‘Trump forces Obama’s hand on birther issue’, or at least that is the headline The Donald was Looking for…

April 27, 2011

The Donald may think he has scored by forcing the president to release the birth certificate.

It would seem that the birther issue should now be put to rest now that President Barack Obama has released what has been called his “long form” birth certificate, but I’m sure the diehards will continue to persist that it is a forgery and there is some grand conspiracy, and the anti-Obama hate machine crowd got what it wanted anyway, the storyline that Obama was not born in the United States. This has been imprinted in the brains (or what passes for them) in the minds of those who are a little too willing to believe the worst of the first black American president.

(Of course I have to admit I still cannot say for sure whether Obama was born in the U.S. anymore than I can say any one of you were. I’m told I was, and I have a copy of my own birth certificate handed to me by a San Francisco city employee.)

And Donald Trump, who is unofficially a Republican presidential hopeful, can now crow, and already has, that he forced Obama’s hand in the disclosure. Talk show host Dennis Miller was telling his listeners that Trump stared down the president on the issue and the president blinked. This is the first time I ever heard Miller (whom I only recall as a comedian on the old Saturday Night Live, along with some announcing in the NFL) on his talk show. He apparently appeals to the macho guy America hang tough crowd (and I’m not against America hanging tough, necessarily — whatever that means), and thinks it shows Trump has the, well, guts, to deal with China (Iran?) and so on and not back down.

Miller suggested the whole birther charge was just a trick by Trump to get the president to back down from something.

I am still puzzled why Obama did not disclose the actual official birth certificate in the first place, even though it might be unfair to make him do it when it is not asked of other candidates — what could it hurt? But then again, I’m thinking most of those who were adamant about his being foreign-born may have had more on their agenda then just checking the boxes for presidential requirements — racism???

But I have blogged a few times about the fact that heretofore, despite reports he had actually released his birth certificate, in reality he had not. Otherwise it would not be news that he has just done so. I think, unless I missed something, the mainstream media was negligent or sloppy in not clearing up the issue and erroneously reporting that despite calls for Obama to release his birth certificate, he already had. No he had not.

P.s.

I realize the earlier document that Obama issued may or may not have sufficed as legal proof under Hawaiian standards, but assuming all have just one actual birth certificate (long form) then that is what people mean by birth certificate.

P.s. P.s.

Of course Trump is now on to another foolish issue about the suggestion that Obama was actually a poor (as in grades) student before getting into Harvard  (with no evidence one way or another introduced, just innuendo), I think the undertones of which are that Obama gets a pass as just one hell of a smart guy from the “liberal” media and maybe a slam against affirmative action, whether Obama was ever the recipient of it or not — but he is half black.

(Obama’s predecessor, the first MBA president, was a notoriously lackluster student, but then again, no one ever suggested otherwise.) 

Maybe those who have it out for Obama can now hound him to release his academic transcripts from pre-school forward.


Romney “peacetime” gaffe not much of a gaffe…

April 26, 2011

So far as I can see a purported gaffe in an opinion piece by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has only been a kind of inside politics item and it does not appear to me that it was much of a gaffe, although better phrasing could have been used.

In an opinion piece by Romney printed in the New Hampshire newspaper the Manchester Union Leader Romney castigates President Barack Obama for engaging in a “peacetime spending binge, the biggest since World War II. Romney critics were quick to point out that the nation is not in peacetime, but at war — several as a matter of fact. Romney (or his people) has since recanted the statement, saying — well I’m not sure what he (they) said; I’ll have to get back to that.

But I think I know what he was trying to say, and I am not Romney supporter. He was talking about domestic, non-military spending, not the amount we are spending on our perpetual wars in the Middle East.

As bad as our modern wars are, they are not like the wars of old when we lost hundreds and thousands of troops in one day. Also these wars do not go through the traditional the president asks for a declaration of war routine. Also, no domestic sacrifice is called for to fund the wars, even though one would think that in a time of “emergency” sacrifice should be called for. There is no war tax. In fact, the costs of the war are hidden in the budget, financed though, what do they say? Continuing resolutions? And you can’t vote against them lest you be accused of denying food and ammunition to the troops in the field.

Since there is no accounting and no sacrifice called for, the modern wars eat away at the federal budget from within almost without detection or debate.

The erudite and always politically astute John Rothman on KGO Radio claimed that Mitt Romney’s using the term “peacetime” was eerily akin to his father blowing any chance for a presidential candidate when he was quoted, I think out of context, as saying he went to Vietnam and was “brainwashed”. He just meant that our own government handlers, generals and embassy personnel, put on the dog and pony show full of propaganda about a war in which we had no excuse to be involved in and which we were not going to come out of victorious.

I’m sure Mitt Romney can come up with a better gaffe than that.

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Romney’s article in question: http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Mitt+Romney:+Obama+isn’t+serious+about+America’s+financial+health&articleId=b7883ad5-32f6-4d62-871c-d967005bb838


Ever wonder why working folks would vote for what is usually called the “Party of the Rich”?

April 24, 2011

 

BLOGGER’S NOTE: you’ve come this far, I’d like you to read the rest of my post, but even if you think you’d rather not, I ask that you at least check out the link I give down the page here to an opinion piece in the Washington Post — it kind of says it all. But I’d like you to read my thoughts too. Thanks.

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Most of us are not rich, but have you ever wondered why so many working people vote for Republicans (your‘s truly not included, so far), often called “The Party of the Rich”?

Even if it seems the Republicans can’t come up with a potential presidential candidate who could appeal to a highly diverse cross section of voters necessary to win election to the presidency, watch out President Obama and Democratic Party, because you still don’t get it after all these years.

Working people, who make up the bulk of the electorate, want someone who represents their interests, not someone who panders to the poor (don’t mean to be cruel) or those waiting for a handout paid for by taxes on their own hard-earned wages. And while the working folks envy the rich they don’t necessarily respond to calls for punishing the rich in favor of the poor (although I will note here that a recent poll found favor among president Obama’s call to reinstate higher taxes on the rich). That’s because the assumption in this country is that if you are rich that is because there is opportunity in this country. You can go from poor to rich.

I do think that most of us do have sympathy for the down and out because we say to ourselves: “but there for the grace of God go I”. But that only goes so far. We also know that responsible people do everything they can to take care of themselves and their families, and there is also the saying: the “Lord helps those who help themselves” or “charity begins at home”.

Republicans, in turn, have miscalculated in their move to virtually do away with government social programs, because middle class or lower middle class working people do value Social Security and Medicare and some related programs as part of the recognized security structure of their lives, but they feel that have earned the benefits through their work. Even the so-called Tea Partiers who say they want to cut out all the social giveaways coming out of tax dollars say, “whoa, hold on” when it comes to their Social Security and Medicare.

At one time I lived in the Sacramento area, and following state and local politics, I found that while the inner city Sacramento with its high population of poor is predominantly Democratic, while the surrounding sprawl of suburbs is predominantly Republican.

I kind of instinctively knew why, and I have always noted that unlike the assumption of some of my political science professors in college, the working man doesn’t necessarily fall over himself for Democrats, quite the contrary often (depending partly on geography).

But really what I am trying to say is that, well sometimes someone comes along and writes a piece that sums things up a lot better than I have or can. So without further ado, I give you this link to what I think is an excellent opinion piece in the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-democrats-working-class-problem/2011/04/19/AFBKSnQE_story.html?hpid=z6

P.s.

Well I just couldn’t resist one other thought. If you work for a relatively small business, even if you are just an employee, you might well see what is good for the small businessman is directly in your own self-interest. That business fails, you have no job. The Republicans often do a better job of painting themselves as the friend of small business, true or not.


Obama “birther” issue is born again

April 21, 2011

BLOGGER’S NOTE: I no sooner posted this than I read that Donald Trump (and probably others) are apparently backing off the birther issue somewhat and only raised it to get attention — a cheap shot indeed.

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The “birther” issue has resurfaced (well, it never completely went away in crazy land), most notably with Donald Trump questioning whether Barack Obama was actually born in the United States and therefore has met a basic requirement of being president.

(If you listen and watch Trump, though, his insincerity seems somewhat transparent, such as when he turns around and proclaims he hopes that he is a citizen. Trump and others sometimes back off a direct challenge to his citizenship, depending on how skillful their questioners are or who the audience is — might they be just seeking instant publicity and playing to the crowd? You think?) 

The disappointing thing about all of this is that it gets so much play (and in my own miniscule way, I add to this) and that the people who proclaim that there is a problem are just showing racism and religious strife and intolerance (hey, he’s an African, or a secret Muslim) or are appealing to the base instincts of some of our society for the purpose of drawing cheap and instant publicity for themselves.

While the case does seem curious when you try to research it on the web, pretty much it has been decided. I mean if the Hawaiian state government officials are satisfied he is a natural-born citizen, born in their state, it seems to me the issue is pretty much settled. Add to that the fact that Obama has been president for going on three years, what would we do? Nullify everything that has happened? Tell the rest of the world, never mind, it didn’t happen? Impeach him (that of course would satisfy his detractors maybe and maybe would be in order if he really had committed fraud)?

If there really was an honest question, the issue should have been resolved in the courts before he became president. As I understand it was, in a way; the courts wouldn’t hear it for lack of evidence or standing or both.

When I try to do a brief web search (I’m not going to be doing a thorough investigation, physically going to the courthouse and such) I keep reading about the fact that something called a “Certification of Live Birth” or that is a photocopy thereof, has been released. But some say that is a short form for something else called a “Certificate (not a “certification”) of Live Birth” and and does not carry the legal weight of what they would call the  actual necessary correctly-titled legal document.

Having two children myself, born in California, I do know that parents will get two sets of documents, but I am too lazy to research my own family records (if I could even find them) to recall which is which. But I have in mind that we did get one that is not considered the official birth certificate first and then later got the actual bona fide birth certificate. But it is all kind of bureaucratese to me. I mean why do you have to have different official documents noting your birth? In the end it is the government officials of a particular state (or maybe even county) who decide what proves your birth (and in a dispute, the court system).

And of course sometimes people lose their birth certificates and worse yet there are county courthouse fires and floods and such where old records go missing. In those cases people have to get someone or ones to attest to their own memories of you being born or being around at a certain time.

My mother tells me that when she went to apply for Social Security the courthouse told her they did not have her birth certificate. Now she is 100, and it seems to me her story has changed over the years, because I thought she originally told me the certificate was lost in a courthouse fire, but now she tells me she thinks maybe partly due to the fact that she was born at home, and maybe the doctor did not notify authorities, that no record was ever made. But she was able to get the member of a prominent family in her locale of birth to attest to her being born. Good thing she never ran for or was elected president. 

Most of us do not carry our birth certificates around and are seldom asked for them (except if we look Mexican and are in Arizona), but there are cases where we are, such as I recall when one of my brothers signed up for Little League (I think just to verify age, not necessarily citizenship). I had to come up with mine years ago (for a home loan? Don’t recall) and made a special trip to San Francisco and stood in line with a whole bunch of people I had nothing in common with except we were all born in San Francisco — that is the one time I enjoyed standing in line. I felt like I was part of something special; I belonged to a distinct class.

I actually blogged on the birther issue before and I am left asking the same question:

Even though it’s a pain, I can’t see why Obama just doesn’t have the original original, standard birth certificate released for public viewing on the internet and in addition allow anyone and everyone to go to the courthouse in Hawaii, or wherever the records are kept, and see the actual document, the same document any other Hawaiian would have to show if asked for a birth certificate.

(It could be that Obama sees it to his advantage to let the seemingly crazies make fools of themselves.)

If for some reason there is no document, but the Hawaiian officials are still solid that he is certified to be a natural-born citizen born Hawaii, it might be curious, but legal is what the authorities say is legal. There are probably others who have record mix-ups, but when they need proof of citizenship, the authorities go to what they have and decide from there.

There is some talk that Obama does not want to release the original (even though he and his supporters claim, apparently using semantics, that they have released the “original”) because it has something embarrassing on it, such as a question of who his father really is. But that is just rumor, made possible, or course, by apparently withholding part of the information.

As far as I can see, it is really a curious non-serious issue, except that many who were and are uncomfortable about having someone not only black, but worldly (having lived overseas in his childhood) as president are eager to jump on anything they can, and political- and other publicity-minded opportunists are more than willing to jump on the bandwagon and use the prejudice to their advantage.

But what if it could be proved that he was not a citizen eligible to be president?

I guess impeachment would be in order. So why has that not been attempted?

Because it is probably more effective or self-satisfying to just to make noise.


Shades of Vietnam and even Somalia in Libyan crisis…

April 21, 2011

Pretending a war is not a war and suggesting that regime change was not the goal, when of course it was, has only served to move the Libya action into a stalemate (if you can’t even admit to yourself what you are trying to do, how can you be successful?).

And shades of Vietnam, but this time the British and the Italians and the French, not the United States, yet, are going to send military advisors in to help the rebel forces. I think the last I read is that the Obama administration is still maintaining no U.S. ground troops will be sent in. Would that be like Lyndon B. Johnson’s famous quote that he would not “send American boys in to do what Vietnamese boys should do for themselves”? And then he of course committed a half million troops, almost 60,000 dead, thousands gravely wounded for life, and you know the rest.

It does not seem, fortunately, this time around that there is much chance of that, at least not for the United States. I can’t imagine the electorate countenancing another all-out war, with at least one and half going on now. I would think everyone is concerned about events in Libya causing gasoline prices to spike moving into the $4-per gallon-plus and toward 5 and higher (due not to supply but the usual speculation in the market during crises — always a good opportunity for providers of oil-based fuels to jack up the profits), and if the face of that keeping themselves afloat in a stagnant economy (for the bulk of us). If we were being attacked sacrifice for survival would instantly be the order of the day.

But that begs the question as to why we are involved at all (little to gain, everything to lose).

There is some hope that the continued pressure on the Gaddafi regime by the NATO air assaults (under a UN resolution) and from the rebels on the ground might force those around Gaddafi to force him out to save their own skins — but it is not happening a month into this thing, and it is still unclear whether Gaddafi can’t actually hang on anyway.

Following the Vietnam syndrome, one of these advisers will get shot at — gee how strange in a war zone — and then there will be the call to send in the troops for real. Actually as I recall, what happened in Vietnam is that the U.S. had advisors on the ground for years and was not getting anywhere. And then we began air assaults and introduced a limited number of Marines to guard airbases, and wouldn’t you know? in a war zone they got fired at. So we sent in the whole shebang and got nowhere after a decade (that is the danger in third parties getting involved in essentially civil wars).

If the NATO coalition forces go the troops-on-the-ground route, it would seem that Obama would be pressured to send in his own commitment.

Trouble is, I don’t recall the United States ever taking a second banana-role in a military adventure. We’re just too big for that.

We should get out and stay out of Libya and not get sucked into what one pundit labeled the Vietmalia Syndrome, combining the Vietnam and Somalia fiascos (Somalia of course minor compared to Vietnam) in which there seems no great public support or interest and where there seems no way out (especially judging from recent history).

In my previous blogs I have suggested that Obama is wrong both on committing us at all to Libya and since he did, then not going all out. Maybe he is doing something right in that he is letting some of the Western European powers, most notably Britain and France, carry more of the burden, since they seem to have such a keen interest in Libya.

Maybe Gaddafi can be squeezed out, but right now it is looking like military ground action is the more likely route.

It was while fighting on this very ground, North Africa, to include Libya, where the Allies in World War II made the decision that total defeat and total surrender of Germany, which they were battling in the deserts of North Africa, would be pursued.

Strangely it seems as if liberals support the Libya action more than conservatives, even though liberals are usually tagged as military wimps. But that was kind of the case before we got into World War II. The liberals saw it as a fight between human rights and democracy and fascism and Nazism (right-wing autocratic ideologies).

American conservatives of course support democracy and the right of the individual but sometimes have a strange fascination for strong, very strong, leaders who can keep the rabble, who they fear might get some of their money and property, in line.

In the current Libya case, though, Republican conservatives don’t quite know how to play it. They don’t like Gaddafi any more than anyone else, but they don’t see any political gain from a war in Libya just now, and they would not want to be supporting a Democratic president in anything if they don’t have to (especially with the 2012 presidential election looming large). They criticized Obama for not moving fast enough on Libya and then said he overreached his power by committing American naval and air forces.

Right now, too, it’s back to the Bill Clinton idea of “it’s the economy stupid” that is on everyone’s mind. Libya seems to have fallen off the news cycle for the most part.


Tough economic times and the near welfare state cause disarray in politics and the emergence of the “pretenders”…

April 19, 2011

While I don’t think we as a nation (the United States of America) are a complete welfare state, we may be suffering from the effects of a system based on public assistance, to include various social programs most would not consider welfare.

There is nothing wrong with compassion and just plain good sense in taking care of the populace at times individuals cannot do for themselves or maybe where is seems more economical overall.

And I think those who would normally automatically stand against most social programs (except of course in those cases where they are the beneficiaries) can be quite tolerant or indifferent to the whole issue when overall economic times are good.

But they are not, overall economic times, that is. (For some, times were never better. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times and all that. This was true even in the big one, the Great Depression.)

There is open class warfare of sorts going on in this nation which translates into a disarray in the political system. It seems a complicated war, though. It is hard to pigeon-hole the participants, political players and normal citizens. In the political field we have traditional right-wing conservatives — although I would be hard-pressed to name them — ultra conservatives, and for lack of a better term, populists (whom I think in history were thought of more as liberals, but who now seem to be more of the right-wing variety).

And then we have what I would call the “pretenders”. These are people in it for the book, the fame, the promotion of themselves, or to serve as a front for rich cronies, such as I think Ronald Reagan did (although he or his political history may have turned out a little more complex than that).

But we have the likes of Sarah Palin who came out of nowhere (no offense to Alaska — I meant in the general, not geographic sense).

I admit I was taken in by her speech at the Republican convention. It is not that I liked what she said — and I do not recall what she said — but I just thought she did the talking points well and might have been what that old guy McCain needed (apparently not, though).

We all quite soon (except her faithful) found out that she was surprisingly vacuous.

Mike Huckabee, the preacher, turned politician and folksy guitarist and showman, may be sincere, but it would seem his place is more as a governor of a relatively small state, which he was, and maybe a down-home preacher, and I think he has gone show business anyway. And he is too far to the right in a nation that in truth seems to stay pretty much in the middle for the most part, especially when it comes to presidential politics..

The worst of all the pretenders, though, so far may well be Donald Trump. I don’t know much about him other than I think he made a fortune out of using “other people’s money”, or OPM, rhymes with opium, and that he went into the “reality” (which is not reality) show thing after some of his real estate and gambling deals went bad, and he has a weird hairdo and he has latched onto the birther issue because it gets great ratings among those who feel those of us who deal in facts (as best as we can determine them) and knowledge and keeping up with current events are just to smart for our own good, when the simple truth is already there, but “they“ (the elite or the government) won‘t tell you.

Oh, yes, and Trump was originally in the news years ago because of some messy divorce battle that covered the tabloids. But he is a rock-solid family values pro-life guy now, I guess, and I am being sarcastic. Maybe he appeals to the Jerry Springer set (is he still at it?).

I know some of the early (probably not to be taken too seriously) polls show Trump as a leading contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Since George W. Bush made it, I would not rule anyone out, but I do think the idea of Trump as a credible candidate is far fetched.

Since President Barack Obama seemingly has so many people from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party mad at him, as I always say, using the old journalism standard, he just might be doing something right — although I am not at all convinced that he is.

But moving quickly to the center, as many pundits say he has done, may be a good political strategy for him. Because even though the electorate veers one way or the other at times, it seems to me that in presidential politics it invariably comes back to the center.

If my memory serves me, most of the presidents or all of the presidents in my life time have been pretty much in the center, even if they may have been labeled left or right (and technically I am talking about Truman forward (although because of age, Kennedy was the first one I followed).

But this Tea Party (some say a front for big money interests playing populist) movement and this strange mixed up class warfare has changed politics.

Somehow when some of us were not paying attention or were too busy, the conservative business interests captured the imagination of many working people who heretofore might have been counted on the be solid liberal Democrats, I think. It may be a geographical thing too. Some parts of the nation are by tradition more partisan than others.

The debacle in Wisconsin is illustrative of the conflict people have over doing away with special worker rights for some and not others. If you strip public sector workers of their rights because of fiscal deficits, what about the rights of non-government workers?

I know I have heard some working people grumble that politicians, especially Democrats maybe, take them for granted .“They’re all liars,” (Republicans and Democrats) and are not friends of the working man (or woman).

Truth be told, of course, politicians find it necessary to respond to voting blocks and to sectors that can finance their campaigns. I so vividly recall (I’m repeating something I mentioned at least once or twice before in a blog post or posts) attending a meeting of the local Prune Growers Association and the president saying that although he did not like the idea of growers having to chip into a political action committee, “all these people seem to respond to is money”.

But of course, in most cases that almost has to be the way. We just can’t have everyone running for office, the field would be far too crowded and there would be no way to sort things out. So fund-raising is a gate-keeping function. It supposedly shows support. If people are willing to put up money, they must be supportive.

Also, since being a politician is a vocation, not just public service in most cases, politicians are going to listen to those who put up money in their support before anyone else every time (I did suggest in a recent post that maybe public office should just be like community service with only a stipend offered).

There was much ballyhoo about Obama raising money from small donations via the internet. I understand these days he’s going the corporate route and has a billion or so for his campaign. That money alone with the advertising it will buy and the fact that he is the incumbent will tend to make him formidable.

He had supposedly awakened interest in young and heretofore unconcerned people, but that has faded. Some expected too much and many felt they had been used badly.

There has been talk of rebellion in the Democratic ranks against Obama. It would seem political suicide for the party to challenge its own incumbent in the 2012 election, though.

But both the Democratic and Republican parties are struggling with this kind of convoluted form of class warfare where it is hard to identify the opposing sides. The end result is that moderate candidates feel cowed into submitting to the extremists, particularly on the Republican side.

A moderate Republican, if there is one, does not seem to dare challenge the Tea Party faction (and it is still unclear just what the heck the Tea Party is all about) or even the evangelical religious crowd.

And just as I am about ready to post this, I read that Jon M. Huntsman Jr., a Republican, who was appointed by Obama to be ambassador to China, and who is now leaving that post, may run for president (well of course that has been suggested for some time). He is a former governor of Utah. He is described as a fiscal conservative, but a social moderate. He is a scion of a family who has made a fortune in the chemical business. And he is Mormon, but supported John McCain and not Mitt Romney, who is also, of course, Mormon.

Who knows? The year 2012 might be the year the Mormons capture the presidency.

Despite the noise from the Tea Party or Sarah Palin or Donald Trump, I think in the end, a strong fiscal conservative and socially moderate Republican candidate could win if the electorate is dissatisfied with continued high unemployment, economic stagnation, a seemingly insoluble national debt problem, and an American foreign policy out of control.


Why does the government borrow money? We all should pay our share of the bill…

April 14, 2011

I haven’t been able to catch President Obama’s budget proposal or reaction to Republican budget proposals — well just a tiny bit — because I have been busy working and I’m in a spot where my mobile internet connection is poor, but really, I know it all still boils down to a difference in philosophy on the role of government and whether things should work for the people in general or just the capitalists who run things. I know that people who see themselves as business persons or investors or just smart with money look down their noses at ignorant folks who have little to no investments and basically depend upon a pay check.

I blogged previously, that is I suggested that maybe no one should work for anyone, that maybe we should all be capitalists.

But seriously, here is something that occurs to me: why should the government be borrowing money? Should not the money be raised in taxes? I know that the federal government has found it necessary in times past to borrow money for emergencies, namely war (but that should be when we are actually directly attacked, not when we simply choose to make war for geopolitical purposes). But to fund things outside of emergencies seems unwise. And, it is just a plain bad thing to stick us all, and those to come, with a mountain of interest to pay.

I am not at all sure how anyone thinks the multi-trillion dollar debt can ever be paid, but I did hear that most of they money the government now takes in, or at least in the near future, will go to just servicing the debt.

Someone was also trying to explain that cutting expenditures in and of itself does nothing to pay off the existing debt. It seems to me that the government might be forced to levy a special tax just to make payments on the debt.

I know not nearly enough on economics, but I do know that generally the people who lend the money have the upper hand over the people who borrow it.

Liberals are guilty of expecting the government to magically find money for expansive (and expensive) social programs. Conservatives are guilty of supporting massive government borrowing in favor of holding down taxes and of supporting wars that are not supported by taxes.

I also heard a conservative talk show host claim that you can only raise taxes so high before people resist by taking their business elsewhere. That may be true, but don’t let the door hit you on the way out of the country, I say. And I do not mean I support high taxes, but I do think that businesses people cannot expect America to be there for them if they are not there for it.

And I don’t favor soaking the rich. I would favor a much simpler tax code, and possibly a flat tax, devoid of most deductions and loopholes, and a ban on government borrowing, except in emergencies.

But then what do I know? But then what do our current crop of leaders know?