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COMMENTARY

4A • THE ALPENA NEWS

THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010

WILLIAM B. SPEER Editor/Publisher bspeer@thealpenanews.com STEVE MURCH Managing Editor smurch@thealpenanews.com

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Viewpoint

Deal with national debt, but Pit bulls, elephants and grizzlies, oh my not at expense of Americans

The $8.7 trillion in government debt held by the public is 64 percent of the gross domestic product — the amount of goods and services produced in the United States in a year — according to the International Monetary Fund. Growth of the debt is out of control, the IMF has warned. Consider this: If you have a child born today and he goes on to attend college, the publicly-held debt will double to 135 percent of GDP before he graduates, according to IMF projections. That grim level will be reached in 2030 at the current rate of expansion. Also consider that the total U.S. debt is $13 trillion, including that held by other governments. Stronger measures need to be taken to curb growth of the U.S. debt, the IMF has urged. While the international agency reported the U.S. economy does seem to be pulling out of recession, continued reliance on deficit spending will wreck it in the future. The IMF report recommends government spending cuts as one method of curbing deficit spending. But the agency seems to place more reliance on tax increases as a way of getting the U.S. budget closer to balance. One possibility is a national sales tax, the IMF suggests. While we agree that deficit spending needs to be curbed, we wonder whether IMF economists considered the effect of massive tax increases. Forcing consumers and businesses to bear most of the burden of balancing the budget would plunge the economy back into recession — or worse. Yes, the national debt is a major worry. But no, dumping the burden of dealing with it on consumers and businesses is not a good strategy.

WASHand, recently, sophisticated messaging. INGTON — In the nearly two years since she beSarah Palin, came the first female Republican vice the ubiquitous presidential candidate, Sarah has morenchantress of phed from a pit bull with lipstick to a disenthe mama grizzly. Grrrrrrrr. chanted, may Her newest YouTube hit, recently not have been released by her political action comready to lead mittee, SarahPAC, is a montage of KATHLEEN PARKER video clips from various speeches the free world Syndicated Columnist (http://bit.ly/akOoko). Jaw-juttingly back when John McCain patriotic and estrogen rich, not to anointed her mention cute as a button, Sarah ralas his running mate. But she’s left rub- lies her fellow grizzlettes to show ber on the road that leads to fame, for- Washington a thing or three come Notune and a new feminine mystique that vember. drives certain men and women wild — The genius of Sarah’s message, whatin very different ways. ever it is, is that it doesn’t matter what it For what it’s worth, I get a kick out of is. Of course Americans want their counSarah. May I call her Sarah? try back. We’d prefer that China not own She and I apparently share a certain us. Most don’t like unfunded federal genetic predisposition to annoy all the mandates, takeovers or bailouts. Except right people. These would be the folks when it benefits us directly. who take themselves and their ideologies These are not uniquely Sarah’s or Rea tad too seriously. Thus, when I was publicans’ thoughts. More than a few promoting my book, “Save the Males,” I Democrats are equally concerned about wore an aggressively feminine suit — deficit spending and a health care plan pink with a bow in back — just to irritate without cost controls. hard-line feminists, who, without bothNo, the genius isn’t the message, but ering to read the book, would hate it on the messenger. Sarah has positioned hersight. self as the spokesperson for The Good I happen to hate bows, but it was Woman (i.e. conservatives) and thus has worth it. inoculated herself and her message from Likewise, Sarah knows just what criticism. To criticize Sarah now is to imdrives us all nuts and, instead of chang- pugn Womankind. Worse, it is antiing her tune, she turns up the volume — Mom. and triples down. Don’t like her little red One never tires of Mom, I suppose. shoes? She’ll add a red leather jacket. I’m a mom. You’re a mom. We all had a Got gloss? mom. Why, even some Democratic This woman is not to be feared or women are moms. Don’t they love their loathed. She is to be taken with a grain little darlings just as much as conservaof humor and a dash of admiration. A tive women do? different version of Madonna, she’s a The Mom Movement is hardly new. public relations machine who manipu- Soccer moms, long ago identified as a lates public perception with well-timed voting bloc, are nearly passe, iced from

the zeitgeist by hockey moms and, now, mama bears. Womanhood has become a zoo. And we thought men were the beasts. “This year will be remembered as a year when common-sense conservative women get things done for our country,” says Sarah in her new video. “These policies coming out of D.C. right now, this fundamental transformation of America, well, a lot of women who are very concerned about their kids’ futures are saying, ëWe don’t like this fundamental transformation and we’re gonna do something about it.’” As described by Sarah, the “Mom Awakening” can be visualized as mama grizzlies on their hind legs ready to maul anyone who tries “to do something adverse toward their cubs.” So, mixed-metaphor alert: “Look out, Washington, because there’s a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing the line and the ETA, stampeding through, is November 2, 2010. Lotta women comin’ together.” Well, who’s to argue with a lotta women comin’ together? It’s the sisterhood, baby. Wear pink and put a bow on it. Sarah’s long-term plans are anybody’s guess. Anyone who thinks she won’t run for president because she’s making too much money on the celebrity circuit is missing a big point. You make money as a presidential candidate, too. If you win, you’re president. If you lose, you’re rich. And don’t tell her she can’t. If you do, she’s just gonna get feistier and cuter. Next thing you know she’ll be a dadgum lioness givin’ heck to those media hyenas, just the way they can’t stand it. Look outcha! Kathleen Parker’s e-mail address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

It’s now time for something completely different

If there’s a characteristic American trait, it’s moving ahead. Our great 19thcentury chronicler, Alexis de TocRICH LOWRY queville, noted Syndicated Columnist how Americans would leave their new homes — onto the next thing! — even before they had a chance to finish the roofs. That’s why President Barack Obama’s new theme of forward vs. backwards is so obvious, David Axelrod could have come up with it in his sleep. Obama rolled it out at a campaign event in Missouri last week. “It’s a choice between the policies that led us into this mess and the policies that are leading us out of this mess,” Obama said of the midterm elections. “It’s a choice between falling backwards or moving forward.” This is paint-by-the-numbers campaigning. It’s also ham-handed and faintly ridiculous.

What were the policies that created this mess? Obama assails the Bush tax cuts, although he wants to retain them for families making less than $250,000 a year. In fact, Obama brags about his own prowess as a taxcutter. “We cut taxes — didn’t raise them, we cut them — for 95 percent of working families and small-business owners,” he boasted in Missouri. There’s no theory for why tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 would have caused a housing crash in 2007 and 2008. Perhaps it was the tax cuts for savings and investment? But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was on CNBC the other day saying that the administration doesn’t want rates on capital gains and dividends — now 15 percent — to rise above 20 percent, as part of his ongoing my-bossreally-doesn’t-hate-business tour. Did the Bush tax cuts fuel the deficit? In 2007, the budget deficit was a puny $160 billion. It’s true that George W. Bush handed over a recession-bloated deficit of more than a trillion dollars to Obama, but deficits are better than surpluses in a weak economy, according to Obama’s boosters. Obama added as much new deficit spending as he plausibly could as quickly as pos-

sible, and still wants more now. Maybe the lax regulation of Wall Street was blame-worthy? The key piece of financial deregulation was negotiated between then-Sen. Phil Gramm and then-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers — now a key Obama official — and signed by Bill Clinton in 1999. It’s a stretch to blame this bipartisan, pre-Bush legislation for the crisis, which had the housing bubble and bust at its root. Maybe the regulators were asleep at the switch? Yes, the economy’s most important regulator, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, kept interest rates too low for too long. Obama has retained him as his Fed chairman. The bubble and the perilous state of the banks caught Geithner, the head of the New York Fed with direct oversight of Wall Street, flat-footed. Obama promoted him to treasury secretary. There’s a vein of continuity in the bailouts and stimuli, too. The Bush administration instituted TARP and began the bailout of the car companies; the Obama administration picked up where it left off. The Bush administration embraced tax rebates and tax credits to stimulate the econ-

omy; so has the Obama administration. On several fronts, it’s the sheer magnitude of the Obama agenda that constitutes its radicalism, not its direction. In Missouri, Obama touted subsidies to green energy as his forward-looking economic development agenda, as if the landscape weren’t already littered with such programs. BP alone gets $600 million in subsidies for ethanol. That’s the former wonder fuel that has proven both uneconomical and unenvironmental. The new departure in American politics is represented by the tea partiers. They are hell on lawmakers who voted for the bailouts; they consider both Bush and Obama spending anathema; and they have endorsed candidates who have said things about entitlements — the driver of our long-term deficits — that no establishment Republican or Democrat would ever dare utter. This is something truly bold and refreshing. The president will try to beat them back in November. It’s a contest properly defined as the status quo vs. change, with Obama’s engorged federal establishment in the unenviable position of representing the former. (Rich Lowry can be reached via e-mail: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com)

Before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People decided to ride the anti-tea party wave MICHELLE MALKIN back to politiSyndicated Columnist cal relevancy, its most recent activist crusade involved a silly space-themed Hallmark graduation card. Yes, the NAACP has been lost in space for quite some time now. And blaming whitey will no longer cut it. In June, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP demanded that the greeting card be pulled because it used the term “black holes” (which the bionically equipped ears of the p.c. police insisted sounded like “black whores”). “It sounds like a group of children laughing and joking about blackness,” one NAACP official complained. It was a group of hipster cartoon characters chattering about the universe and galaxies and wide-open possibilities to new high school and college grads. Alas, this is what has become of the once-inspired drive against racial discrimination. In just a few short decades, the stalwart strivers for equality have turned into coddled whiners for hypersensitivity. The NAACP is

a laughingstock. The group no longer represents the best interests of oppressed minorities, but the thin-skinned whims of the black elite and the ravenous appetite of the Nanny State. Establishment civil rights leaders now use their once-compelling moral authority to hector, bully and shake down corporate and political targets. As Ward Connerly, the truly maverick opponent of government racial preferences who is black, wrote recently, “the NAACP is not so much a civil-rights organization as it is a trade association with clear links to the Democratic Party, despite the claim of its chairman that ‘the NAACP has always been non-partisan.’ Such a statement doesn’t pass the giggle test. The NAACP uses the plight of poor black people as a fig leaf to hide its true agenda of promoting policies that benefit their dues-paying members, not black people in general or poor black people in particular.” To compensate for squandering the proud history of the civil rights organization on innocent greeting cards, NAACP leaders introduced a much-hyped resolution at their annual convention this week attacking the nation’s biggest racial bogeyman: the tea party movement. It’s a tried and true tactic of worn-out grievance-mongers: When you can’t find evil enough enemies to blame for your problems, manufacture them. (Just ask hate crimes huckster Al Sharpton.) This is why one of the most popular signs spotted at tea party protests across the country remains the one that reads:

“It doesn’t matter what this sign says. You’ll call it racism, anyway!” The NAACP resolution calls on its chapters across the country to “repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties” and stand against the movement’s attempt to “push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.” Yet, it’s the NAACP that lobbied the Obama White House to dismiss voter intimidation charges against the thugs of the New Black Panther Party, according to Justice Department whistleblower J. Christian Adams. It’s the NAACP that opposes the 21st century school choice movement to free poor minority students from rotten government schools, as black parents in Washington, D.C., have suffered firsthand. It’s the NAACP that elevates “diversity” above academic rigor as its primary education goal. And it’s the NAACP that backs retrograde, race-based set-asides and classifications that encourage cronyism of color championed by their water-carriers at the Congressional Black Caucus. And it’s the NAACP that tolerates racist sneers and smears like those leveled by the St. Louis NAACP chapter against black limitedgovernment activist Kenneth Gladney, who was derided by civil rights leaders as an “Uncle Tom” after he was beaten bloody by Service Employees International Union henchmen last summer. Addressing the convention on Monday, first lady Michelle Obama urged NAACP mau-mau-ers to “increase” their “intensity.”

She’s a pro at employing intense accusations of racial oppression as a defense against criticism and milking the victim-ocracy for all its worth. At Princeton, she complained about “further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.” But rather than remaining “on the periphery,” Mrs. Obama climbed the crooked Chicago ladder on a rapid ascent to the top. She hopped from Princeton to Harvard to prestigious law firms, cushy nonprofit gigs and an exclusive Hyde Park manse, before landing in the East Wing with the greatest of ease. Question the timing of the tea party-demonizing resolution? You bet. The NAACP’s man at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. finds himself radically out of step with the American mainstream in the lead-up to the 2010 midterms. He sent his wife to the convention to re-establish White House racial authenticity at a time when increasing numbers of minorities are now as fed up with massive debt, usurpation of individual liberties, corruption in Washington and chaos on the border as everyone else. It’s a black hole bonanza. Queue the distraction: RAAAACIST! Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinbloggmail.com.

National Association for the Advancement of Coddled People


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