Why do we listen to the terminally stupid and perpetually wrong? – Tea Party Nation

Why do we listen to the terminally stupid and perpetually wrong? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Liberals have one unique characteristic.  This is something we can say about the liberals of 100 years ago, who gave us the first big bite of liberalism, namely the income tax, to contemporary liberals who are trying to force socialist healthcare on America.

 What is the characteristic all liberals share?  What is it about them that we need to exploit in order to defeat liberalism once and for all?

 It is simple.  Liberals are always wrong.

 In two years, we will mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty

 How’s that one working out?

 For fifty years, we have seen massive increases in welfare spending.  Welfare spending is now the third largest item in the Federal Budget.  It is actually so large and so confusing, the General Accountability Office cannot identify all of the welfare programs the government has nor can it identify all of the money spent on welfare programs.

 Welfare programs, at least as of 2010 cost the average American household $638 a month. 

 If we suddenly eliminated all welfare spending and allowed Americans to keep that money, almost every American household could immediately afford at least one new car, if not two.  That would do more for the American economy and the American people than welfare has.

 In 1964, Lyndon Johnson announced his war on poverty.  If it is a war, we are supposed to win, right? 

 According to the Cato Institute, we spend $1 trillion a year.  To what result?  The poverty rate is the same as it was when the war on poverty started in 1964.    The Obama Regime has increased welfare spending by over 40% during its tenure. 

 Poverty?  Still the same and we now have the Great Obama Depression, which if anything is only making poverty worse.

 Here is a simple question.  Has welfare ever eliminated poverty?

 The answer is no.

 America is not the only nation with welfare programs.  Have any of them ever eliminated poverty?

 Can a liberal name a single nation anywhere that has implemented a socialist welfare system and has been able to shut it down because the programs have succeeded in eliminating poverty?

 The answer is no.

 It never has because welfare programs do not work.   All they do is subsidize poverty and as anyone who has studied economics knows, anything you subsidize, you get more of.

 If you try the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, you are not just insane.   You are perpetually wrong and terminally stupid.

 This is the story of liberalism.

 Liberals are never right. 

 That is why the left must resort to their typical ad hominem attacks.  That is why they produce commercials showing Republicans pushing granny off the cliff.  That is why they go through the minority communities screaming racism.  Liberals cannot handle the truth and the truth is, their ideas suck and so do they.

 We the people have the right to demand that if our government is going to spend money on anything, that the money be spent wisely and if a program or programs do not work, they must be eliminated.

 Unfortunately, the government does not have a clue if welfare programs do anything other than to buy votes for the Party of Treason. 

 On June 1, 2011, the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, held a hearing on Welfare Spending and Inefficiencies.

 Patricia Dalton, the Chief Operating Officer of the General Accountability Office testified that she could not identify the number of welfare programs, how much money was spent on them or even the percentage of programs that were actually accomplishing the purposes they were created for.

 Only a government run by liberals thinks this is a good idea.

 Not only has no government ever eliminated poverty through welfare programs, no nation has ever provided decent healthcare through a massive socialist government program.  They have all failed. 

 In Britain, they are now privatizing their National Health Service.  Back in April, the far left Guardian reported the delays in healthcare were becoming intolerable, forcing the British Prime Minister to act.   Patients were being denied joint replacements, cataracts surgery and hernia repairs because the socialist healthcare system was broke. 

 In Britain, like all other places where socialist healthcare has been tried, it has failed.  Yet what does the left want to impose on America?

 You guessed it.

 Those on the left are terminally stupid and perpetually wrong.  They do not deserve respect; they deserve contempt for what they are doing. 

 What we need is an aggressive Republican Party that will not only call them on their stupidity but will also push a strongly conservative agenda.  If the Republicans will not lead on this, we must force them to.

 Liberalism has failed every time it has been tried.  The Free Market not only works but it has made America great.  It is time we forgot about the war on poverty and started a war on socialism. 

 Unlike those on the left, we conservatives believe in winning our wars.

RAHN: Spending lies run into facts – Washington Times

Spending lies run into facts – RAHN – Washington Times.

Congress leads on spending, and Democrats gained control in 2006

By Richard Rahn – The Washington Times

Many in the political class, including President Obama and many members of Congress, have an interest in confusing, rather than enlightening, the public. The effort to misinform about the growth in spending and the impact of government spending on job creation reached a new level last week when the president claimed he was the most restrained spender since President Eisenhower and that spending was up only a little more than 1 percent (over what?).

Presidents do not set spending levels, but they do influence them. Congress has the responsibility under the Constitution to tax and spend, and not one dollar can be spent legally by the government without the permission of Congress. Congress is elected in November of even-numbered years. The members take office in January of the following year. The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 until Sept. 30 of the next year, and therein lies the opportunity for obfuscation.

In 2006, the Democrats won control of both houses of Congress. By the time the new Congress was seated in late January 2007, approximately a third of the 2007 fiscal year was already over. For those of you who dislike numbers, just skip the next paragraph, which details who is responsible for the approximately 43 percent increase in federal spending in the past six years.

The last Republican budget, in 2006, was $2.66 trillion (20.1 percent of gross domestic product, or GDP). The first full Democratic budget was $2.98 trillion, in 2008 (20.8 percent of GDP). The last full Democratic budget was $3.6 trillion for 2011 (24.1 percent of GDP). The Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and were seated in January 2011, and hence the first budget they needed to approve was the 2012 budget ($3.8 trillion or 24.3 percent of GDP).

Sometimes the Democrats claim the big increase in spending was necessary to revive the economy and create jobs, but at other times they claim that there was no big increase in spending and they were not responsible for the resulting deficits. Sometimes the Republicans claim big spending increases destroy jobs, but at other times they advocate or vote for many specific spending programs.

A quick review of economic policy for the past 30 years, as can be seen in a glance at the accompanying table, provides evidence that big increases in government spending do not create jobs but, in fact, do the opposite. The correct way to measure the impact of government spending is not to look at the nominal numbers, which include population and economic growth and inflation, but rather as a percentage of GDP (national output).

Every president who has run for office since at least Richard Nixon, including even Mr. Obama, has promised to cut government spending when campaigning. And most members of Congress make the same pledge when running for office. Once they’re in office, their behavior almost always changes. President Reagan managed, with a partially Democratic Congress, to reduce spending during his last six years, after an increase in his first two years. And President Clinton, with the new Newt Gingrich Republican Congress, was even more successful in cutting spending during his last six years.

It is a myth that increases in government spending create jobs. The correct way to measure job creation is to look at the percentage of the adult population that is employed. The unemployment rate numbers only indicate those who are still looking for work and do not measure those who have become discouraged and dropped out of the workforce. The chart clearly shows increases in government spending are associated with fewer jobs, not more. The data for the past hundred years shows the same negative relationship between the growth in government and the number of jobs. It is no coincidence that European and other countries with larger governments almost always have lower labor-force participation rates.

Most government spending is for transfer payments – other than defense. The transfer payments are funded through higher taxes on productive workers and through borrowing, both of which have a negative impact on economic growth. And many of those who receive the transfers only receive them on the condition of not working, as in the case of certain welfare and unemployment compensations. That, combined with the normal inefficiencies and misallocation of resources found in government, results in lower output and growth and negative job creation.

Those who advocate more government spending to create jobs are almost always those who fail to understand the secondary effects of such policies or are leftist ideologues impervious to reason. The next time you hear someone say the government needs to spend more to create jobs, ask where the money comes from. If they don’t look totally perplexed and are bright enough to say from taxes or borrowing, ask them what the costs are to the economy and effects on jobs of those activities. Perhaps it will nudge them to start thinking about such matters.

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

NUGENT: War on poverty is over – we lost – Washington Times

NUGENT: War on poverty is over – we lost – Washington Times.

Nearly 50 years and $15 trillion later, the poor are still poor

By Ted Nugent – The Washington Times

Here’s a painful yet inescapable statement of the obvious to people with common sense and a lick of reality: Poor people are poor because they make poor decisions. That’s the root cause of poverty.

Now, with the Obama money-burning orgy in full swing, America herself is financially poor because, according to the Cato Institute, American taxpayers have been conned into spending $15 trillion since 1965 on President Lyndon Johnson’s brownie-point “war to eliminate poverty.”

The results have been pathetically poor. The percentage of poor people in 1965 was roughly the same percentage of poor people in America today, but a staggering $15 trillion has been wasted.

Since 1965, we have fought the war on poverty with all the wrong generals, all the wrong tactics and all the wrong weapons. And it’s costing us $1 trillion a year to continue to lose this war.

What our $15 trillion has bought us is institutional and generational poverty. Reward bad decisions and bad decisions increase. Ya think?

Like all conservatives, I want to and I do help poor Americans. I don’t wish to condemn them to a life of poverty, which is one of the driving political platforms of the Democratic Party.

If our goal is to win the war on poverty, it’s time we changed tactics. Instead of setting another trillion dollars on fire this year, I recommend we slam the financial door shut on pouring more hard-earned money after more bad money with guaranteed despicable results.

Here’s another blazing statement of the obvious: Poor people will quit being poor when our government quits enabling, bribing, training and rewarding them to be poor. Write that down.

People can and will do amazing things when Fedzilla removes its heavy bureaucratic boot off of their throats.

It’s really quite simple. The road from poverty to the middle class is paved with good decisions, willpower, a kick-butt work ethic and an alarm clock. That’s the recipe for wealth and glorious independence.

The very first thing that needs to be done to eliminate poverty is to stop punishing the producers and expand economic freedom. You don’t need to be an economist or a greasy guitar player to understand that punishing the wealthy ultimately hurts poor Americans. The Obama administration’s plan: Tax the wealthy even more and increase the incentive for the poor to remain poor. Are you kidding me?

Economic freedom means freedom from burdensome government regulations and policies that strangle the life out of small businesses and the free market. This administration is addicted to more anti-business regulations and more control, which ultimately exacerbates poverty. Who could not possibly know this?

We’ve got to quit stabbing ourselves in the eye with an ice pick and then complain we can’t see.

While we desperately need to eliminate the vast controls over economic freedom on the wealthy, we also need to eliminate the government poverty programs that enable and encourage people to be poor instead of encouraging them to be free, independent, self-reliant people.

Government causes poverty because it enables poor people to continue to make poor decisions. If we want to win the war on poverty, we’ve first got to win the war against Fedzilla, which intentionally causes poverty and causes American taxpayers to set fire to a trillion dollars a year.

Fedzilla does all the wrong things right. It’s time to reverse course and demand our government do all the right things right.

All good things start with more freedom. We will only eliminate poverty when we embrace more freedom.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

How the Left Thinks Gun Control Actually Works – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

How the Left Thinks Gun Control Actually Works – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

While there are some statists who viscerally despise freedom and want ordinary citizens disarmed so that only the government has guns, most supporters of gun control presumably are motivated by a sincere desire to reduce crime and violence.

Their problem is a naive assumption that bad people will obey laws banning gun ownership and possession. Or a flawed assumption that the police can be everywhere.

And this is why this video is not only funny, but also a glimpse into the leftist mindset.

It was included in a comment on this post featuring a very funny cartoon,

but it definitely deserves more attention.

And if you like videos upholding the right to keep and bear arms, check out this heartwarming Christmas story.

Last but not least, this poster (click to enlarge) is quite effective.

Indeed, this post about the Fort Hood murders, featuring the superb analysis of John Lott, is must reading on the foolishness of so-called gun free zones.

 

Should States Be Allowed to Tax Outside their Borders, Particularly if It Means a Database of Your Online Purchases?

Tax competition, as I have explained to the point of being a nuisance, is an important restraint on the greed of the political class. Simply stated, politicians are less like to over-tax and over-spend if they know that geese with the golden eggs can fly across the border.

This is mostly an issue in the world of international tax policy, but the same principles apply for sub-national governments inside a nation.

State and local governments should compete with each by offering the best fiscal climate. Sadly, just as high-tax nations such as France and Germany are trying to hinder global tax competition, high-tax state governments are seeking to undermine fiscal rivalry inside the United States.

More specifically, they want to create a state sales tax cartel that would allow governments to force out-of-state businesses serve as deputy tax collectors. Greedy politicians are fearful that online shopping deprives them of revenue, so they are pushing for a privacy-threatening database that will enable them to track and tax these transactions.

I explained this issue last week for a standing-room-only audience on Capitol Hill.

The entire discussion is posted online, including the very astute observations of my former Heritage Foundation colleague, Adam Thierer, now at the Mercatus Center.

Investor’s Business Daily also has opined on why this is a bad idea, but if you want to get really worried, the clowns at the United Nations want to power to tax and regulate the Internet.

 

 

A Safer Society with Guns – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative Columnists

A Safer Society with Guns – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

A Safer Society with Guns - Jeff Jacoby - Townhall Conservative Columnists

THE COLORADO SUPREME COURT put some noses out of joint when it ruled unanimously this month that the University of Colorado‘s campus gun ban violated a 2003 state law that entitles residents with permits to carry concealed weapons.

One of those noses belonged to Abraham Nowels, a University of Colorado student who wrote to the Denver Post: “We’re in the middle of midterms right now, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be focusing on than which of my fellow over-stressed, binge-drinking peers is carrying a concealed weapon into class with me.” The Post agreed, pleading in an editorial for “legislators with enough gumption” to change the state’s concealed-carry law and “give colleges the power they need to keep students safe.”

To those with an emotional bias against guns, it goes without saying that more guns in private hands invariably mean more crime and violence. If the number of people carrying firearms on campus rises, then of course that campus is less safe: What could be more obvious?

But it isn’t obvious at all.

While the University of Colorado spent much of the past decade resisting the state’s concealed-carry law, Colorado State University complied with it. If the gun controllers are right, Colorado State should have seen a surge in crime, while its gun-banning sister institution should have been an Eden of security and lawfulness. That’s not what happened. As Clayton E. Cramer and David Burnett write in a new monograph for the Cato Institute, “crime at the University of Colorado has risen 35 percent since 2004, while crime at Colorado State University has dropped 60 percent in the same time frame.”

Something similar happened after the US Supreme Court’s 2008 Heller decision striking down the longstanding gun ban in Washington, DC. The city’s mayor predicted in dismay that “more handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence,” yet crime in the nation’s capital plunged. Murder nose-dived to its lowest rate in half a century, falling from 186 in 2008 to 144 in 2009 to 132 in 2010 to 108 in 2011 — a far greater decline, as economist John Lott points out, than in the rest of the country, or in cities of comparable size.

To be sure, correlation doesn’t prove causation. But the experience of Colorado and DC should come as no surprise. There is by now so much evidence that higher rates of gun ownership lead to lower rates of crime that it isn’t hard to fathom why fewer and fewer Americans want to ban handguns.ording to Gallup, just 26 percent of the public now thinks the private possession of handguns should be illegal — down from 60 percent half a century ago. Roughly 1 of every 4 Americans reports keeping a gun to protect themselves or their homes. Having a gun makes many people — for good reason — feel safer.

How often firearms are used defensively is a much-debated question in American criminology. Respected studies over the years have come up with estimates that range widely, from more than 100,000 defensive gun uses annually to as many as 2.5 million. Whatever the number is, it clearly isn’t trivial. An enormous amount of death, bloodshed, and suffering is prevented in this country by ordinary citizens with firearms.

That doesn’t mean terrible things can’t sometimes happen when a gun is used for protection. Trayvon Martin, an Orlando teen, was shot dead last month by a Florida man who claims he was acting in self-defense. Yet the teen carried nothing more deadly than a bag of candy, and police told the gunman — a Neighborhood Watch patrol member — not to follow him.

Such tragic tales inevitably draw the spotlight. Far more common, but far less likely to be played up, are cases where guns are used to scare off, resist, or thwart a genuinely dangerous criminal. For their Cato paper, Cramer and Burnett assembled nearly 5,000 news stories reported by the media between 2003 and 2011. Their catalogue includes instances of armed customers preventing a store from being robbed, of victims fighting off would-be rapists, of senior citizens defending against a home invader, of attempted carjackings foiled because the driver had a gun — even of self-defense against deadly animals.

Of course, most defensive gun uses never make the news at all. As Cramer and Burnett observe, “Man Scares Away Burglar, No Shots Fired,” is not a very compelling headline.

But with or without headlines, millions of Americans grasp instinctively that guns make us safer. For when honest citizens carry weapons, criminals are less likely to attack — and those who do are more likely to fail.

Never Trust Government Numbers

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, authored...

Image via Wikipedia

Never Trust Government Numbers.

John Stossel – Townhall.com

President Obama said in his State of the Union speech, “We’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings.”

That was reassuring.

The new budget he released this week promises $4 trillion in “deficit reduction” — about half in tax increases and half in spending cuts. But like most politicians, Obama misleads.

Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell cut through the fog to get at the truth of the $2 trillion “cut.”

“We have a budget of, what, almost $4 trillion? So if we’re doing $2 trillion of cuts,” Mitchell said, “we’re cutting government in half. That sounds wonderful.”

But what the president was talking about is not even a cut. The politicians just agreed that over the next 10 years, instead of increasing spending by $9.48 trillion, they’d increase it by “just” $7.3 trillion. Calling that a “cut” is nonsense.

Mitchell gave an analogy: “What if I came to you and said, ‘I’ve been on a diet for the last month, and I’ve gained 10 pounds. Isn’t that great?’ You would say: ‘Wait, what are you talking about? That’s insane.’ And I said: ‘I was going to gain 15 pounds. I’ve only gained 10 pounds, therefore my diet is successful.’”

Democrats use this deceit when they want more social spending. Republicans use it for military spending.

And the press buys it. The Washington Post has been writing about “draconian cuts.”

“The politicians know this game,” Mitchell said. “The special interests know this game. Everyone gets a bigger budget every year. … And we wind up, sooner or later, being Greece.”

We are definitely on the road to bankruptcy.

“We have maybe 10, 15 years’ advanced notice. And what’s frustrating is that we’re not taking advantage of that, even as we see these other countries collapsing into social chaos and disarray.”

Mitchell points out that the politicians don’t even have to make actual cuts to save the future. If they just slowed the growth of government to about 2 percent per year, the U.S. economy could grow out of this mess. But the politicians won’t do even that.

“Being from the Cato Institute, I actually do want to cut spending. But if all we’re trying to do is balance the budget over 10 years, which is sort of the minimal thing that politicians keep saying we should do, if we simply limit the growth of spending to 2 percent a year, which is about the projected rate of inflation, we’ll have a balanced budget in 2022. … But instead, the politicians say, ‘Oh, we’ll have draconian and savage budget cuts.’ … They don’t want to put government on a diet, even if that diet allows spending to grow 2 percent a year.”

They also continually mislead us about what their schemes will cost.

President Bush said the war in Iraq would cost $50 billion to $60 billion. It cost $800 billion. When Medicare Part A was created, the government said it would cost $9 billion in 1990. It cost $67 billion. They said the hiring of TSA airport security screeners would cost $100 million. Then they spent $700 million. Yet the media report the estimates as if they are realistic. Again and again, politicians get away with underestimating the cost of their programs.

Often the cost goes up because people change their behavior to get free stuff. A program meant to help the needy costs a certain amount. The next year, it costs more, because now more of the needy know about the program and more social workers know how to tap it. The next year, the non-needy feel like suckers if they don’t get the handout, and they figure out a way to game the system.

Then, Mitchell point out, “what do politicians do the next year? They expand the program to buy more votes. And the year after that, they add a new benefit. That’s what’s happened with Medicare. It’s not just that they got the fundamental estimates wrong. They did. But every new generation of politicians figures out some new expansion, some new benefit.”

And so we’re on the road to Greece.

Bottom line: Don’t trust the politicians’ numbers.

RAHN: Obama has no Plan B – Washington Times

RAHN: Obama has no Plan B – Washington Times.

Budget fantasy won’t help us cope with coming fiscal disaster

By Richard W. Rahn – The Washington Times

President Obama has just presented his new budget, which again ignores reality. It contains another trillion-dollar deficit, which assumes a large increase in revenue resulting from a tax-rate increase on “the wealthy” and corporations. He knows, and so does everyone else, that Congress is not going to pass the tax increase. Even if it did, the projected revenues would not be forthcoming because the “wealthy” people would change their behavior and find other ways to obtain income, and economic growth would decline, costing tax revenue. Corporate taxes are paid by consumers in higher prices and by workers in lower wages – so much for the promise not to increase taxes on those making less than $250,000. Every good tax economist knows this, but the president chooses to ignore reality and demagogue the issue.

Even more disturbing is the lack of discussion about a contingency plan if his projected economic scenario does not work out – and the probabilities are that it will not work out. The reality is that the United States and most other governments, particularly the Europeans, have reached or are close to reaching the limits of their ability to tax and borrow. This situation means there is going to have to be either massive cutbacks in government spending or very high inflation.

Everyone knows that if an individual or a business takes on too much debt, the interest payments on the debt eventually will crowd out all other spending unless one radically cuts spending or declares bankruptcy. Governments differ. The ones that print their own money, such as the United States, usually resort to inflation as a way to reduce the real value of government payments and the real value of the debt, leaving bondholders holding the bag. Governments that do not print their own money, such as Greece, California and Illinois, are forced to cut spending radically – whether they want to or not – or default on their debt, unless some other government or international agency chooses to bail them out.

The United States has been able to get away with greater-than-trillion-dollar deficits per year and a big increase in the ratio of gross domestic product to debt because the U.S., even though it’s in great fiscal trouble, is not as bad off as many European countries and others, so money still comes into this country. Also, the United States has been able to keep its debt-service interest payments low because the Federal Reserve has been buying the debt and now is the single biggest holder of the U.S. government debt. The Fed injects cash into the economy to pay for the government bonds it buys, which normally would result in higher inflation rates. But the banks, financial institutions and others have been increasing their cash balances (absorbing the Fed cash), in part because the government increased reserve requirements and there are so few low-risk lending opportunities.

However, this game has limits. At some point – next month, in six months or next year – the private economic players will stop hoarding cash and inflation will break out, or there will be a massive cut in government spending to reduce government borrowing.

Think about the following scenario. A war erupts involving Iran, most Iranian oil shipments cease, and shipping in the Persian Gulf is disrupted. As a result, oil prices soar, driving up the cost of almost everything. With the spike in inflation, bondholders refuse to lend at close-to-zero interest rates. The cost of financing government debt then also soars, and the government is forced either to reduce spending greatly or to print dollars (greatly reducing their value and making everyone poorer).

One can construct many scenarios that would trigger the fiscal crisis. With the high probability of a crisis, a prudent person, business or government would have a contingency plan in place to deal with the disaster when it comes. The Obama administration apparently has no contingency plan, other than wishful thinking. At the moment, almost 40 percent of federal spending is financed with debt. When the crisis comes, new low-cost debt cannot be sold and, because of the hit to the economy, tax revenues will fall. The federal government may then be forced to cut spending in half in real terms (either through explicit budget cuts or through inflation).

Almost two-thirds of government spending ($2.1 trillion) goes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and other income transfers. The other third of government spending ($1.3 trillion) is considered discretionary (in fact, it is all discretionary) and more than half of this is for defense-related items.

Business executives often are faced with having to make drastic cuts in the size of their operations – because of changes in technologies or markets – in order to preserve and rebuild the company. Good executives have contingency plans that include keeping only the most vital parts of the business and getting rid of the stuff that is not contributing to profit. Politicians and government executives often attempt to avoid hard choices – the new Obama budget being Exhibit 1. A fiscal contingency plan is needed now to avoid additional pain from the coming economic disaster.

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

CRAMER: On the right side of the bullet – Washington Times

CRAMER: On the right side of the bullet – Washington Times.

More Americans protect themselves with guns than you think

By Clayton E. Cramer – The Washington Times

Every so often, a local news story about a victim of crime goes national. Most recently, it was Sarah McKinley, 18, home alone with her 3-month-old son, a few days after Sarah’s husband had died of lung cancer. Two men apparently looking to steal pain medicine prescribed for the husband broke in. Sarah grabbed a shotgun and a pistol and killed Justin Martin as he forced entry into her home.

How often do such incidents happen? While the results from studies vary, the numbers are large. The National Crime Victimization Survey, for various procedural reasons, is at the low end, showing 108,000 such cases a year (although this was some years back, when crime rates were higher than now). The widely reported Kleck/Gertz study, which has its own set of problems, showed a range of 830,000 to 2.45 million defensive gun uses per year. Other studies have fallen solidly in the middle, with hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses per year.

Our study examines a variety of incident types: concealed-weapon permit holders (285 accounts); home invasions (1,227 incidents); residential burglaries (488). There are categories that we would never have thought were all that common: 172 incidents where people defended themselves from animal attacks (some wild, some dogs gone wild); 34 were incidents where pizza delivery drivers defended themselves from robbery.

Startled? You might think from how rarely stories like this go national that defensive gun use is relatively rare in America. Why don’t we see these stories more often, if victims are using guns in self-defense so often? Keep in mind that the vast majority of defensive gun uses never receive even local news coverage. “Homeowner scares away burglar, no shots fired” is not exactly a major news story, unless you live in a verysmall town.

Nonetheless, from 2003 through 2011, when I collaborated in an effort to gather local news stories and official reports of civilians using guns in self-defense here in the United States, I was astonished by how many such incidents there were, the vast majority of which never received national attention. Over a period of more than seven years, we compiled almost 5,000 such accounts. Most ended happily, with a burglar, carjacker or robber held for police. Some ended in bloodshed, as in the case of Sarah McKinley. Very few ended with the victim injured or killed.

Some of the news stories that did receive national attention are unsurprising, such as that of Matthew Murray, a mentally ill young man, who walked into New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007, carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Murray had already murdered four people in the previous 12 hours, two of them in the church’s parking lot. Jeanne Assam, who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon, drew her weapon and shot Murray, preventing what could have been the most lethal mass murder in U.S. history.

Some of the news stories that stayed local, however, were dramatic stories of life and death, good and evil, that seem like the dictionary definition of “human interest story.” On May 4, 2009, two masked men with guns burst into a home in College Park, Ga., while a birthday party was in progress. Ten people, some of them college students, were inside the apartment. The intruders separated the men from the women. One of the intruders started counting his bullets; the other asked how many bullets he had. “Enough,” he said. It does not take much imagination to figure out that there would be no survivors. At this point, one of the students managed to reach into his backpack, pull out a gun and shoot one of the intruders, who then fled the apartment wounded. The armed student then caught the other intruder in the act of raping one of the women in the other room. The student shot the rapist as he jumped out the window.

Do law-abiding adults responsibly use guns in self-defense? The evidence we have amassed says yes, and frequently.

Clayton E. Cramer teaches history at the College of Western Idaho and is co-author of “Tough Targets: When Criminals Face Armed Resistance From Citizens and Armed America: The Remarkable Story of How and Why Guns Became as American as Apple Pie” (Cato Institute, 2006).

Cato Study Shows Private Gun Ownership Reduces Crime, Saves Lives – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance

Cato Study Shows Private Gun Ownership Reduces Crime, Saves Lives – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance.

I’ve mentioned before how I’m proud and lucky to work for the Cato Institute, first and foremost because my colleagues are scrupulously non-partisan. We promote the ideals of freedom and liberty and we’ll work with any politician of any party who happens to be on the right side. Likewise, we’ll attack statism, regardless of what political party is in charge.

But I’m also proud to be at Cato because of the high-quality research. The latest example is a study looking at examples of defensive gun use. It’s a fascinating look at real-world anecdotes, augmented by references to other scholarly work.

If you’ve seen the Powerpoint presentation on the Second Amendment that I posted, you’ll understand why I like this new research. Here are some key excerpts.

If policymakers are truly interested in harm reduction, they should pause to consider how many crimes—murders, rapes, assaults, robberies—are thwarted each year by ordinary persons with guns. …This paper uses a collection of news reports of self-defense with guns over an eight-year period to survey the circumstances and outcomes of defensive gun uses in America. …the study by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz…found that there were somewhere between 830,000 and 2.45 million defensive gun uses per year in the United States. …The National Survey of Private Ownership of Firearms (NSPOF) was performed in 1994. It…found approximately 1.5 million defensive gun uses. …The high-end figures on defensive gun uses may well suffer from exaggeration or outright lies. …Since the survey data has severe limitations with respect to defensive gun uses, collecting accounts of self-defense as they are reported in news outlets may be a better method of assessing the frequency and nature of self-defense with firearms. The data set supporting this paper is derived from a collection of news stories published between October 2003 and November 2011. …after Colorado’s 2003 concealed carry law was enacted, Colorado State University decided to allow concealed carry,while the University of Colorado prohibited firearms. The former observed a rapid decline in reported crimes, while the latter, under the gun ban they claimed was for safety,observed a rapid increase in crime. Crime at the University of Colorado has risen 35 percent since 2004, while crime at Colorado State University has dropped 60 percent in the same time frame. …Many people support gun control regulations because they are convinced that the average citizen is either incapable of using a gun in self-defense or will use the gun in a fit of anger over some petty matter. Those assumptions are false. The evidence on this point has grown so strong that even President Obama has had to chide gun safety advocates to accept the proposition that“almost all gun owners in America are highly responsible.”And, as the scores of incidents described in this study show, gun owners stop a lot of criminal mayhem—attempted murders, rapes, assaults, robberies—every year. …Policymakers interested in harm reduction should thus refrain from treating ordinary gun owners as hoodlums or loose cannons and adopt policies that respect the ownership and carrying of arms by responsible individuals.

By the way, the last sentence is inadequate. Regardless of what policy makers decide, responsible and prudent people should own guns, even if it means breaking the law. Self defense is a fundamental right, whether for the purpose of thwarting crime, fighting oppression, or (as I explain in my appearance on NRA-TV) protecting against societal breakdown.

If you’re a fan of the Second Amendment, let’s close with some great links. Here are some anti-gun control posters that have been very popular (here, hereherehere, and here). Here are some amusing images of t-shirts and bumper stickers on gun control (herehere, and here). And here are three different videos on gun control (herehere, and here). Feel free to share all of these widely.

What Is It About ‘No Free Lunch’ That Obama Doesn’t Understand? – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative

What Is It About ‘No Free Lunch’ That Obama Doesn’t Understand? – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative.

Obama’s latest homeowner mortgage relief plan is perfect for him: It both is consistent with his ideology — duh — and allows him to buy more votes with someone else’s money, all the while pretending there is in fact such a thing as a free lunch.

The painfully superficial liberal approach to poverty gets old, as does its corollary tenet that conservatives who reject liberals’ failed ideas lack compassion. Indeed, Obama seemed to devote half the words in his prayer breakfast speech to proving that Scripture compels liberal policies.

Obama’s latest proof that he cares more than we do is his proposal to “give every responsible homeowner in America a chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks.”

This has all the elements. He frames the program as applying only to responsible mortgagors; he personally gets credit for handing out this money from his legendary “stash”; government, not the market, dictates what the interest rate will be; government will wave its magic wand forbidding “red tape” and bureaucratic obstacles; and banks, one of his favorite targets, are demonized and lined up to be punished.

But haven’t we had enough of this man’s top-down manipulation of the market in the guise of helping people? Is he ever to be held accountable for similar failed programs he’s already tried? How about that $75 billion mortgage relief plan he implemented in 2009? You know, the one he said would “give millions of families resigned to financial ruin a chance to rebuild”? The one he said would save 7 million to 9 million mortgages.

Well, The New York Times reported in January 2010 that the plan had “been widely pronounced a disappointment.” And “some economists and real estate experts,” the Times went on, “now contend it has done more harm than good.” By June 2010, more than a third of the 1.24 million borrowers who had enrolled in the mortgage bailout program had already dropped out. Nevertheless, the administration pressed forward, in complete denial that the program was failing and that the administration should be accountable. It cared, after all.

But if you buy your kid a car or give him a sweetheart loan to help him purchase one and he gets drunk and wrecks it, do you immediately buy him a new, more expensive one?

Moreover, is Obama ever to be held accountable for his entire range of economic policies that have grossly exacerbated our economic malaise and suppressed any chance of a real recovery?

If he would just get his Keynesian boot off the accelerator, quit spending money as if he were a perpetual lottery winner, stop enacting regulations to punish businesses, get behind capital gains and corporate income tax relief, stop showering recklessly wasteful “renewable and clean” energy projects with money as if he were a bitter spouse trying to bankrupt her cheating husband, and end his crusade against tried-and-tested domestic sources of energy, the economy would recover and we wouldn’t have so many homeowners with upside-down mortgages to worry about. But why do all that when you can still blame Bush?

Did Obama accept responsibility for his 2009 mortgage relief plan? Of course not. He brags about it. He fails to mention his promise to save 7 million to 9 million mortgages and boasts that he’s helped nearly 1 million of them, itself a dubious figure. There’s no “I’m sorry it was a miserable failure,” but rather “trust me to throw something else against the wall” — reminiscent of his high-speed rail mantra.

His new plan is terribly flawed. It’ll probably win him votes, but it wouldn’t do anything for the ailing housing market or the overall economy and would probably hurt them. The Cato Institute‘s Mark Calabria debunks the idea that reducing homeowners’ mortgage payments would be “a no-cost stimulus.” It might give homeowners more money to spend, but it would drive down payments on mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, so mortgage investors would reduce their spending, making the net effect a wash. It would also redistribute money, regressively, from some taxpayers to homeowners and from retirees to younger homeowners. Nor would the arbitrary fee to be imposed on the evil banks be without consequences because it would reduce bank equity and thus new lending, hurting potential borrowers by reducing available credit. The plan could also reduce future home prices.

So we have a cavalier president proposing, again (remember the GM and Chrysler restructurings), to alter the terms of existing contracts to the detriment of one of the contracting parties, illegally and unconstitutionally, as if lawmakers’ allegedly good intentions exempt them.

This plan moves beyond class warfare rhetoric into class warfare policy. The administration is not teaching people to fish but is stealing fish from others and giving it to them. It will not work, and it will further damage our hopes for a sustained recovery.

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