Monday, September 19, 2011

Create a Job - Hire an Economist

“Stupid is, as stupid does.” – Forest Gump.

Create a Job – Hire an Economist
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 19, 2011

One of the first jobs Barack Obama can create is to hire a personal unemployed economist. He still doesn’t get it. Obama spent another 20 minute campaign speech from the Rose Garden at the White House haranguing the American people to “pay their fair share.” Did he ever study economics?

The more Obama wants to punish millionaires and billionaires for their success, the more likely this economic quagmire will only worsen, but at a faster pace.

Who are the job creators, Mr. Obama – the rich or the poor? Who are those in need of jobs typically – the rich or the poor? I would hope those are rhetorical questions for him, but I suspect he may need some serious tutoring in the subject at hand.

When the job creators are penalized for their success, they tend to create fewer jobs. When fewer jobs are created, there are more people in need of said jobs. When more people are out of work, they tend to rely upon the largesse of government for survival. Where does government get their money, Mr. Obama? From the rank and file who pay taxes. Out of work people don’t pay taxes. Working people pay taxes.

Raising taxes by a trillion and a half dollars will not increase the federal coffers. Those charged with paying those tax increases will hire fewer people, who in turn will spend less, which in turn, will cause a drop in production, which in turn will find more people being laid off, out of work and dependent upon government, which in turn will lose money paying people’s welfare and food stamps all the while bringing in less and less revenue.

Obama claims this is not class warfare, but instead, just math. It absolutely IS class warfare, which, when it fails to pass in the GOP-lead House of Representatives, Obama will further wage his campaign attack against the Republicans by continuing to divide the American people.

Most of the American people are intelligent enough to know the people with the money create the jobs. Eventually, when the people with less money work hard enough and diligently enough, they amass the money necessary to go out on their own and they in turn create jobs. That’s something called capitalism, something Obama seems hell bent on destroying. (Make no mistake, there are those people who want the capitalist system to fail in order to bring the rich down to their level and for government to take care of everyone womb to tomb and cradle to grave. Those folks are certainly not capitalists.)

And special note to the alleged Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffet, who is about to become the namesake of the new trillion and a half dollar tax imposed upon us by Obama (although it will never pass the House), if you want to pay more taxes, go right ahead. First, pay your back taxes, you hypocrite, then feel free to write Uncle Sam a big fat check for as much as your cold heart desires.

Buffet made the absurd comparison that people paying more taxes is the same as them making their charitable contributions. On August 14, Buffet said that people who donate to philanthropies would naturally be willing to pay more in taxes. In what world is that a logical leap? Taxes are imposed upon the taxpayer, while charitable contributions are made voluntarily to the organization(s) of our choice. In fact, most people would rather decide where their money should go and if they could, determine how their tax dollars are disbursed.

For that matter, deductibility of charitable contributions are also on Obama’s radar screen and on the chopping block for those earning greater than $200,000 per year. Those are probably the biggest donors. Obama is also seeking to close the door on mortgage interest deductions as well on those same higher income earners. That eliminates a chief incentive some people have in purchasing a home and will no doubt negatively impact the housing market more that it has already been affected by this sluggish economy in the first place.

Additionally, under Obama’s new taxing scheme, Buffet had better be prepared to pony up more, whether he wants to or not, as capital gains will be levied at a higher rate, which in turn will give investors cause for pause regarding their desire to take those risks with their own capital.

With plans like these, Obama is either the dumbest so-called leader for continuing to cause the economy to wane, or he really is the Manchurian candidate come to life to destroy the American way of life and the capitalist system under which we have lived freely since the days of colonization.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Veto Palestinian Homeland

Veto Palestinian Homeland
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 19, 2011

There have been myriad on-line petitions asking signatories to demand the United Nations deny granting statehood status to the so-called Palestinian people. I have not signed a single one of them.

Before anyone become apoplectic in a knee-jerk reaction that I, a strong, lifelong supporter of Israel, would support such a lugubrious notion of granting any sense of legitimacy to a group who continues to have as part of its charter the ultimate destruction of the State of Israel, one must understand the fatal flaw of the petitions.

The petitions call for a two-state solution with a Palestinian homeland side by side with Israel upon a change in the Palestinian Authority charter as well as a recognition of the Jewish state and its right to exist.

This is a flawed process as it is rewarding the bad behavior of the so-called Palestinian people – decades of terror/homicide attacks and bombings on innocent Israeli men, women and children. And I say so-called Palestinian people as what exists are generations of refugees rejected by nearly two dozen Arab nations who could easily have absorbed these people years ago and avoided the constant bloodshed that has existed between the attackers and the attacked.

Historically speaking, the so-called Palestinian people should be calling Jordan their home. And it begs the question, if 22 nations have rejected their Arab brethren, why should tiny Israel, roughly the size of New Jersey, be responsible for giving a home to people hell bent on the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people?

The United Nations, already an irrelevant body for years, will no doubt attempt, to the best of its so-called powers, grant statehood to the so-called Palestinian people later this week. The Obama administration, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton MUST use its veto via the Security Council to prevent this from occurring.

This upcoming vote clearly is a hand-wringer for Obama personally, as has been evidenced by his support of a Palestinian homeland and his vile treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the one hand, Obama, who already has a fractious relationship with Israel and American Jewish voters, needs to display some backbone and instruct Secretary Clinton to cast a veto. Yet, he personally would like to do just the opposite – and this is what Jewish voters MUST remember come November 2012.

Should the unthinkable occur, and the so-called Palestinian people be granted this undeserved homeland, the United States should immediately rescind the roughly $500 million in aid given to them. Why the so-called Palestinians are given one red cent of American tax-paying dollars in the first place is unconscionable.

Additionally, the United States should not just leave the UN, it should boot the entire insignificant organization out of this country, demand all debts be paid under the penalty of withholding additional aid to any nation failing to acquiesce. Obama claims he is seeking cost-cutting ideas. The United States provides roughly 25 percent of the funding that keeps the typically anti-American United Nations afloat. There are 193 member nations. All things being equal, and Obama is a major advocate of spreading the wealth around, the United States financial obligation should be around one half of one percent, not the backbreaking 25 percent it kicks in at present.

The League of Nations failed and the time has come to say adios, sayonara, ciao, viszlat, zai jian, yasou, totsiens, aloha and shalom to the United Nations. Buh-bye.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Give Voters More, Not Less Info

Give Voters More, Not Less Info
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 18, 2011

Edwin Clark of Warren made a good point about having all candidates listed on electoral ballots, even those running unopposed in his letter to the editor on Saturday, September 17.

Adding to Mr. Clark’s comments, unopposed candidates’ names should be listed on the ballot to give voters the opportunity to vote against that person with a write-in of their choice. Omitting unopposed candidates from the ballot gives a false sense of unanimous support.

While one party did not put forth a candidate for one reason or another, which is also a problem in the body politic, the voters still should have an opportunity to cast a ballot either for or against that unopposed candidate. By keeping the unopposed candidate on the ballot, that will serve as a reminder to the voters that he or she is a candidate for a given office and also a reminder that he or she is liked or disliked to the point that voters will offer a write-in choice of their own.

When the ballots are counted, should an unopposed candidate receive a low vote percentage that may encourage the opposition party to run a candidate in the next election cycle. By low, that could realistically be any number below 80 percent.

Any candidate seeking public office, whether opposed or unopposed, should have his or her name listed on the ballot for the consideration of the voters. To what costs was Rep. Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) referring? This law she authored as a bill should be repealed in the interest of giving the voters more information, not less.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN

[This item appeared in The Indianapolis Star.]

Friday, September 9, 2011

Third Stimulus Package Not a Charm

Third Stimulus Package Not a Charm
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 9, 2011

The great patriot, statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin is credited with the adage “haste makes waste.” Apparently Barack Obama is unfamiliar with that idiom as 18 times, the official count, during a 32 minute speech, Obama implored Congress to pass a jobs bill that will inject $447 billion into the economy, although he has not revealed from where the funds will magically materialize.

Thirty-two minutes of ego-maniacal bloviating will not solve the unemployment crisis in this country. Not only that, but to then tell Congress pass it now, pass it immediately, but to have to wait two weeks for more details is unconscionable. One speech two weeks from now with the details of how he intends to pay for it would have been sufficient. Quite frankly, any speech in the first place was unnecessary.

Yet, during his speech, Obama said he wants to see more products stamped “Made in America.” Hmm – his good pal Jeffery Immelt from GE has sent more and more jobs overseas to China, yet, there he was sitting with Michelle Obama. Actions speak louder than the disingenuous words Obama reads from the teleprompter. And adding insult to injury, Immelt is the head of Obama’s so-called jobs council. Sure, council on how to send more jobs overseas.

The oft-used mantra from Obama was in full throat when he called for corporations and the wealthy to “pay their fair share.” If I had a dime for every time Obama uttered this phrase I could retire and not worry about where my next paycheck would come from. Apparently Obama either never took the basic economics class I took in high school, or he was simply in one his pot-induced hazes during that semester.

The more businesses are taxed, two things typically happen – businesses employ fewer people and businesses pass the cost of the higher taxes on to the consumer. Because fewer people are hired, there are fewer people who can afford the goods or services provided by the aforementioned higher taxed businesses. Subsequently, those businesses produce less, thus the need to lay off even more employees. As revenues wane, so to do the taxes collected by the government – money that is now needed to pay the unemployment of the folks laid off because businesses were taxed more in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle that can be corrected.

When businesses are given tax breaks, they can hire more people, thus generating increased revenues for the company and the government. As more people are working, fewer people are dependent upon government and the increased revenue received by government can be used more productively to fix crumbling infrastructure – which also puts more people to work.

And when businesses expand, they contribute to the cost of infrastructure in the form of proffers to help build the necessary roads, sewage systems and even new schools. Because business is involved in the improved infrastructure, government needs less revenue and should be able to lower tax rates across the boards.

Now here is where government has a hard time. Instead of using the surplus for more useless government programs like research of the pickle at North Carolina State University, that money should reduce the deficit or give pay raises to the military. Then, the next step is to decrease the budget for the following year. Yes, spend less. Eliminate agencies that are counterproductive or redundant on one another, and likewise, with specific programs that are obsolete or also redundant of one another.

Note to government: the people can better spend their own money than government can spend the people’s money.

The answer to the unemployment crisis is not to continue throwing money at the situation. The tax cut proposals, of course, are a good idea – all tax reductions are welcome. The reduction of payroll taxes will enable employers to hire more people, thus taking them off the government dole. Coupled with the alleged stimulus portion of the bill must be concomitant spending cuts.

This was purely a political campaign speech in which Obama had his obsequious minions in the Congress lapping up his every word. Now it is up to the GOP House members to ensure this $447 billion boondoggle never sees the light of day. Have they not learned their lesson? With two failed stimuli, does anyone think the third time is the charm? Certainly not. This is the epitome of insanity – repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again, only expecting different results.

President Harry Truman had sign on his desk reading “The Buck Stops Here.” He took responsibility for his actions and didn’t lay blame elsewhere. Obama is passing the buck and he did so by directing his comments at the Republicans in Congress – a public goading by suggesting his proposals are bipartisan allowing Obama to lay the blame squarely on the Republicans if the bill is defeated.

This bill ought to be defeated if every dollar proposed in it is not matched with an equal amount of spending cuts – now. Not in 10 years as is being proposed, but now. There is no more time to pass the buck, or kick the can down the road as is so popular a phrase these days. The spending must stop now. All those who vote for this monstrosity, clearly did not learn from the failures of the first two stimuli packages, and should not be rewarded with reelection in 2012 – and the first out the door should be Obama.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Whitewashing 9-11

Whitewashing 9-11
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 2, 2011

Barack Obama has finally done it. He has issued government edict on how we the people should behave, react, comment and yes, even think, about 9-11, its perpetrators, and the reality of the facts. 1984 and government-speak have become reality.

George Orwell would be proud and disturbed all at once. This administration, coupled with the cow-towing of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, are assuming Americans have short memories and will be able to whitewash the heinous evils of the 9-11 terrorist attacks to something they were not.

On September 11, 2001 four airplanes were hijacked. By whom? Redheaded Irishmen? Orthodox Jews? Wait – how about 75 year old nuns? The cast of House? The starting five of the Boston Celtics? No; none of the above. The four planes were hijacked by 19 Muslim extremists hell bent on the greatest possible amount of destruction they could muster on a clear, beautiful sunny Tuesday morning.

No amount of downplaying or ignoring the facts by the conciliator in chief will ever be able to alter the facts and reality of what happened on that horrible day. This country, the United States of America, not Canada, not Belgium, not Laos, was attacked by 19 Muslim extremists on a specific day and date – September 11, 2001.

But according to Obama administration edict and “guidelines” that is not the manner in which September 11, 2011 is to be observed.

“The important theme is to show the world how much we realize that 9-11 – the attacks themselves and violent extremism… is not just about us,” said an anonymous White House source in an August 29, 2011 New York Times article.

As usual, the Obama administration, either Obama or his people by fiat, are just plain obtuse. Yes, 9-11 IS exactly about us. The attacks being commemorated and memorialized were perpetrated on American soil – the first two planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, the third plane hit the Pentagon in Arlington, VA and the fourth plane, on a flight path to the Capitol Building was diverted by the 40 passengers and crew who heroically inexorably altered the route of that plane causing it to crash in an open field in Shanksville, PA.

The Obama administration stated that public commemorations “should not cast the United States as the sole victim of terrorism,” added the Times article.

Administration “guidelines” state: “We honor all victims of terrorism in every nation around the world…. Whether in New York or Nairobi, Bali or Belfast, Mumbai or Manila or Lahore or London.”

Notice the omission of Madrid? How about the glaring omission of Israel as a whole – a nation leading the league in terror attacks against her.

While the United States clearly is not the sole victim of terror, we the people are observing and memorializing the specific attacks that occurred on a specific date. And how we the people choose to remember the victims – be they the passengers on the four airplanes, the people who worked at the World Trade Center, the people employed at the Pentagon, the bystanders or the first responders and volunteers – is up to the individual.

Each individual or group will conduct their ceremonies, services and remembrances as they choose – not according to some sanitized government guidelines. This isn’t Communist China – we do not tap dance according to the government’s tune. But apparently the Obama administration is worried about how the huddled masses will conduct themselves while, according to the Times article, “the world’s attention will be on… Obama.”

Could the New York Times be more sycophantic? Could Obama be more egomaniacal to think the attention of the world won’t be focused upon the survivors and the families of the victims? The Times and the Obama administration are two obsequious peas in the same pod. Their mutual love-fest is simply nauseating.

Additionally, the guidelines call for events that “minimize references to Al Qaeda.” Why do we care what Al Qaeda thinks? They are the enemy like the Taliban and every other terrorist outfit attempting to destroy the fabric of American life.

It is not Islamophobia to speak the truth when remembering the brutal attacks on American soil. Nor is it Islamophobia to remind people that the Muslim extremist terrorists were operating under the guise of so-called Koranic values in an effort to destroy the Judeo-Christian society in the United States of America.

A religion of peace does not hide behind children and strap bombs onto women and mentally retarded people. Remember the words of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

Americans should commemorate the terrorist attacks on the United States in whatever meaningful way they determine appropriate. Special services in churches and synagogues, remembering specific friends and loved ones who were murdered on September 11, 2001, visiting a cemetery or museum, or even being angry and resentful if one chooses as the way to get through the day.

We the people will make those decisions, not the government. We still live in a semi-free nation where free will still rules the day.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Race Card Played by Jokers

Race Card Played by Jokers
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 1, 2011

Putting our race cards on the table, if the CBC didn’t stand for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), it would have been disbanded years ago.

But clearly there is a double standard in that some racism is tolerated. During the last Congress Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-TN) “applied” for membership with the CBC noting his district has a majority black population. I have no use for Cohen due to incendiary remarks likening the GOP to Nazis, and he, being Jewish, should know better. Cohen was soundly denied membership in the 40-year-old CBC. Were the tables turned all holy hell would break lose if a black Congressman ended up on the outside looking in.

It is the more recent behavior by specific CBC members that is bringing embarrassment to its 43 member rank and file as a whole. Leading off this hit parade is Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who said less than two weeks ago, that, “as far as I’m concerned, the TEA Party can go straight to hell.” Aside from conservative talk radio and repeated showing of clips on the Fox News Channel, did Waters’ inflammatory remarks see the light of day anywhere else?

What if a TEA Party member suggested the CBC could go straight to hell? Cue the pitchfork and torch brigade running through the streets looking for that TEA Party person. Charges of racism abound would be flying out of the mouths of the CBC faster than toilet paper flying off the shelves of supermarkets during the threat of a hurricane.

Worse than Waters’ outburst was the vicious racially charged invective launched by Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). “Some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me hanging on a tree,” said Carson last week, adding that he neither regrets his words nor will apologize for them. “I stand on the truth of what I spoke,” added Carson.

What truth Congressman Carson? What PROOF do you have that there are members of Congress who not only support or are supported by the TEA Party, and wish to see you and your CBC colleagues hanging on trees?

In the absence of proof not only should Carson be censured by the whole House, but his constituents in Indiana’s Seventh District should seek to recall the second term member. Again, if the tables were turned and such wild accusations were flung about willy-nilly there would be demands of resignations from the allegedly offending member.

Last year there was an accusation made by Rep. John L. Lewis (D-GA) that he had been spat upon by a TEA Party member. This accusation, while never proven to be true, continues to be levied by CBC members and other supporting liberals.

For a president who suggested as a candidate his would be a post-racial administration, there has been more racial divisiveness since he took office than in recent or even distant memory.

Enough is enough. This administration has been a dismal failure and in lieu of any real accomplishments on which to hang their hat, the race card is dealt more often than hands of blackjack in a Vegas casino.

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain called the recent antics by the CBC “a new low using the race card.” This after Cain suffered the slings and arrows of ultra-left so-called entertainer Janeane Garofalo who said Cain was paid to run for president by the GOP simply because he is black. Once again, if the tables were turned, oh, wait, the white liberal is ALLOWED to castigate a black conservative because they are such an anomaly.

Col. Allen West (R-FL), the lone black Republican member of the CBC said he is considering leaving the group because of their “racially motivated rhetoric.” Rep West should not leave the CBC, but instead remain their lone voice of reason and a thorn in their sides. West has been touted as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2012 and is a rising star in the GOP.

West would be my first choice now that Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has decided to seek the US Senate seat being vacated due to Sen. Jon Kyl’s retirement. However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) seems to have the inside track on securing the number two slot on the GOP ticket next year.

The race card needs to be discarded in deference to civility and discussing real issues and solutions. The American people – all the American people, black, brown and white deserve no less.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Reflections on September 11, 2001

Reflections on September 11, 2001
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 1, 2011

Emerging from the parking garage beneath the Herndon Municipal Center to Lynn Street I felt as though I had been transformed to a different place and time, only to realize that is precisely what transpired.

For the first time I saw members of the Herndon Police Department clad in bullet-proof vests with their guns drawn. Streets were barricaded and access around town was limited. We were, after all, mere minutes from Dulles International Airport and the threat level was at its apex.

With all that was going on around us, the streets were eerily quiet. People were in a daze, as if punch-drunk, simply wandering around without purpose trying to come to grips with the devastating activities of the previous several hours.

But as a member of the fourth estate, I had a job to do and a deadline by which to accomplish that task – pictures to take and people to interview. The United States, in an unprovoked attack, was a nation at war, and Northern Virginia, just like New York City had just become the front line.

Among those certain quintessential events one never forgets in life, where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001 is certainly paramount among them.

Just as President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, “a date which will live in infamy,” it’s no overstatement to say that 9-11 was a day that changed the world as we know it.

It was a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning and I was on a deadline as a local newspaper reporter in Northern Virginia. Having the luxury of being able to work from my home in Sterling, one community away from Herndon in Fairfax County where I conducted the bulk of my reporting, the Fox News Channel was humming in the background while I finalized my story assignments for the paper that would hit the newsstands the next day.

Then, that clear, crisp Tuesday morning air was permeated with not one, but two hijacked airplanes deliberately being slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

As the towers crumbled to the ground like a house of cards and the smoke, that would last for weeks, began to billow toward the heavens, it was evident this was no accident and the United States was under siege, war having been declared on her.

I sat stunned, starring at the television, all attention away from the task at hand, not yet knowing those nearly finished stories would not reach my editor’s desk that day. Minutes later a third plane struck its target careening into the Pentagon in Arlington, just miles from the office. Everything became ethereal until the ringing telephone jarred me back to reality. And the ringing didn’t stop – one call after another – the newspaper with new assignments all related to the ongoing fluid events of the day and friends and family from around the country checking in.

By this time the fourth plane had been diverted by the brave men and women aboard the aircraft believed to be headed toward the Capitol Building and crashed into a field in Shanksville, PA.

Growing up in northern New Jersey and living in Northern Virginia, September 11, 2001 was more than just a day that tried ones emotions as an American. Personal loses were assessed at the end of the day. Family friends were slaughtered by extremist Muslim terrorists who inexorably altered life as we know it to this day 10 years later and far into the distant future.

My job on September 11, 2001 was to present the news – news based upon facts – to the residents of Herndon, VA and Fairfax County in an objective manner leaving my opinion on the back burner. That is what this award-winning journalist did on September 11 and each day of my employ for that newspaper.

Today, I have the good fortune to be able to opine at will and call to task those obsequious members of the government who have done so little since September 11, 2001 to alter the manner in which we protect our citizenry whether on the borders or in the air. A recent report in New York City indicated that 10 years after the terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center first responders still are unable to communicate with one another on the job.

Today, 10 years after knowing who perpetrated the most heinous acts of barbarism on American soil, the government still plays politics with disingenuous platitudes about a so-called religion of peace, when, for the truth, all one need do is read the pages of the Koran.

We the people of the United States must be forever vigilant as the terrorists only need be accurate once. We must remain mindful of our surroundings at all times, cognizant that the next terror strike will likely occur without warning and without prejudice as to who is in its wake.

On this September 11 and all days in the future, may we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the current global war – the men and women at work at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the passengers and crew of the hijacked planes, the first responders and all those that survive them. May their memories be for a blessing.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN. On September 11, 2001 he was a reporter for a local newspaper in Northern Virginia.