Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Solution Is Almost Always LESS Government

Q & A: Dave Ramsey
Interview by Sarah Pulliam | posted 9/26/2008 11:13AM [Christianity Today]

What do you think of the bailout?

I think it's a disaster. It's the largest government department ever formed in the history of man, and they are doing it in five days, and they are doing it based on a spirit of fear.

There are other things we could be doing to calm markets. All of the Bush administration appears to be in a dead dog panic. I'm afraid it's going to pass, but that doesn't mean we're going to like it.

What do you recommend instead?

Change the market accounting rules. Do away with the capital gains tax, which will cause money to flood into the market instantaneously in 24 hours. Last, if we do need to do some insurance of some of these bonds, we can insure them rather than just buying them all. Only 7 percent of them are in foreclosure, while 93 percent of them are paying, so why are we buying them all—so we can make Paulson king?

Kent comments:

Many people find this whole mess very confusing, because it is. Many financial advisor people are saying that something like what Congress is now trying to do is essential. They are wrong, and Dave Ramsey is exactly right.

Those market accounting rules require that at the end of each day, securities that no one would buy that day be counted as worthless. But a mortgage that no one wants to purchase today is not necessarily worthless. It is worth at least what the property it is on could sell for on the market, which, while it might be lower that it once was, is never nothing.

Dave Ramsey’s prescription would work, and work much better than the proposed total government buyout. But, of course, Congress - especially one controlled by Democrats - is never going to pass any such prescription. Can you guess why?

Because it is a solution that removes power from government, rather than giving government more power. Once you put the words 'remove' next to the word 'tax' Congress is sure to balk. Government meddling in markets is what caused this mess. It can be solved by taking away that very meddling.

But expecting government to limit itself is a bit like expecting water to run uphill.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Know Obama Is Christian

The headline of the Pew Research “daily number” reads:

46% - Don't Know Obama is Christian

Of course, the story that follows is all about the fact that a lot of people don’t know what “he whose middle name must not be spoken” says he is. But I’m not sure I know that Obama is a Christian. He is a politician, after all, and I tend not to believe them.

From every indication - his home church, his ministers, and everything that he says about Christianity - Obama is a follower of liberation theology. Not everything that has ‘theology’ in the name is Christian, and this one is a perfect example of that.

That is not to say that all the other politicians who claim to be Christians in fact are. And I realize that coming to the conclusion I just have is completely forbidden in our culture. Call me skeptical, but just because someone claims something, even - and especially - in religion does not require that I accept it at face value.

Is it not at least of passing interest that everyone wants to make sure we know that Obama is a ‘Christian.’ But whenever our buddy-ette Sarah Palin is connected in some way to Christianity, hands fly up in horror.

“Don’t know” can mean different things in common speech. Sometimes it means “I’m fairly certain this is not the case.” In that case, I’m one of the 46%.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Warming Up to John and Sarah

Since the days of Calvin and Hobbes, the “global warming” mania has largely gone without critical examination, at least in the outlets most people watch and read. This presidential election cycle, it has become an issue of some importance.

According to this report:


the Republican presidential ticket is split on the matter of human-caused global warming. Palin thinks global temperature changes are not caused by human activity, McCain thinks it is the case and that we should get on with doing something about it. According to the CNS News report, McCain, in a May 12 speech, had this to say:

“The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Instead of idly debating the precise extent of global warming, or the precise time-line of global warming, we need to deal with the central facts of rising temperatures, rising waters, and all the endless troubles that global warming will bring. We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge."

As detestable as his Democratic opponents are, this point alone makes me shudder at the prospects of a McCain presidency. Part of the problem is the possible lack of homework on the part of the McCain campaign.

First, take a look at this report


where you can find this chart:

See "Prejudiced Authors, Prejudiced Findings," page 4

By all the normal measures, the earth has been cooling since 2001. Of course, in the history of the earth, this is not a trend. But in our “news culture” where it would normally be seen as a trend, not a word about it has been mentioned. But when you look at the longer trends, the whole debate becomes at least silly, and at worst sinister. In this article from NOVA


you can learn enough (and its not about the global warming debate) to see that the temperature of the earth has been up and down many times, most of it long, long before humans could have had any effect. That the world is warming right now, overall, should surprise no one who has examined earth’s temperature history. That those who love large and powerful governments pervert this into an excuse for more government is not surprising either. What is surprising is that Republicans - people we might expect to be somewhat conservative - should willingly acquiesce to this perversion.

Also, have a look at this collection of scientists:


31,000 plus of whom will not only dispute McCain’s claim, but will also point out many beneficial results of global warming, should we get some more soon.

Again I say that claims of man-made, harmful global warming is the perfect political football for those who would like to dramatically increase the size and scope of government. These days, this is a given for Democrats. A couple of decades ago, when some Republicans thought “government is the problem, not the solution” you would not have expected this from the GOP.

Most people don’t realize how draconian and devastating to our economy the usually proposed “solutions” to the “problem” of global warming would be. It can be summed up like this: if you are poor, prepare to starve. If you are middle-class, prepare to become poor. If you are rich, prepare to spend a lot of your wealth buying your way around the “solutions” the rest of us will have to suffer.

When the alternative is Barry & Joe, those concerned about this matter might turn to John & Sarah. Even here, we have to wonder about John. If they are elected, perhaps Sarah will convince John - perhaps. Otherwise, prepare for poverty.