- The Washington Times - Friday, December 11, 2009

TAXING JOBS

“At the jobs summit, [President] Obama said ‘I want to hear from CEOs what’s holding back our business investment.’ Really?” Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger writes.

“How about the world’s highest corporate tax rate? How about the 5.4 percent health care surtax on top of the expiring Bush tax cuts, which will push the top marginal individual rate, paid at the outset by many entrepreneurs, well over 40 percent?” Mr. Henninger asked.

“Set aside income taxes as the unransomed hostages of progressive dogma. Justify this: The Senate health reform bill imposes a $4 billion annual excise tax on medical devices and diagnostic equipment. In a slow-innovation economy, which is what we have now, medical and diagnostic miracles sit at the intersection of American science, technology, education and IQ. That stuff defines American entrepreneurship and ingenuity. If the Obama Democrats will tax these people, they’ll tax anything that produces income, no matter how innovative or job-creating.

“The Obama bet is that the U.S. can be a Franco-German welfare state, with a mammoth public sector, and still compete with China, India, Brazil, Korea and the rest. This is a pipedream. We are going to spend four years treading water. If we tread quickly enough, we may get enough growth to save the Democrats, but not the nation.”

FAUX ‘TEARS’

“Drenched in crocodile tears, many in the pundit class now portray the GOP as hopelessly divided by fringe groups and internal dissensions,” Gary Andres writes at www.weeklystandard.com.

“Democratic leaders like Virginia governor Tim Kaine eagerly fan these flames. According to Politico,he told theAmerican Democracy Conference last week that the tea party movement and insurgent conservative candidates are ‘devouring’ the GOP. Kaine said these divisions are ‘corrosive’ and will prove ‘deadly’ to the Republican Party in the years ahead.

“Similar narratives populate left-wing commentaries about Republicans such as Sarah Palin. Writing in the New York Times, Frank Rich notes that the former Alaska governor and her ‘Hitler-fixated’ followers will doom the Republicans in 2012.

“If hyperbole sold subscriptions, Rich might single-handedly save the newspaper industry,” Mr. Andres said.

“Poor Republicans. What’s behind all this faux trepidation about the GOP’s future? Actually it’s a diversionary scheme, born out of panic. Democrats and liberals point fingers at the other side to draw attention away from their own divisions, which already are creating real problems and could prove politically devastating down the road.”

AT LONG LAST

“ABC and CBS discounted the scientific relevance of the admissions and obfuscations displayed in the Climategate e-mails, but on Wednesday night they finally devoted full stories to the controversy,” the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker writes at www.mrc.org.

The two networks, Mr. Baker said, “quoted the ‘most-damning’ of the e-mails, the ones referring to a ‘trick’ to ‘hide the decline’ in a temperature measurement and in which a scientist fretted ‘we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.’ ”

“The two networks, however, painted the ‘stolen’ e-mails not as laudatory whistle-blowing, but as an unwanted impediment to the left’s global warming agenda. ‘Just as the world seems finally poised to do something about global warming, an inconvenient scandal,’ ABC’s David Wright began in playing off the title of Al Gore’s movie. He despaired that ‘as the controversy heats up, the consensus about making the tough choices to curb carbon emissions threatens to crumble.’ ”

SOUNDS FAMILIAR

President Obama said some good things in his Nobel speech, Victor Davis Hanson writes at www.nationalreview.com, “but unfortunately, his long academic lecture on the nature of war itself had all the characteristics of we have come to accept from a Barack Obama sermon:

“1) Verbosity (4,000 words plus!) and extraneousness (he finally even referenced the world’s farmers); 2) I/me exhaustion (34 times) and the messianic cult of personality; 3) the 50/50, split-the-difference trope; 4) the straw man: on the one hand there are realists, on the other idealists, and I Obama singularly reject this either/or dichotomy (as if no one else does as well); 5) veiled attacks on the previous administration; 6) reference to his own unique personal story; 7) good-war/bad-war theory of Afghanistan and Iraq; 8) the hopey-changy rhetorical flourish.

“Is there a Microsoft program somewhere that writes these things out?” Mr. Hanson wondered.

GOP VS. PALIN

Sarah Palin may draw ecstatic crowds in ‘real America,’ but among Republican insiders in Washington, she’s not so popular,” Chris Good writes at theatlantic.com.

“National Journal’s annual Insiders Poll issue will come out Friday, but we’ve got some early results; the most interesting finding is how many GOP insiders and members of Congress listed Palin as one of their least favorite members of the party,” the writer said.

“Palin was the top response when 85 GOP strategists and insiders were asked, ‘Which voice in your party would you most like to mute?’ 28 percent listed Palin; Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele came in second, with 12 percent.

“Republican members of Congress think a little more highly of her: when GOP lawmakers were asked the same question, ‘no one’ was the most popular response (16 percent), but Palin tied for second at 11 percent with Glenn Beck and Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Steve King (R-IA), and Tom Price (R-GA). [Nineteen] votes were recorded in this category.

“A smaller handful of GOP insiders are markedly pro-Palin: she came in second to newly elected Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell (who got 22 percent) when insiders were asked, ‘Which political figure has most impressed you this year?’ Palin got 11 percent of the 87 responses.”

MOVING RIGHT

“The shift to the right goes well beyond the federal level of government,” Jim Geraghty writes in “the campaign spot” blog at www.nationalreview.com.

“With his special-election victory Tuesday night, Republican state representative Jimmy Higdon will take a seat in the Kentucky state senate for the 14th district. Higdon’s victory is the 33rd win for Republicans in state legislative special elections across the country since November 2008, out of ‘about 50,’ I am told by the Republican State Leadership Committee.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or [email protected] times.com.

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