Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Viva la [economic] Revolucion!

That fact the Democrats are running Congress and that they are poised to occupy the White House after the ’08 elections may have come home to roost. While yesterday’s dramatic drop of the Dow may have been triggered by foreign influence, mainly the Hang Seng, the lack of confidence in the U.S. Government to construct sound economic policy prevented our markets from withstanding the assault.

Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have said that the Bush tax cuts are history. Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton was on the stump telling the world that the profits of the oil companies need to be confiscated and spent elsewhere. Those two statements more than anything else right now could spell the end of the economic prosperity we have enjoyed for so many years.

What the rest us learned in economics 101 and through the examples provided by every major tax cut in history, they cannot seem to grasp. Tax cuts, not increases, spur the economy and actually increase government revenues while raising taxes has the opposite effect. Of course, this is nothing more than another attempt at wealth redistribution. They will go after high wage earners only (folks that actually work for a living); while they leave the likes of Ted Kennedy, with his fortune safely tucked away in Cayman Islands banks, alone.

The de facto nationalization of big oil by Mrs. Clinton borders on the insane. Both small investors (show me a well-managed mutual fund that does not own oil stock right now) and the government (in the form of decreased revenues) will feel the ramifications of it. How many more companies would flee our shores and set up shop in more friendly business climes, such as London, as so many have to escape Sarbanes-Oxley. The confidence in the American Government, along with the dollar, would evaporate. The world market would wonder if the government would stop with big oil. As they have with the tax code, defining lower and lower incomes as wealthy, would the government decide which companies other than the oil industry are making too much money or paying their shareholders too large a dividend? Would they decide that companies that put large amounts of their profits into research and development are operating at an unfair advantage when compared to other companies? Who would decide what the threshold for “unfair” is?

If we wish to remain on top in the global market, America needs to have the free-market it has always had. These attempts by the left create a socialist state by another name must not be allowed to control our economic future.

Are Those Notes in Your Pants, or are You Just Happy to See Me?

Where in the Justice Department is there another prosecutor with the tenacity of Patrick Fitzgerald? While Mr. Fitzgerald went after VP Cheney and Lewis “Scooter” Libby over the Valerie Plame affair they seemed to be unconcerned that former National Security Advisor and Clinton Historian-in-Chief Samuel “Sandy” Berger had removed many more original, un-archived documents from the National Archives than originally believed. Even for what was known to have been removed, the Justice Department seemed to be okay with Berger’s assertion that the removal of any documents was purely accidental, even though archive staffers witnessed Berger stuffing documents down his pants and wrapping them around his legs. The discovery that he hid garbage bags of documents at a construction site appears to be of little concern to the Justice Department.

The Department continued to pursue Cheney and Libby even after it was public knowledge that Richard Armitage was the original “leaker” and that a federal grand jury had decided that no crime was committed as to the “outing” of Ms. Plame. They are, however, completely satisfied with their conduct in the investigation of the Berger affair even though it is clear federal law has been broken. I guess this should have been expected since during the Plame investigation Justice failed to investigate Ms. Plame using her position to get her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, a federal appointment. Mr. Fitzgerald could have also looked in to what many believe were a manipulation of the facts in Wilson’s report to the Bush Administration on Iraq’s attempt to buy “yellow-cake” uranium from Niger. The Butler Report, released by the UK Government, seems to contradict the assertions made by Wilson in his formal report to the White House.

Mr. Berger’s original statement to investigators has proven to be a lie "Last year, when I was in the Archives reviewing documents, I made an honest mistake. It is one that I deeply regret; I dealt with this issue in October 2003 fully and completely. Everything that I have done all along in this process has been for the purpose of aiding and supporting the work of the 9/11 commission, and any suggestion to the contrary is simply, absolutely wrong." (USA Today 7/21/2004). So hiding documents in ones underpants and then burying them is an honest mistake? Lying to investigators about the number and content of documents is an honest mistake? The federal prosecutor seemed to think that this was a reasonable explanation of his actions. Is this not why Scooter Libby is currently on trial? Mr. Libby, accused of no crime other than lying to prosecutors, awaits the results of a jury, yet Sandy Berger roams free. Why is Mr. Berger held to a different standard?