Thursday, July 17, 2008

Loser Letter #8

In her next installment in her series of Loser Letters Mary Eberstedt writes the first of a two-part explanation for how she went from a Christian Dull to an atheist Bright. Citing the works of atheist heroes Peter Singer and Stephen Pinker, inter alia, she reveals how the loss of belief in "The Loser" is leading to a grand new moral paganism.



Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats urge us to open up our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower the price of gas at the pump and also to cut back on our exports. If Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority leader, has his facts right, Pelosi's proposal simply reveals how unserious the Democrats are about reducing prices:

The fact is that, though they won't say it, the Democrats have long been pushing for higher gas prices as a conservation measure - Obama even admitted that his only problem with high costs is that we got there too soon - and now that we have them they don't want to see them lowered. This is an odd position for a party that claims to be concerned about the pain felt by the little guy who is paying more for everything because gas is more expensive. The rich aren't suffering from higher pump prices, its the poor and the middle class that are being squeezed, and their champions in Congress don't seem willing to do much about it.


More from Real Change

Here are a few snippets from Newt Gingrich's book Real Change:

  • The U.S, Department of Agriculture has paid more than a billion dollars in subsidies to deceased farmers over the last seven years.
  • The GAO reports that there are about 55,322 criminal illegal aliens in the country who have been arrested over 459,614 times. About 15,000 of these illegals have eleven of more arrests.
  • It's not a crime in California for a public employee to lie while trying to get a disability pension.
  • Unions are demanding, and the Democratic party supports, the right to get rid of secret ballot elections. This would eliminate seventy years of laws protecting workers from intimidation and coercion.
  • FEMA spent $67 million on ice for Katrina victims that was never delivered. It was stored for two years and then FEMA spent another $3.4 million to melt it.
  • FEMA spent $878.8 million on 25,000 manufactured homes for people displaced by Katrina. Eleven thousand of them were never used because FEMA prohibits placing homes in a flood plain.
  • Only 25% of ninth graders in Detroit's public schools graduate on time. In most American cities the number is less than 50%.
  • A white businessman in Detroit was called a racist for offering the city school district $200 million dollars to build fifteen charter schools to help poor black kids get an education. His offer was declined when the Detroit Federation of Teachers threatened to strike if it was accepted.
  • In 1960 Ghana had the same per capita income as South Korea. South Korea adopted a free market approach to economic growth and Ghana adopted socialism. Today South Korea is the twelfth wealthiest nation in the world and Ghana languishes at number 100. Ireland was among the poorest countries in Europe two generations ago. Today, after a generation of cutting taxes, investing in infrastructure, and becoming investment-friendly, it's close to the wealthiest per capita nation on the continent.
  • Meanwhile, our Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley act in 2002 which piles massive accounting burdens on American business creating a regulatory environment which, together with our laws regulating litigation, is driving business overseas. As a result, New York is at risk of losing its position as the center of world financial activity. If it does it could mean the loss of $15 to $30 billion dollars and as many as 60,000 jobs.
  • Unless Social Security is fixed it will run out of funds to pay benefits by 2042, but in 2017 it will be paying out more than it takes in. In order to finance the pay-outs it will have to sell its trust fund bonds. Since there is no cash to buy them they will have to be paid for by raising taxes $6.5 trillion dollars.
  • Under the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976 anybody who brings an even partially successful civil rights suit may have the defendant pay all the legal fees for both parties. Successful defendents, however, still have to pay their own fees. There is thus an enormous incentive to press civil rights cases on school districts and municipalities and defendents find it cheaper to settle than to fight. The result of this is that those with an anti-religious agenda have little to lose by continually harrassing schools with litigation and schools often give up without a fight.
  • In 2005 a $286 billion transportation bill was loaded down with $20 billion in earmarks which are essentially handouts to constituents for things like sprucing up neighborhoods in which a Congressman lives, museums about prisons, and millions of dollars to organizations whose existence can't even be confirmed. The bill was signed into law by President Bush.

We need a government which is responsible to the people and which will not treat our money as wealth to which it's entitled. We need to get rid of those who protect and feed off bureaucracy and elect those who will make government work. First, though, we need more citizens who care enough to find out which of these the candidates asking for their votes are.