Current Event Ramblings, December 18

Today's stuff while I'm waiting for my clothes to finish washing....

Another half-inch of global warming fell on Paju Thursday night.

The "tax cut bill" passed Congress and is being touted as a victory for Obama.  It wasn't, it was a victory for the Tea Party (and rest of the American people) who forced Obama to give up his plan to nix the current (Bush) tax rates.  And remember, this wasn't a "tax cut"; except for one minor payroll tax (used to "fund" Social Security), there was no lessening of taxes.  This was simply a retention of the lower tax rates the Republicans passed under Bush several years ago.  But this is the way liberals, Congress, and the media spin things:  a lessening of anticipated tax or spending hikes is called a "cut."  For example, Congress announces that, for the next fiscal year, they are going to increase the funding of project X by $5 billion.  But then, deals are made and Project X only gets $2 billion more.  Congress has thus made a "cut" (I'm not lying, that's what they do).  In this present case, since the Bush tax rates were to end this December, and since Congress decided to extend them, taxes were "cut."  There are a lot of people stupid enough to believe that.  But there are a lot of people who aren't, too.

Incidentally, Obama and leading Democrats (like Dick Durbin) are now arguing that raising taxes in a recession is bad economic policy.  If they had admitted that two years ago and cut taxes, as they should have, instead of wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on "stimulus" packages that didn't work, and sending anti-business signals every time they spoke, then the recession would be over by now.  It shouldn't have lasted more than three or four months anyway, and wouldn't have if the brainless politicians (on both sides of the aisle) had left it alone.  Obama is setting himself up for a win-win here, and the "mainstream" media is playing along with him, of course.  If the economy improves over the next two years, he can claim that it was his tax bill that caused it.  If the economy doesn't improve (which it probably won't), he can announce that tax cuts don't help economic growth.  What you must keep in mind is that this bill does NOT cut taxes; it keeps the current rates in place.  These rates have been operative since long Obama came to office and were insufficient to spur economic growth, thus there is no reason to expect massive economic growth in the near future.  A real cut, i.e., a lowering of the rates across the board and a relaxation of regulations on business are what are truly needed.  A flat tax of about 5% on all Americans would be where I would put it.  And then an elimination of all useless, unconstitutional government spending, i.e., about 99% of it.  But I'm dreaming, of course.

North Korea announced yesterday that if the South went ahead with some planned military activites in the next few days on the disputed Yeonpyeong Island (the one the North bombed last month), that it would retaliate more strongly than it did on November 23.  Still huffing and puffing.  Yeonpyeong Island is about 50 miles from Paju.

Noon update:  The South Korean government has made it known that they will proceed with the military drills on Yeonpyeong Island, regardless of the North's threat.  The drills will probably be held Tuesday.  This could get interesting because the North has flat said they will retalitate for any South Korean military activity on the island, which is right on the border between the two countries.  Not that they might retaliate, but that they will

We'll see who blinks this time--if anybody.