The times are a changin’ when it comes to public opinion

President Obama, barely in office four and one-half months, has brought tremendous change already. From Rasmussen Reports on Monday comes evidence:

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on six out of 10 key issues, including the top issue of the economy.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 45% now trust the GOP more to handle economic issues, while 39% trust Democrats more.

This is the first time in over two years of polling that the GOP has held the advantage on this issue. The parties were close in May, with the Democrats holding a modest 44% to 43% edge. The latest survey was taken just after General Motors announced it was going into bankruptcy as part of a deal brokered by the Obama administration that gives the government majority ownership of the failing automaker.

Voters not affiliated with either party now trust the GOP more to handle economic issues by a two-to-one margin.

Separate Rasmussen tracking shows that the economy remains the top issue among voters in terms of importance.

Republicans now hold a six-point lead on the issue of government ethics and corruption, the second most important issue to all voters and the top issue among unaffiliated voters. That shows a large shift from May, when Democrats held an 11-point lead on the issue.

Town Hall for Hope is tonight

Dave Ramsey will bring some financial advice to the masses tonight when the Town Hall for Hope nationwide event takes place tonight. Ramsey will also take questions at the event, which you can attend for free at various locations throughout the country. Here in Grand Island, you can attend it one of three places: Third City Christian Church, St. Pauls Lutheran Church and the Salvation Army. The town hall starts at 7 p.m. Contact the location for more details. If you have questions for Dave Ramsey, you can submit it here at

The numbers ‘speak for themselves’ but aren’t part of the agenda

Thomas Sowell, who is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, wrote this past week about how numbers are used by busybodies in politics and the media to advance an agenda which is often disastrous. What they don’t do, however, is report numbers that don’t fit their plan: From his article in National Review Online:

Statistics played a key role in creating the housing boom and bust that led to the current economic crisis. Back in the 1990s, politicians, the media, community activists like Jesse Jackson and others all made a lot of noise about statistical studies showing that non-whites (1) had lower rates of home-ownership than whites, (2) were turned down for mortgage loans more often than whites, and (3) resorted to more expensive subprime mortgage loans than whites.

All this led to pressure, and even quotas, for banks to lend to more low-income and minority applicants. That in turn led to lower mortgage lending standards, more risky mortgages, higher default rates, and the collapse of financial institutions that bought these more risky mortgages or securities based on them.

We have seen and heard the same kinds of things when statistics about other racial differences have been cited in the same strident voices when other statistics showed blacks laid off more than whites during economic downturns or the children of black women having higher infant-mortality rates than the children of white women.

What we have very seldom seen or heard in such parading of statistics are other statistics — which are readily available — showing that (1) whites are turned down for mortgage loans more often than Asian Americans, (2) whites resort to subprime loans more often than Asian Americans, (3) whites have been laid off more in a downturn than Asian Americans, and (3) the children of white mothers have higher infant-mortality rates than the children of mothers of Filipino or Mexican ancestry, even though these mothers receive less prenatal care than white mothers.

In other words, numbers do not “speak for themselves.” Politicians, the media and others speak for them — very loudly, very cleverly, and often very wrongly.

Good news: The bailout is working (in a way)

From Scott Ott at the dcexaminer:

The Treasury Department announced today that the bail out [sic] of AIG Insurance, which began in September under the Bush administration, is working better than expected.
Encouraged by the company’s loss of nearly $62 billion in the 4th quarter of 2008, the Obama administration injected another $30 billion into AIG this week.

“The government stepped in last year with $150 billion because AIG was too big to fail,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “The stock was trading in early September at more than $20 per share.

Today it’s worth less than 50 cents a share. If we keep pumping billions of tax dollars into it, I’d say we’ll soon reach the point where AIG won’t be too big to fail, and then we can stop giving them money.”

The stimulus bill: Pass first, read (and regret) later

With the economic stimulus bill clocking in at 1,434 pages, it should disturb you that it was not released in it its final form until last evening and that the House is scheduled to vote on it today. From the Associated Press:

A day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced agreement had been reached between the White House and congressional negotiators, the measure still had not been revealed in full late Thursday. After a disagreement over school construction funds had been resolved, causing several hours of delay, it took hours for staff aides to read the huge bill line by line to make sure no mistakes were made.

Over at the The Sundries Shack, the magnitude of what is happening is put in perspective:

Just know, as you’re at work (Friday), that the Democrats will be voting to spend about $800 billion dollars without having the foggiest idea what they’ll be spending it all on. Oh, to be sure, they know how much money they’ll spend on their little pet projects but that’s it. They are taking on faith that throwing all that money at our economy is going to be good for us, even though they have no good idea where all the money is going to land.

Supporters of this bill have said that they have to “do something” fast. Well, that’s exactly what they’re going to do – “something”. I suggest that we stop them from passing this bill until they can at least tell us exactly what that “something” is.

The smoke and mirrors of Obama

Barack Obama's "tax cuts" would actually penalize low-income workers who earned more money.
Barack Obama

From the Wall Street Journal:

One of Barack Obama’s most potent campaign claims is that he’ll cut taxes for no less than 95% of “working families.” He’s even promising to cut taxes enough that the government’s tax share of GDP will be no more than 18.2% — which is lower than it is today.

It’s a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that he’s also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of “tax cut.”

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.”

Read the whole thing