowed from the surplus, the amount is more like $708 billion and the borrowing wasn’t earmarked for a special purpose.

As for not paying back, the bonds won’t need to be repaid until 2020.

Politifact.com provided the material for this post.

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THIS LIBERAL GROUP MAKES ME CRAZY

Ever heard of the liberal group, Occupy Democrats? They have Facebook page and a website. Of course, they are supporters of the current President of the United States and they are almost always wrong as is our current president. The Facebook site for Occupy Democrats forwarded a stupid little photograph indicating that the current President is so great because of the following:

  • He got Bin Laden
  • The price of gas is now $2.75 per gallon
  • The stock market has tripled in value
  • He ended two wars
  • He cut unemployment in half
  • One-half of the folks who didn’t have health insurance now have it

What a crock? Are these people fools and are the people that believe this fools?

Of course we know that when a Democrat is in the oval office and the price of gas goes down, it is that Democrat president and his wonderful policies that have lowered the price of gas. But if the price goes up when we have a Democrat president, the president really has no control over the price of gas. When a Republican is in the oval office and the price of gas goes down, the president really has no control over the price of gas. But if a Republican is in the oval office and the price of gas goes up, it’s the fault of the Republican president.

The truth of the matter is: private sector technology developed hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Fracking took place on private lands and was successful. As such, the United States which is sitting on vast resources of oil and natural gas and fracking and horizontal drilling, we have been able to extract oil and natural gas at a rate that we have never seen before. Thus, the price of gas has gone down and all are seeing reductions in energy costs.

Hey libs, I hate to tell you, but your guy, the one you worship, had nothing to do with this. In case your memory is not serving you correctly, you were against fracking. You want to eliminate the use of fossil fuels and replace these reliable and cost efficient energy sources with unreliable and pricey green energy. Just don’t ever tell me that you are a champion of the middle and lower income classes, otherwise you will get an ear-full from me. Having said all of the above, I think it’s safe to say that this president had nothing to do with the lowering of the price of gas.

He got Bin Laden? I thought it was the Navy Seals who actually captured and killed Osama Bin Laden. The current president did nothing except approve what he had to and watch the events unfold with the Secretary of State. Also, from what I understand, plans were in the works for capturing Bin Laden before the current president took office. It did happen under his watch, though.
The misleading photograph also suggests that the current president cut employment in half. According to gallup.com, anyone who is unemployed and has given up on finding a job, is not counted by the Department of Labor as unemployed. As of earlier this year, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely unemployed. Also, if you are out of work and perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at last $20, you’re not officially counted as unemployed. Those working part time, but desire full time work, are not counted in the 5.6% unemployment. In other words, the 5.6% that sounds great and has the current administration, the mainstream media, and liberals cheering is actually a lie.

The stock market has certainly gone up in the last 6-1/2 years. However, it took major tumbles as a result of the financial crisis of 2008. In an article written by Sean Hyman on moneynews.com in March, 2013, Mr. Nyman indicates that economics is not always a reflection of what the market is doing and here are three main reasons why.

  •  We’re buying companies, not economies. So, if companies manage their debt, cash, resources, etc. better than the overall economy, then stocks can go up while the economy does not.
  • Corporate earnings are stronger now than in times past, even though the U.S. economy is still weak.
  • Most companies in the S&P and Dow Jones, etc. have very significant international operations that are affected by those economies as well as our own economy.

While a sluggish economy can certainly pull down the stock market, and has done many times in the past, the stock market and the overall economy are not always in lockstep.

The current president ended two wars? Yes, he did. But he didn’t follow the advice of top military personnel and the Pentagon. And what do we have to show for it? ISIS! Need I say more? Of course, the current President has indicated to us that they are just a JV team eighteen months ago. Has he changed his mind? I think he has, but he doesn’t seem to have the desire to do anything about this most heinous terrorist organization. The Middle East is in the biggest mess it has ever been in, in my lifetime. The Iran Nuclear Deal is a disaster and will certainly propel Iran to get a nuclear weapon. While you may have ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, those actions and other actions by you and your administration have made the region a hotbed for terrorist activity.

Last, but not least, the Occupy Democrats photo indicated that one-half of the uninsured are now insured. I’m assuming this means they have health insurance. I know of one person who went through the market place to procure health insurance, and is satisfied. Everybody else, including your author, is paying substantially higher premiums and getting less. This president lied and all his liberal henchmen lied. I thought the average premium was supposed to be cut by approximately $2,500. Well, mine increased by approximately that amount. My portfolio may be a little fatter as a result of the rising stock market, but it’s going to take that increase to make up for the increase in health insurance premiums that I’m having to pay.

So, there you have it. I’ve disputed everything that was outlined on that Occupy Democrats photo. While Occupy Democrats really drives me crazy, more crazy than some of the other liberal groups, I guess I should be thankful for them. They’re almost always wrong and I can rip apart most anything they put out there.

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CAN DEMOCRATS BE THAT FORGETFUL?

Can anyone tell me what H.J.Res. 114(107th) is? It’s the authorization for use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. In other words it was the Congressional vote on whether to invade Iraq or not. The resolution passed 296-133. 214 Republicans supported it along with 81 Democrats. Everyone had access to the same intelligence that indicated Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

According to tomnichols.net, President Clinton, in a speech at the Pentagon, made the assertion that not acting against Saddam Hussein was tantamount to allowing him to gain, and therefore to use, weapons of mass destruction.  Clinton went on to say, “Now, let’s imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some say, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal. And I think everyone of you who’s really worked on this for any length of time believes that too.”

By year’s end, Clinton made good on this threat to attack Iraq with U.S. and British forces engaging in a three-day bombing campaign, Operation Desert Fox, aimed at degrading Saddam Hussein’s presumed WMD capabilities. “Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” Clinton said as the bombing started. “With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them…and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.”

Weeks before Desert Fox, on October 31, 1998, Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act.  In a statement, the President said the following: “Today I am signing into law, the ‘Iraq Liberation Act if 1998.’ This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are:

  • The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.
  • The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.
  • The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.
  • My administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such change will not happen under the current Iraqi leadership.
  • In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council’s efforts to keep the current regime’s behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.”

Tomnichols.net goes on to indicate that the act only supported such efforts by the Iraqi opposition and was notably silent on the question of the use of American force. Regime change was never the stated goal of Desert Fox. Mr. Nichols, on his website, opines that what is most interesting about the 1998 almost-war against Iraq is the way that Clinton and others argued that opponents like Saddam Hussein could not be turned back. Also, in 1998, Clinton’s senior advisors debated whether to strike a Sudanese factory they suspected was making chemical weapons. In August 1998, the United States launched Operation Infinite Reach, a series of cruise missile attacks against the Sudanese facility as well as several al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

In all of their pontifications and emotional tirades, liberals have convinced themselves and a lot of others that until the Bush administration began no one was linking Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction and that the reason Bush took us to war in Iraq was to get revenge on Saddam Hussein for the assignation attempt on this father, former President George H. W. Bush.

What a selective memory liberals have? There were actions by the Clinton administration in the late nineties that were in response to problems in that region. President George W. Bush didn’t just dream this up as liberals still indicate. If you don’t believe me, just visit some of your favorite liberal websites and search on the Iraqi war.

Note: The purpose of this post was not to only outline the events that took place during the Clinton Administration that led up to the Iraq war which was started during the Bush administration, it is to demonstrate the disingenuousness of liberals when they yell such things as “Bush lied, people died.” I’ve said many times that liberals don’t care about facts, they don’t care about having reasonable dialogs; they only care about hurling false insults with no bases at those who disagree with them. NOW THAT’S TOLERANCE, ISN’T IT?

Also, thanks goes to fas.org for the information cited above on the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998.

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