Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson


Entries in Democrats (113)


Republican or Democrat Quote Quiz

Let's play a game!  I'm going to give a series of quotes and you have to guess if the statements were made by Democrats or Republicans.

1) "We're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy."

2) "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

3) "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,"

4) "The great task before our founders was putting into practice the ideal that government could simultaneously serve liberty and advance the common good. and Government, he believed, had an important role to play in advancing our common prosperity."

5) "Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."

6) "If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made it that happen.”

7) "Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

8) "This is nobody in this country who got rich on his own."

9) "The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

10) "What I do is I'm going to try to reorganize the health () to be more willing to treat sick people, but it means above all you young people, especially you young people in good health … you have to pay more. And by the way, we will have, if you're too old, not going to give you everything that technology and all these drugs during the past two years of your life and maybe go to another couple months. It is very expensive … then we will let you die."

11) "I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned."

12) "The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrence to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system, and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes..."

13) "It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough jobs or enough profits."

14) "Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom."

15) "A man does what he must.. in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers, and pressures.. and that is the basis of all human morality."



Have you taken guesses yet?  If you want to go for the bonus write down who you think said each one before continuing.



Ready for the answers?  Sorry to say this but it's a trick quiz, all these quotes were stated by Democrats.

1 through 6 were all President Obama quotes

7 and 8 were both Elizebth Warren

9 was Michelle Obama

10 was Robert Reich Secretary of Labor for the Clinton Administration

11 through 15 by today's standards all sound like comments a Republican would have made but they were all made by J. F. Kennedy.  Kind of makes you wonder what his thoughts would be about Obama and the current Democratic party.



Obama Job Growth

By now I'm sure you've seen the chart popping all over the internet showing jobs decreasing under Bush and everything turning around bright and sunny under Obama.  If you haven't here it is:

First thing off the bat that caught my eye was how they start the chart at Jan 2008.  This is well after Democrats took control of both the House and Senate and had plenty of time for their policies to begin taking effect.

Then I noticed it stopped at March 2011, why?  The data is available well after that date, why stop showing how well Obama has been doing.  Oh wait, in April 2011 job growth fell another -190 and in June 2011 it feel another -445.

Here is the data in full as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec                  Annual
2002 -346 737 -261 -51 413 -124 -2 292 597 -294 -487 -95 379
2003 991 65 -48 199 -89 246 -316 75 60 375 440 -13 1985
2004 61 70 -89 227 172 322 382 17 -86 245 499 -106 1714
2005 120 140 269 600 355 105 312 408 -33 147 -49 253 2627
2006 398 307 284 20 328 264 -151 423 190 499 220 436 3218
2007 58 29 263 -734 317 160 -158 -223 562 -298 649 -322 303
2008 124 -240 -49 22 -201 -191 -208 -334 -137 -267 -714 -750 -2945
2009 -1141 -527 -906 -100 -360 -291 -112 -433 -683 -374 206 -639 -5360
2010 532 165 171 470 34 -203 2 199 6 -272 -135 283 1252
2011 110 221 213 -136 180 -423 65 304 353 190 317 176 1570
2012 847


(numbers in thousands)

We took a hit after 9-11 and you can see the economy was unstable going into 2002 but Bush with Republican control kept the country headed in the right direction.

It wasn't until well into 2006 after Democrats swept the house and senate that we saw any real down turn.

In 2010 the government dumped a ton of money into the economy with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the Obama stimulus.  One of the criticisms of the stimulus however is that the money spent will be divided over several years, we're currently in those years.  What happens when the spending stops?

Of the 3,669,000 jobs created since 2010 how many are permanent that can sustain themselves without government having to take wealth from others to create the impression of job growth?

The other factor this chart doesn't account for is underemployment.  This would be someone working at a high paying job who became unemployed settling for half or even less of their current salary just to get back to work.

The other question to ask is at what cost are the jobs we're seeing coming at?  Obama's new budget has nearly 1 trillion in deficit spending, a debt that will be passed on to our children.  And even with this out of control spending we still have over 4.6 million jobs still to be created just to get us back to close to where we were before Democrats took control of the House and Senate.






One More Example of Obama Harming This Country

If you were told there was a possibility to create tens of thousands of permanent jobs tomorrow would you think it's a good thing?  I certainly would.

Now what if you were told that it had bi-partisan support of both Republican and Democrats?  Sounds even better right.

What if on top of both of those if I told you it would also give the ability for us to create a product we export to other countries for profit?

And now what if I told you it would also give our country the ability to lessen our dependency on oil from the Middle East and lower our costs for fuel and heating oil?

Who in their right mind would ever say no to that?

Obama would.

The Keystone XL Project would do all of those things but ignoring his own party's support Obama instead used this as an opportunity to play politics and claim Republicans want dirty air and dirty water.

What makes matters even worse is now Canada's Priminister has stated that he will instead pursue plans to instead to sell that oil to China.

The Washington Times wrote the following in an article you can read in full HERE:

the Obama administration Wednesday rejected the proposed route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would provide up to 20,000 jobs on a project stretching from Canada to the Texas coast.

The pipeline, which would have been the largest infrastructure project in the country, has been a political nightmare for President Obama, with top business groups, Republican presidential candidates, the Canadian government, unions and even some of Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrats all slamming Wednesday’s rejection.

After Obama was first elected didn't we hear time and time again from Democrats that their increased spending was necessary because we needed to build up a better infrastructure in this country?  Yet here we have one of the largest ever that would bring great benefit to our country and Obama shoots it down.

“This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue said. “The president’s decision sends a strong message to the business community and to investors: Keep your money on the sidelines, America is not open for business.”

Hard to argue with that.  When unemployment continues to hover close to 10% (many argue that true unemployment is well over 10%) how do you not look for ways to make a project work that will bring tens of thousands of permanent new jobs to this country?

The application has been under review by the government for three years, and Mr. Obama unsuccessfully tried to put off a final decision until after the November elections.

This quote is what worries me the most.  Obama is clearly playing politics pushing off things like this as much as he can so not to tick off too many people before his re-election but if he is re-elected and doesn't have to worry about coming off popular enough to keep independent voters on his side what more will he do?  How many other things like this that he knows will outrage voters has he been successful at pushing off under after the November elections?

Mr. Obama issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying he agreed with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s decision to reject the project that would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast, saying the project as proposed “would not serve the national interest.”

Really?  It would not serve the national interest?  New jobs, less dependent on Middle Eastern oil?  Our ability to refine the oil we bring in into gas which we then export for profit?

“I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.”

Ah the old green pipe dream.  Problem is our country runs on oil and there is no current alternative.  So instead of living in the here and now and moving forward with a project that would help produce jobs and lower the cost of oil he instead pushes a political agenda.

Oh and did I mention that oil is also needed for things like plastics?  By shooting this project down, Obama has approved the continued rise in the cost of oil to our nation increase costs not just of fuel and heating oil but also increases costs of every day items.  That plastic lawn chair for instance that you sit in during the summer, or the plastics that make your children's toys, the casing for your computer mouse and keyboard and so on.  This is increasing the costs of living on the poor of this country.

Don't just take my word on it, here are the statements from other Democrats on this project:

  • Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA):Landrieu says she’d support Keystone in payroll/ui/doc fix bill. Says ‘good deal’of D & R support for it.” (Trish Turner, Twitter, 12/15/11)
  • Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK): “Another sticking point is that Republicans inserted in their bill language that would fast-track the proposed Keystone X-L oil pipeline extension from Canada down to the Lower 48.  …Senator Begich is supportive of moving the project forward and his office says that’s not a problem.” (Alaska Public Radio, 12/14/11)
  • Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND): “I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest.  It’ll help us reduce our dependence on foreign energy, at least foreign sources that are hostile to our interests… I, for one, on this side would hope that this could be part of a final package…” (Floor remarks, 12/14/11)

  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): “Well, let’s hope we can negotiate something like that… if states’ rights are being protected and if this is going to be something maybe that we can try to jumpstart the approval process, make it go more quickly.” (MSNBC, 12/14/11)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “I am for the Keystone pipeline. …  everyone’s for it, it creates thousands of jobs!” (Fox News, 12/12/11)
  • Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): “I am proud to again offer my support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the jobs it will create. We need a quicker decision, based on the merits of this project.” (Floor Remarks, 12/13/11)
  • Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC): “I’m very much for the pipeline. There is no question about that.”  (MSNBC, 12/14/11)
  • Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK): “I commend the Speaker for including the construction of the Keystone XL pipelinethat is supported by business and labor.” (Release, 12/12/11)
  • Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA): “‘I think the president’s wrong on this,’ said Cardoza, who is retiring after this Congress.  ‘He can veto whatever he wants, but those are both policies I support.’” (POLITICO, 12/7/11)
  • Rep. Gene Green (D-TX): “Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) said he’s not swayed by Obama’s veiled veto pledge. … ‘The Keystone is awfully important,’ Green said.” (POLITICO, 12/8/11)
  • Friday

    Happy 2012

    Happy 2012 to everyone out there in cyber-land!

    What an upcoming year we have ahead.  With this being a major election year where even the presidency up for grabs, the lumping Democrats took in 2010's elections and the fact they have nothing positive about their record to run against, Democrats are not holding back at all with their punches.  Just look at the editorials of the major NH papers, all the Democratic regulars are pushing letters out on a weekly basis attacking anything and everything they can find.  Our friends at Blue Hampshire and  can't write about their parties accomplishments so they too have gone into full attack mode.

    One problem the Republican party has in the upcoming year is the fact it has standards.  An example of this is the primary.  Just look at how Republicans are willing to point out the faults of others in their own party.  Democrats had a flawed candidate with very little overall experience, no foreign experience, who had ties to very questionable candidates including a known cop killer and who even launched his political career in that same cop killers own living room.  Not only did they not see fault in any of this they went on to elect that man president.

    How many people recall all the hype the Democrats claimed would happen if they won in 2006 and 2008?

    Since they took over the house and senate the economy has grown worse, unemployment has gotten worse, the situation in the Middle East has grown worse, the deficit spending has hit record highs... and so on.

    All the things they blasted Bush for they've done worse.  Gitmo is still open, the patriot act was extended and expanded to give the government even more control to spy, we've gotten involved in additional conflicts in the Middle East, Obama's spending levels makes Bush's look responsible and so on.

    Do they rail their own party for their failures?  Of course not.  Instead they focus on Mitt Romney's not bothering to campain in NH since he's leading polls for the primary by 40%.

    I guess they'd rather focus on that than discuss how after Obama said Iraq's war is over that country is now slowly failing into civil unrest.  Or debating how much of other peoples things should be taken away by force and handed over to those who choose not to work (ie the occupy groups).

    Sit back and enjoy all you political junkies, it's going to be a fun year!





    Tax em all Part 2 - Tax the rich

    Every now and again there are comments made on articles that deserve to be broken down comment by comment and discussed in more detail.  A frequent commenter on this site going by the name "Troll" posted one such comment on another of my articles.

    You can read the original article as well as all comments made to it HERE.

    In Troll's comment he/she made 3 points I will address, the first is as follows.

    In my original article I asked why we aren't seeing liberals in mass sending checks to the government offering up an additional 4% of their incomes since they claim so many people support such a tax increase.

    Because that would be almost as stupid as this comment. We are all one big happy nation and thus we all need to chip in our fair share. Just because one is cheap and self centered does not absolve him from his responsibility.

    For starters this statement assumes that anyone who feels government doesn't actually need more of our money and believes what they are taking already is mostly going to waste are in fact "cheap and self cenetered".  That's just silly.

    But assuming you believe the government is 100% effective with what they take from us and truly needs more of our money this statement would be equal to having two people walking down the street and finding someone in true need of help who will die if they don't eat and turning to the person you are with and saying you refuse to give that person in need of help any money unless they also put some up as well.  Perhaps this explains why liberals give less over all to cherity.

    If you are unwilling to give money toward something you believe in unless everyone else is also forced into giving at the point of a gun then it is you, not them, who are the truly selfish one.

    But what I suspect of most liberals is even worse, they in fact don't want to give up any of their money which is why they always turn to chants of taxing the rich.  Rather then give of themselves for the things they believe in they would rather point a government gun at someone else's head and take their money by force.  They fool themselves into thinking its ok because that someone else is the "rich" so they wont miss the money.  Which brings us to the next point.

    In response to my question of who determines who can "afford to pay" and what do they base it on our friend Troll posted this:

    I think we can all agree that the guy who makes a million dollars a year can probably afford to kick in a little more. Those that don't think so are probably Republican.

    This statement seems innocent at first glance but let's truly explore this.

    For starters those earning more already pay more.  The higher your income the larger the percentage of it the government takes.

    Let's assume that Troll took this into account and is arguing that those earning over $1 million should have their percent increased even more.  This raises the question of how much?

    In the original article the amount of 4% was discussed.  For sake of argument let's use that and continue.

    Based on 2009 tax returns there are only 253,413 people in this country earning over $1 million a year or 0.1 percent.

    Of those earning over $1 million a year, they paid out a total of $726.9 billion in taxes.  Let's assume that a 4% tax increase would actually result in a direct 4% increase in what's collected.  We know this isn't the case because with every tax increase there are more people who seek shelters for their income thus hiding it from taxation resulting in less then expected increases it is for this reason we saw the amount collected increase under the Bush tax cuts instead of seeing it decrease, but we're in liberal fantasy land so we're ignoring that reality.

    A 4% increase on millionaires would then result in the federal government collecting an additional $72.7 billion.  Hardly a drop in the bucket of the Trillion plus per year deficit we're currently running.

    Since the average tax rate for the rich is 24.1% (taken from the article linked to above), let's assume any increase results in a directly proportional increase in tax revenue.  In order just to get our country out of deficit spending (2010 we hit $1.29 Trillion and 2011 looks to be even more) we would need to increase the tax rate on the "rich" (as defined be Troll as those earning $1 million a year or more) to at least 55% if not more.  More then half their income would be taken from them at the point of a gun and that assumes they would all sit back and allow it instead of shifting their incomes to less confiscatory systems.

    As we take more and more money from the rich ask yourself what will happen to the companies they otherwise invested their money in?  What will become of the jobs they create? Remember, this isn't even to create new government jobs, this is what is required just to remain at the level of spending we have now.

    Troll's last comment was in response to the following statement I made:

    "[As] debt grows while the economy doesn't. Perhaps it's because too much of our money is already being wasted by the government. Perhaps because we as a society have grown to a point where we reward failure"

    Maybe it's because corparate fatcats moved all of our jobs to other countries so they can make even more money. Maybe it's because all of the economic gains in this country have gone to one percent of the people while employee pay is down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data.

    When I read this I ask two things.  First of which is whether or not this claim is even true.

    The first part would depend on the industry but I will agree with Troll that jobs are moving over seas.  IT jobs being a perfect example of this.

    Why?  Because the US has out priced itself from the market and companies find it cheaper to hire overseas instead of here in the US.  If you were a business owner and had the option of hiring one computer programmer in America or being able to hire a team of five or more in India?  Getting more work done for the same price so the business can be more profitable is the goal of business in the first place.

    Ask yourself, if you owned a business would you pay a higher price for something you can get cheaper?  Most wouldn't.  That's why stores like Wal-Mart do so well.  They deliver the same products as other stores at lower costs and people buy them.

    As our Government forces companies to pay out more in minimum wage increases we see additional unskilled labor leave.  And to make up for the increased salaries in jobs they can't move, such as the clerk in the stores companies are left having to increase costs on the rest of us.

    The 2nd part of Troll's claim is the old Democrat mantra that the rich are getting richer while the poor and middle class get poorer.

    He/ she is correct in part, currently under Obama the rich are growing their incomes faster then the poor and middle class at a higher rate then ever before in recent history.  Under Bush II however the poor and middle class incomes increased faster then that of the rich.

    Ok, given that Troll is correct and now under Obama the Rich are growing their incomes faster then the poor, the next question is what if anything should the government do about it.  Clearly Obama's policies aren't working because they are helping the rich while a record number of people now collect food stamps.  This goes back to something I've stated before, we reward failure in this country.  By giving people all they need in life by providing "free" (read at taken by force from someone else) food, housing and health care what then do people have to work for?  If you want to see people succeed give them motivation to work.