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Obama’s “Spread Your Wealth” Constitution

Tuesday, October 28, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Powerline’s Scott Johnson examines the efforts of University of Chicago law prof Cass Sunstein to spin away Barack Obama’s various statements on the desire for a Constitution incorporating “redistributive justice” principles.

And Nancy Pelosi tells voters they have nothing to fear from an Obama-Pelosi-Reid troika.


McCain is back in “bitter” “redneck” “racist” PA today, signaling as does Pelosi’s comments that there’s a great deal going on in the lectorate that is off the MSM’s screen (or on it but ignored in the effort to drag a faltering Obama over the finish line.)

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Farewell, Dean

Monday, October 27, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My friend and colleague Dean Barnett died today, and the world is a much poorer place for it. As anyone who listened to him on my radio show or read his work at Soxblog, here or at the Weekly Standard knows, and as everyone who had the great, great pleasure of knowing Dean will attest, Dean’s combination of sparking intelligence and enormous good humor made him one fo the most memorable of friends. What too few people know, though, is what a kind, extraordinarily giving and compassionate man he was. Dean loved people and he loved this country and threw himself into every cause.

I last spoke at length with Dean on the night of the first presidential debate. I was driving from Ohio to Kentucky, and Dean and I spent close to an hour chatting about the presidential race and the country. Like me, Dean was a big supporter of Mitt Romney. Like me he had thrown himself into the effort to persuade folks that John McCain should win the general. But when he encountered those who disagreed with him, he never grew angry or bitter, only more determined to make good arguments about the good, which he did so well and with such obvious passion.

I was introduced to Dean through our mutual friend Jonathan Last, and not long thereafter suggested he join me as a blogger here, and then as a guest host on the radio program. Simply put, he had an accent for print, but his incredible intelligence turned him into one of the most sought after guest hosts for those of us unafraid of better minds than our own filling in for us while we are obliged to be away. But for his great love of golf Dean might have taken on full time radio work, but the combination of the opportunities allowed by new media and the regular guest hosting scratched his itch to participate in the great debates of our time. Had he had more time, he would have been one of the great influences on the GOP for as long as he lived, probably because he valued and used every minute he had.

Dean told me early in our friendship that his disease had forced him to deal with the possibility of living too short a life and that he thus threw himself into everything. This ferocious desire to live well and fully is what I will always tell people marked Dean Barnett. That and the love he had for his wonderful wife Kirstan and his family and friends. His extraordinary story is told in his short essay, The Smart Spunky Kid with the Fatal Disease, and his example will long be an example to others battling with Cystic Fibrosis. I hope we can report some day soon the news that a cure for CF is in hand, and on that day toast Dean for all he did to raise awareness of the disease. I will also toast him whenever I hear smart, persuasive arguments on behalf of common sense conservatism and fierce attachment to the opportunities liberty bestows.

He is already deeply missed, and will be always by my audience, by Duane, and of course by me.

Battleground Poll: Obama 49% McCain 46%; Rasmussen Obama 51% McCain 46%

Monday, October 27, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I humbly suggest the final week of John McCain’s campaign should be fashioned around a single question: “Do you want your money back?”

Obama’s long held “spread-the-wealth” views –see Beldar’s post below– and the announced plans of various spokesmen for the troika of Obama-Pelosi-Reid guarantee that any new wealth created under the high tax, protectionist policies of the Democratic left (and it would likely be very small indeed given the track record of such approaches to economic growth, and in fact could be deeply negative) would go to government coffers for redistribution to less successful Americans. The losses sustained in the financial panic would thus be made permanent as opposed to temporary. If Americans want to restore their savings and especially their retirement accounts, they have to vote for growth, not redistribution, and for robust national security rather than the appeasement that, as Joe Biden so correctly predicted, invites aggression and conflict.

The Battleground poll is the most favorable one out today, though Rasmussen’s shows a 3 point move in McCain’s direction as well. Both candidates are back in PA today, which makes one wonder what they are both seeing in their internal polling. McCain is behind by large margins in some polls, but the results of these very reputable polls tells us again that MSM’s deep desire to close the campaign down and declare Obama the winner is a partisan tactic, not journalism.

McCain-Palin is seeking the electoral equivalent of the inside straight, but inside straights do happen, and hole cards come up two Aces sometimes (PA and NH?)

The Monday Guest Column from Clark Judge: “The Economics of :2008: A Choice of Middle Classes”

Monday, October 27, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The Monday guest column from Clark Judge:

The Economics of :2008: A Choice of Middle Classes
By Clark S. Judge

When it comes to visions of the middle class, the 2008 presidential campaign is not between Barack Obama and John McCain so much as between Andy Stern and Joe the Plumber. What does that means for our country and its future?

Andy Stern is head of the Service Employees International Union. By Senator Obama’s standard of earning less than $250,000 a year, he is probably not middle class. Labor leaders at his level typically make much more. But he is a major spokesperson for a view of the American middle class that Senator Obama has embraced and promises to make an organizing principle of his administration.

This middle class is a sad crowd.

Its members have suffered years of declining earnings — or had in Senator Obama’s rhetoric until, apparently, someone noticed that they hadn’t, whereupon the rhetoric changed to one of stagnating earnings growth, a questionable but at least defensible proposition.[# More #]

About a quarter of them lack health insurance-although the actual number of the uninsured falls to around six percent of the US population when you eliminate 1) those who are between jobs for only a few months and will have insurance once they get that new job, and 2) those who are in fact poor and eligible for Medicaid but haven’t applied, and 3) illegal aliens.

And the Stern-Obama middle class is seeing its jobs shipped overseas-although foreign investment in the US has long created substantially more jobs here than US investment abroad has created in the rest of the world.

But as Senator Obama describes it, this middle class is basically a dead-end gang. Its members are life’s passive players. They will never be any more prosperous than they are today and will probably soon be much less so.

This middle class needs Mr. Stern’s union and others like it to protect them-even if they keep rejecting unions in organizing elections. So Senator Obama has embraced card check, legislation effectively to eliminate the secret ballot in determining the unionization of America’s workplaces.

It also needs the kind of employer-mandated health coverage Senator Obama advocates. The government will charge a fine (or fee, or tax, whatever you call it) of employers who opt out of providing coverage and use the money to fund insurance for the company’s workers. Presumably this fee will be subsidized, if not immediately, then after Congress got through playing with it. Soon, and particularly in states where insurance is expensive (that is, states that have loaded mandates on policies sold in the state), the government-sponsored insurance policies will push out those that aren’t sold through the government. In other words, Senator Obama has put forward a two-step plan leading to single-payer health coverage. This is surely why single-payer-advocate Stern hasn’t objected to it.

The members of the Stern-Obama middle class don’t own stock. They do not intend to start or participate in the starting of businesses-and will not move up where they work today. This stagnation applies to their children as well. So of course Senator Obama’s call for letting the Bush tax cuts expire and piling additional taxes on $250,000-a-year earners will be OK by them.

In other words, Senator Obama’s middle class-borrowed from Mr. Stern — lives without hope, except the hope that Mr. Obama himself brings to them.

Senator McCain’s middle class is very different.

Like Joe the Plumber, many are employed in small businesses — or aspire to buy a business or start one of their own someday. In other words, one way or another they are working to move up in life. So, like Joe the Plumber, they are concerned about letting the 2003 tax cuts expire and about loading even more taxes on incomes they hope soon to have.

Active players in their own lives, they will switch jobs a number of times during their careers. So McCain’s proposal to allow them to own health insurance policies that they can carry wherever they go fits their needs-just as the Obama plan does not.

A remarkable number of small businesses sell and buy overseas-as do most larger companies — so Senator Obama’s embrace of protectionism is a threat to Senator McCain’s middle class, not an offer of help.

The point is that like Joe the Plumber these are people who make their own hope. Such people have characterized all the employment growth in the US economy for at least three decades. Today owners and employees of small businesses-or larger companies that were recently small — comprise by far the bulk of the US workforce.

Despite Senator McCain’s repeated resistance to Bush administration as well as Congressional run ups in spending these past eight years, Senator Obama will again charge this week (per Sunday night reports) that Senator McCain has never defined a single area in which he would act differently on the economy than has the President.

But setting aside the disingenuous rhetoric, here is this year’s real choice regarding the character of our economic future. On one side is Senator Obama’s passive and hopeless middle class, on the other Senator McCain’s active and aspiring one. Andy Stern v. Joe the Plumber: in a week and a day, we’ll see which vision the nation embraces.

Clark S. Judge is managing director of the White House Writers Group, Inc., a Washington-based policy and communications consulting firm. He was a special assistant and speechwriter to President Reagan.

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