Archive for February 2nd, 2010

I Will Praise You, O LORD

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.

I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2 (New International Version)

Obama Budget Seeks $1.1 Trillion in Tax Hikes

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

More broken campaign promises from the “Liar-in-Chief” at the White House.

WASHINGTON — While President Barack Obama is proposing to cut some taxes for companies that hire workers, his budget would raise a host of other taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals.

The budget proposal released Monday would extend Obama’s signature Making Work Pay tax credit — $400 for individuals, $800 for a couple filing jointly — through 2011. But it would also impose nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 by not renewing tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush. Obama would extend Bush-era tax cuts for families and individuals making less.

Obama revived numerous proposals for business tax increases that didn’t fare well in Congress last year, including a scaled-down plan to increase taxes on U.S. companies with major overseas operations, and plans to increase taxes on oil and gas companies.

In all, Obama would increase taxes on some businesses and wealthy individuals by a total of about $1.4 trillion over the next decade, while cutting taxes for middle-class workers and other businesses by about $330 billion. The bottom line: Tax receipts would increase by about $1.1 trillion over the next decade.

Original Link.

Study Finds New Abstinence-Only Program Works

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Wow, this new study completely disproves the liberal mantra nonsense of “they’re all going to have premarital sex anyway, we might as well show them how to do it right”. Most kids really want to do the right thing. They just have to be taught what that right thing is.
Logically, the only method that is 100% effective at preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and unwanted pregnancy, is abstinence.

CHICAGO — An experimental abstinence-only program without a moralistic tone can delay young teens from having sex, a new study found.

Billed as the first rigorous research to show long-term success with an abstinence-only approach, the study released Monday differed from traditional programs that have lost U.S. federal and state support in recent years.

The classes didn’t preach saving sex until marriage or disparage condom use. Instead, they involved assignments to help students around the age of 12 see the drawbacks to sexual activity at their age. It included having them list the pros and cons themselves, and it found their “cons” far outnumbered the “pros.”

The study appears in the February edition of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. It was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and involved 662 black children in Philadelphia.

The students were assigned to one of four options: eight hour-long abstinence-only classes; safe-sex classes; classes incorporating both approaches; or classes in general healthy behavior. Results for the first three classes were compared with the group that had only the general health classes. That was the “control group” the study used for comparison.

Two years later, about one-third of abstinence-only students said they’d had sex since the classes ended, versus nearly half — about 49 percent — of the control group. Sexual activity rates in the other two groups didn’t differ from the control group.

Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Program, praised the study and said she hopes it revives government interest in abstinence-only sex education.

Original Link.

Muslim Parents of Teen Christian Convert Renege on Custody Agreement

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

There has been an unfortunate development in the case of Rifqa Bary, the teen who ran away from home, in fear of her life, after she converted from Islam to Christianity. We reported that her parents had agreed to leave her in foster care until she turns 18. In a new development, they have reneged on their previous agreement and want a trial to determine where Rifqa will live.
Remember, to a Muslim, she is her father’s property, and he wants his property back. He has been deeply embarrassed in front of the Muslim community and the world at large. Will a deeply religious Muslim allow this insult to his honor to go unchallenged? Apparently not.
Continue to pray for Rifqa. She is in danger, now and after she turns 18, even if the authorities don’t believe so.

Fathima Bary

The head of a Christian ministry dedicated to exposing the truth about Islam says she’s not surprised that the Muslim parents of a Christian convert from Islam have decided to backtrack on an agreement that allows their daughter to stay with foster parents until her 18th birthday.

“I’m not surprised,” [W.L. Cati, founder of White Horse Ministries] states. “They’re not going to give up. Anything that belongs to a Muslim is a possession. It’s like their car just got stolen, and [they’re] going to fight to get it back.”

Despite Rifqa’s parents’ persistence, Cati does not think the judge will change his mind. “It’s too risky for a judge,” she determines. “If he backs up and returns Rifqa to her parents, or makes any concessions along that line, and [then] that child dies, we’ve got a national problem going on.”

Original Link.

See our previous post about Rifqa Bary.
Runaway Christian Convert to Remain Free of Parents, Judge Rules.
Rifqa Bary Case Takes a Positive Turn.
Court Issues Reunification Plan in Rifqa Bary Case.
Rifqa Bary Returns to Columbus.
Hamas-Linked CAIR Supervised Police Interview of Rifqa Bary’s Parents on Abuse Allegations.
Florida Investigation Finds No Credible Threat to Teen Christian Convert.
Teen Christian Convert Who Fled Muslim Family Gets Online Threat.
Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Says Family Threatened to Kill Her.
Updated: Judge Decides Fate of Honor Student, Cheerleader Who Fears “Honor Killing” After Converting to Christianity.
Parents of Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Have Ties to Mosque of Alleged Terrorist.
Political Asylum Suggested for Rifqa Bary, Teen ‘Muslim to Christian’ Convert.
Teen ‘Muslim to Christian’ Convert Order Back to Ohio by Florida Judge.
Rifqa Investigation Ignored Facts About Islam.

In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” KillingsIn Remembrance of Noor Faleh Almaleki. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings
In Remembrance of Sarah & Amina Said and Noor Faleh Almalek.
Don’t let this become a memorial to Rifqa Bary as well. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings Before They Happen!!

“A By-The-Numbers Look at Deficits and Debt” by Jeff Schreiber

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

According to the Congressional Budget Office, during the dozen years in which the House of Representatives was under Republican Party control, the average budget deficit was roughly $104 billion. Since the Democrats assumed control following the mid-term elections in 2006, however, that average has skyrocketed to approximately $1.1 trillion.

Now, confronted with reality and fact, I know what the liberal apologists will say: But Jeff, they’ll argue, the low deficit numbers under GOP control count years when Bill Clinton was doing his thing in the White House, while the marked increase during two of the past three years fell during George W. Bush’s tenure in the Oval Office.

And they’d be right. Instead of reading a calendar, though, they should pick up a copy of the Constitution. (NOTE: Most liberals will not have a copy handy — I’d suggest they ask the nearest conservative or libertarian.)

In that document, right in the beginning in Article I, they’ll notice that legislation begins in Congress, not in the Oval Office, and that the president of the United States cannot spend money not appropriated by Congress. In other words, as much as former President Clinton may have tacked to the center following the defeat of his own universal health care plan and the Republican Revolution in 1994, the fiscal discipline shown during those years is a result of a Republican Party leadership which had not yet completely lost its way. Moreover, as much as former President George W. Bush may have abandoned his free market principles during the second half of his second term, the lack of fiscal discipline shown over the previous three years falls squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats.

Don’t believe me? Consider some of the CBO and OMB (Office of Management and Budget) back numbers released in a statement yesterday from Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and the man who, during Friday’s meet-and-greet with House Republicans, was repeatedly called “Jim” by the president as he ducked a budget-related question. Hensarling makes the eminently demonstrative assertion that “the old annual deficits under Republicans have now become the monthly deficits under Democrats.”

[A]ccording to CBO’s September 2009 Monthly Budget Review, July 2009’s deficit was $181 billion. According to CBO’s December 2009 Monthly Budget Review, October 2009’s deficit was $176 billion. Comparatively, according to OMB’s Historical Tables (Table 1.1), Republicans’ last annual deficit was $160.7 billion in FY2007. Even Republicans worst annual deficit – $412.7 billion in FY2004 according to OMB’s Historical Tables (Table 1.1) – pales in comparison to Democratic deficits. According to CBO’s January Monthly Budget Review, in the first three months of FY2010 (October-December 2009) alone, Democrats have run up a deficit of about $390 billion – $22.7 billion shy of the GOP’s worst annual deficit.

Given that pattern, it should come as no surprise that the new budget released yesterday by the Obama administration is increasing the deficit once again, from a record $1.41 trillion last year to a projected $1.56 trillion next year.

Knowing the unpalatable nature of such numbers, the president of course was quick to offer an excuse. And, as always, his excuse entailed shifting blame onto his predecessor.

He faced a budget deficit of nearly $1.3 trillion when he “walked in the door” at this time last year, the president said. Therefore, he insisted, the increase to $1.4 trillion really wasn’t as shocking as most would make it sound.

In mathematics class growing up, teachers always emphasized the importance of “showing your work.” President Obama, with his history of fuzzy math, didn’t do so. Thankfully, former Clinton official and pundit extraordinaire Dick Morris did show his work yesterday, when in a commentary on his own eponymous Web site he ripped apart the president’s phony numbers:

In 2008, Bush ran a deficit of $485 billion. By the time the fiscal year started on October 1, 2008, it had gone up by another $100 billion due to increased recession-related spending and depressed revenues. So it was $600 billion. That was the real Bush deficit.

But when the fiscal crisis hit, Bush had to pass TARP in the final months of his presidency which cost $700 billion. Under the federal budget rules, a loan and a grant are treated the same. So the $700 billion pushed the deficit — officially — up to $1.3 trillion. But not really. The $700 billion was a short term loan. $500 billion of it has already been repaid.

So what was the real deficit Obama inherited? The $600 billion deficit Bush was running plus the $200 billion of TARP money that probably won’t be repaid (mainly AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). That totals $800 billion. That was the real deficit Obama inherited.

Then…he added $300 billion in his stimulus package, bringing the deficit to $1.1 trillion. And falling revenues and other increased welfare spending pushed it up to $1.4 trillion.

So, effectively, Obama came close to doubling the deficit.

Doubling the budget deficit. Remember, folks, that this is your money we’re talking about.

When Fox News Channel and talk show radio host Glenn Beck wrote his own version of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the national debt stood at roughly $11 trillion. By the time his book was released last year, it was about $1 trillion higher than that, standing at just over $12.1 trillion thanks to the Senate’s February 2009 vote to increase the debt ceiling (which, of course, they just did again). Regardless of the starting amount–what’s another trillion among friends, right?–to say that the numbers offered by Beck in Common Sense were startling would be understatement of the year.

Our interest payment to service our $11,000,000,000,000 in debt now stands at about $26,000,000,000 ($26 billion). Per month. That’s over $300 billion a year that will be sent (likely overseas) to our creditors instead of being used to upgrade our schools, roads, or national defense. Common sense tells us that is unsustainable—a country that cannot educate or secure its population is a country that will not be around much longer.

One of the tricks that our leaders have successfully played on us is the illusion of numbers. If I asked you to send me a check for $4,000 you’d probably think about what you could buy with that money (an amazing vacation, new furniture, braces for your child, etc.) and then you’d wonder why on earth you’d send it to me. But when our government asks us for $26 billion every month we don’t have the same reaction because it doesn’t feel personal. Well, let’s make it personal. With one monthly $26 billion interest payment we could fully fund the annual budgets of the Centers for Disease Control ($6.1 billion, annual budget), Coast Guard ($8.7 billion), and the Department of the Interior ($11.1 billion).

With our annual $300 billion in interest payments we could fully fund the Departments of Commerce ($8.1 billion), Education ($68 billion), Homeland Security ($42.3 billion), Housing and Urban Development ($52.3 billion), Energy ($23.2 billion), Justice ($25 billion), and Labor ($49.6 billion) for an entire year.

By 2019, annual interest payments on the national debt will balloon to a projected $806 billion! Why? Because, as you might know from your own credit cards, interest compounds quickly. Making only the minimum payments will result in the unpaid interest being added to our outstanding debt. It’s a cycle that’s almost impossible to pull out of and the damage to our country will almost certainly be irreversible. That $806 billion is more than what it cost us last year to fund the entire Department of Defense ($583 billion), Veterans Affairs ($86.6 billion), the Department of Transportation ($68.7 billion), and the State Department ($18.9 billion). . . combined.

Where will all of that money come from? Again, the politicians say “the rich!” or maybe “the greedy corporations!”—but if that’s our plan, then we are set up for dramatic failure. The total 2008 profits of Exxon Mobil ($45.2 billion), General Electric ($17.41 billion), Wal-Mart ($12.7 billion), and IBM ($12.3 billion) totaled $87.61 billion. If we taxed those profits at 100 percent we still wouldn’t even have on-third of the amount needed to pay the annual interest payment—let alone any of the principal!

So what about the wealthy? Look at it this way: if we took all personal income tax revenue from every American taxpayer for the next decade you would still NOT have enough money to pay off the national debt, even if you exclude interest. And, as a side benefit, we’d have zero dollars to fund the actual government over those years.

This is modern-day slavery, but instead of being sold to work in the fields our children will be working hundred-hour weeks at their jobs to pay off the debts we’ve amassed.

I remember reading that passage by the light of a dim LED booklight–the kind you receive for free with the purchase of a Snuggie–next to a snoring three-year-old in a guest room in rural Poland over the summer. That night, I remember, I didn’t sleep a wink. I just kept on looking at my sleeping daughter next to me. She looked so peaceful that night as I laid awake, my ADD-ravaged mind spinning. She didn’t know the difference. Even when she was awake, all she wanted to do was go hunting for snails in the garden or make loud doodle-doo! noises at the roosters or laugh hysterically while chasing the family dog, a German Shepherd that understood more Polish than I’ll likely ever know. My daughter didn’t know any different, that back at home an ocean away a party of ideologues were busy destroying her country for political gain.

The path we’re on is unsustainable. And to avoid passing the point of no return–if we haven’t done so already–perhaps this president should consider taking a second look at a budget which adds $8.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, contains $17 billion in tax hikes at a time when an increased tax burden means disaster for an economy grapping with double-digit unemployment, and brings to an end the very tax cuts, put into place by George W. Bush in 2003, which spawned private sector growth and brought in record tax revenue in the years immediately following.

But he’ll do no such thing. You know it. I know it. He knows it. And so does Jeb Hensarling, who found himself disappointed that President Obama’s actual commitment to fiscal responsibility nowhere near matched the rhetoric from last week’s State of the Union address or the words contained within the budget released yesterday. From yesterday’s statement:

In the same document that President Obama tells the nation he’s committed to fiscal responsibility, he unveils trillions in NEW taxes and entitlements. This makes it very hard to take President Obama’s newfound commitment to fiscal responsibility seriously.

Unfortunately, instead of signaling a change in the weather I’m afraid the President’s budget signals that the looming storm clouds of Obamanomics are here to stay. For the duration of the Administration’s 10-year budget, the deficit never falls below $700 billion, and never falls below 3.6 percent of GDP – a level the Administration’s own budget director has called ‘unsustainable.’ Debt held by the public triples over 10 years, and exceeds 60 percent of GDP as a share of the economy this year – surpassing last year’s 50-year high. Debt continues to rise to consume 77.2 percent of our economy by the end of the budget window. Couple this budget with the threatened takeover of our health care system, a threatened energy tax and the threatened makeover of our financial system and it is little wonder that job growth is lagging and that private capital and entrepreneurs are sitting on the sidelines – who would take the risk to start or expand a business in this climate?

Democrats in Congress have had the Constitutional power of the purse for three years. In the 12 years that Republicans controlled the House, the average deficit was $104 billion. In just three years under Democratic control, the average deficit is now almost $1.1 trillion. I suspect that as the Democratic majority in Congress works its will on the President’s budget it will only get worse.

Unfortunately, so do I. With Barack Obama in the Oval Office, this nation has known little more than empty words. Talking the talk when it comes to fiscal responsibility is easy. Instituting a spending freeze after you’ve already increased spending by more than 80 percent is easy. Actually sitting down and cutting corners, as so many families across the country are doing as the going gets even more tough, is anything but.

Original Link.