He assured us that “politics as usual” would not be a part of his Presidential decision and policy making. He triumphantly declared in his acceptance speech that “Change has come to America!”
When he stepped forward to champion the so-called bailout plan, President Barack Obama told the American people “there are no earmarks in this package.”
Prime Timing the Obama Marketing Machine
Was he telling us the truth when he stated the following in his prime time address to the American people on February 9, 2009?
But when they start characterizing this as pork without acknowledging that there are no earmarks in this package; something, again, that was pretty rare over the last eight years; then you get a feeling that maybe we’re playing politics instead of actually trying to solve problems for the American people.
Has change come to America? We suppose that depends upon what that definition of change is (as in the definition of “is”). Has President Obama misled the American people with respect to the stimulus package? Bluntly asked, did he lie to us?
Is it really true that there is no special spending in the stimulus plan known to us as “pork” and to those in Washington as “earmarks?”
Catching a Whiff of the Stench of Rotting Pork
Prior to his prime time address, the President appeared in Elkhart, Indiana for a town hall meeting which was designed to float the deceptive trial balloon prior to going prime time. The pork message needed to be taste-tested first in Elkhart. If people swallowed it, the Obama crew would slap on an additional layer of BBQ sauce and serve it up prime time. In Elkhart the President served up the pork concept with this statement:
And, listen, I know that there are a lot of folks out there who’ve been saying, “Oh, this is pork, and this is money that’s going to be wasted,” and et cetera, et cetera. Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size, does not have a single earmark in it.
We at iVoteAmerica know a good barbecqued pork rib when we smell one on the grill. Although it may be true that the special projects contained in the stimulus package are not classified as “earmarks” the common sense American public doesn’t draw a line between “pork” and “earmark.”
Hard working Americans don’t have time to spend each day refining what the meaning of “is” is.
Most Americans are not good at parsing the language in order to pull off a marketing ploy. We spend most of our time working, raising our families and trying to do what is right. However, we do know what a good batch of B.S. looks like when we see it and especially when we smell it. Rotten pork makes you sick no matter how you cook it on the gas grill.
There is another thing we Americans do. We tell our children that lying is wrong. We tell them that when we twist things in order to deceive others, it’s the same as lying. We teach our children that it is wrong to use words to make people believe something that isn’t true.
In Washington, words are used to push agendas through Congress. Words are used to paint mental images in the minds of Americans that sometime deceive them. In fact, in Washington, words are used to create public responses to political agendas that are often designed to exploit honest Americans.
Rotten pork is best swallowed after it has a heavy coating of Washington barbecque sauce applied to it. Think of it this way. Out of the full $800 billion in the stimulus package most Americans will be receiving $13 a week in tax reductions/rebates/refunds for a grand total of $754 annually. Never mind that Washington is strapping a huge debt on our individual and collective backs in exchange for chump change.
Have we traded our futures for $13 a week?
The Federal Government took an important step when it forced banks to accept funds in exchange for perferred stock making itself a part owner in some of the largest financial institutions in the United States.
Experience tells us that where federal funds are allocated, behavioral demands are not far behind.
Today, President Barack Obama dropped the second shoe in a move that iVoteAmerica believes sets the stage for more and more government intervention into the private sector.
The shoe that dropped fell like a jack boot on the necks of “executives” and how private companies and their owner/shareholders will be allowed compensate them.
It’s an easy boot to bring down if only because the recent excesses make the topic a highly charged emotional one and an easy sell to most Americans who are struggling through difficult financial times and are as angry as hell. Are we angry with American businesses or just the few slick execs that slid through the exits with a briefcase full of compensation?
Who Needs More Control, Us or Them?
We would ask, “Who needs more control, business or government?” We recall and remind Americans of Ronald Reagan’s statement, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
But does Obama’s new policy of controlling the pay of what he calls, without explanation, “top executives” open another door that in the end weakens business and empowers Washington with a new set of compliance regulations that will control not just executive pay but company operating cultures, models, products, services and a host of other free enterprise components that are the real cure to an ailing economy.
Do we really want or even need Washington telling privately or publically owned companies how they should operate financially? Isn’t that something Washington needs to apply to itself, not us?
Here are the salient features from President Obama’s announcement today and we invite you to read and parse it slowly, asking yourself what it might really mean:
…these guidelines we are putting in place are only the beginning….we are going to examine the ways and means and manner of executive compensation…we are going to be taking a look at broader reforms so that executives are compensated for sound risk management and rewarded for growth measured over years not just days or weeks…we all have to pull together and take our share of responsibility…that’s true here in Washington and it’s true on Wall Street…the American people are carrying a huge burden as a result of this crisis…”
Notice the language contained in these key lines:
“…this is only the beginning…”
“…we are going to examine executive compensation…”
“…we are going to be taking a look at broader reforms…”
“…we have to pull together and take our share of responsibility…”
“…that’s true in Washington and true on Wall Street…”
“…the American people are carrying a huge burden as a result of this crisis…”
iVoteAmerica thinks this is a carefully woven set of pronouncements designed to spotlight the emotional issue of executive pay as the precursor to more socialization of our economic structure. Afterall, who could possibly agree with the montrous financial severence and bonus packages paid to executives whose performances were dismal?
We believe, however, that Obama’s pronouncementst should be viewed cautiously as a signal of Washington’s claim to the right to use taxpayer funds as the means for intruding into, tampering with and nationalizing much of the private sector in order to further strengthen the need for centralized control and dependency.
Exercising a New Brand of Self-Righteousness
Suddenly Washington DC is being cast as the Robin Hood of the common man while the private sector is labeled as suspect, out of control and the sole and complete cause of America’s financial dilemma. Is Washington suddenly exercising new brand of self-righteousness? Has anyone noticed the PORK our elected officials tried to steal from us under the guise of stimulating the economy?
Is this what Americans really believe? Is this type of control what you want to see Washington implement? Do you really believe the government is more capable of creating meaningful corporate reform than are the owners and shareholders of America’s businesses? Do you think that the current economic situation resulted from a handful of greedy and overly compensated executives?
Or, when you step back from the emotion of the issues do you think Washington needs to conduct a little policy reform of its own? After all, wasn’t it President Obama who recently attempted to put three tax dodgers on his cabinet with one being successful, the new head of the IRS?!?
Are we listening and thinking and parsing? Are we letting Washington go too far? Is there any chance we are over-reacting, moving too quickly and going too far?
Ron Paul gave the following address on Saturday, 24 January 2009 at Ludwig von Mises Institute, proponents of the Austrian Economics model.
Is Paul flinally gaining ground within the Republican Party as a thinker and Statesman? Heretofore, Ron Paul has been labeled as a sort of fringe lunatic with a radical and uniformed following. Now, in light of the economic problems, Republicans are now being forced to look at Paul’s history of chastizing the Federal Reserve for its mismanagement of the economy and its unabated printing of money as valid.