Should Israel apologize to Turkey?
The US pressures Israel to apologize to turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident.
This idea could easily be accepted following a US apology to Pakistan for the Bin Laden incident. After all, the US committed two crimes (one more than Israel’s doing). 1. The US violated Pakistani sovereignty while 2. The US team assassinated a prized leader.
Armageddon is approaching. Congress is deadlocked. The bad guys are screaming, “We want the Marxist president to default on the country’s debt. We don’t care if interest rates rise, if this is the highest tax the American people will pay. As long as Obama and his Marxist administration do not benefit, taxes may rise. He, he, he…We merely want this president to fail us. We don’t care if we get damaged as a consequence. We are suicide bombers, and don’t forget it.”
The clock on the time bomb is clicking. Time is running out. The world is watching as heart rates are racing. Drama…Drama…
Can anyone disable this ticking bomb? Is James Bond around? Where is he?
Monday night… Too late for James Bond. He is too old already, retired in the Bahamas.
Then, a sign of hope. Breaking news out of the White House. CNN announces a presidential press conference. Anxiety...Excitement... We are going to tune in...
Is the president going to admit defeat? Are we about to plunge into this fireball and default?
What? What is he telling us? He is mad, isn’t he? He drops the F bomb. He points his middle finger at Capitol Hill.
Yes…Yes… He is raising the debt ceiling without having congressional authority. He is saving the world.
He is our new hero… He is the world’s hero.
Wow, am I relieved?
What? The bad guys are threatening impeachment?
Really, is that what Chutzpah is?
And I thought that the script ended happily, just like Hollywood.
Not to worry. It will. Unfortunately we will have to wait for the sequel.
Will Obama ever learn?
It may sound peculiar, but there is plenty of truth behind the notion that president Obama and the state of Israel have more in common than the naked eye can see. This simple fact has grown evident thanks to the recent debt ceiling debate, in which Washington is being immersed.
This realization, on my part, took place a couple of days ago. The article I wrote “Facts and Myths about the US Economy” http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Features/Article.aspx?id=230771 was not sufficiently hostile towards Obama; it was rather critical vis-à-vis some of the conservatives’ talking points concerning their understanding and treatment of the US economy. Predictably, I was condemned by a conservative friend who, more often than not, applauded my writings since we tend to see eye to eye when it comes to Israel’s security issues. This time, he disapproved, saying that I’d failed to see ”Hussein Obama for what he is: A naked Marxist who'd like to dismantle America's free enterprise system and turn this wonderful nation into a third world country.” He added that in November 2012 “this Muslim will be evicted from the White (Black house) house...” He even transferred his hostility to anyone who might come to argue that some of Obama’s economic policies have been correct by saying that I may be “suffering from white/Jewish man guilt.”
He is not alone. He represents many who view the world through the same kaleidoscope.
Oh well. If you read between the lines, you must come to one unambiguous conclusion. These particular comments unearth a serious problem. People holding these or similar views are racists; they suffer from deep and intense blind hate (emphasis on blind). Instead of looking at what the man says or does, they are blinded by his skin color, by his middle name, by some distorted illusory image, painted by rival politicians, bent on demonization and character assassination rather than reality.
Let me be clear. I am not an Obama fan, but I refuse to accept slanted characterizations of this man. Undeniably, he is neither a Marxist—as president, he is more "center" economically than many of his predecessors—nor a Muslim—he is officially a Christian, but unofficially—highly secular.
True, this president tries too hard to appease the Muslims, a fact that annoys me, makes my blood run cold. But when it comes to managing the economy his policies are far brainier than the thoughtless politicians from the Tea Party who would rather bring about an economic Armageddon than agree with Obama even on issues they would have pursued religiously had a Republican president proposed them.
Blind hate is a mental disorder preventing the sickly individual from seeing and perceiving the real world objectively without prejudice. Those who suffer from this perceptual disorder tend to demonize their hate-object without regard to what that object has been saying or doing. And being demonized by brain-washed adversaries without regard to the truth of the matter is a common trait shared by both—Obama and the Jewish state.
When Mitch McConnell announced that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” Obama must have deemed McConnell a suicide bomber, since in Obama’s views McConnell “was willing to take us all down, himself included, have the US undergo a double-dip recession in order to score political points.” Obama understood that “ultimately, it’s the Economy, stupid,” which will determine the winner of the next election. In Obama’s view, McConnell was implying that “If we, the Republicans, manage to have the economy stalled, we increase our chances for gaining the upper hand in 2012.”
Isn’t that policy equivalent to Hamas’ claim that the single most important thing they want to achieve is for Israel to be wiped off the map? Aren’t they willing to have their people undergo physical and economic hardship in consequence? Don’t they realize that ultimately “it’s the Jew-hatred, stupid,” which will keep their popularity high, provide them with a purpose, a reason to exist?
Obama should learn his lesson and apply it to his understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He must realize that negotiating with fanatics, whose “all-or nothing” approach, whose blind hostility towards him (or Israel) directs these extremists to view compromise as a dirty word, a blasphemy worthy of the death penalty. I want to believe that the US president is smart enough to recognize that there is no hope for peace with those who view his personal (or Israel’s) demise as a priority overshadowing their own welfare, that the essence of his (or Israel’s) actions is meaningless to his (or Israel’s) hate-consumed rivals, that it’s not what or how well he (or Israel) does or what concession he (or Israel) makes, but rather who he (or the Jewish state) is.
I hope Obama learns his lesson. He should apply that new revelation to his understanding of Israel’s predicament. The US president should equate his latest negotiating experience with the GOP—Obama considers whose agenda to have been hijacked by a financial terrorist organization, a.k.a the Tea Party—with Israel’s long-term experience with the Palestinian Authority—whose agenda has been hijacked by a terrorist organization a.k.a Hamas.
I hope that Obama comes to his senses; he should realize that a peace process is lifeless when the other side refuses to negotiate, sticks to uncompromising positions, hates you for who you are, and not for what you say or do, blames you for their misfortunes rather than looking at the mirror, willing to commit suicide only to see you damaged.
Does Mr. President see the analogy? Will he finally understand? Does he realize that his assessment of Michelle Bachman is equivalent to Israel’s view of Khaled Meshaal, that his “friend” John Boehner is Israel’s Mahmoud Abbas, that his Fox News is Israel’s Al Jazeera, that the Tea Party’s obsession with taxes is equivalent to the Palestinian’s fixation on the Right of Return?
I wonder how Obama reacts to the GOP claims that their program calling for massive budget cuts—bringing about substantial layoffs in the process— contribute to economic growth. Does he see that these claims are equivalent to the Palestinian’s declaration that the terror campaign they refer to as “resistance” contributes to peace?
Unfortunately, Obama may not see the analogy. He may still opt for a peace process; he may still believe that the other side may resort to reason, may opt for a real peace, for a win-win conclusion. What this president fails to realize is that the only win for the other side is seeing him out of office, and in Israel’s case, it is wiping the Jewish state off the map.
This president needs to wake up, open his eyes and smell the dandelion.
It’s an all-out war out there including in your own backyard, Mr. President!
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at Paltalk News Network(PNN), is the author of "Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks," and more recently, "72 Virgins," a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to UN International Standards body, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government. More information is available at www.aviperry.org
As the deadline for lifting the debt limit is approaching, the political rhetoric in Washington keeps gaining steam. Distortions of reality, dipped in sacred ideology, false economic theories, defiance of historical truths—all jam the air, the print media, the talk show discussions and the small talks around the water cooler.
The lies and the distortions spread by those who oppose the lifting of the debt ceiling must be addressed and exposed for what it is—dirty politics wrapped in a baseless ideology. The following is an incomplete list of myths and facts concerning the US economy and the implications associated with the debt, the deficit and the role of the government.
The Debt Ceiling (I call it—the Death Ceiling) is conditioned upon a bi-partisan agreement on lowering or balancing the US Government budget.
There is no dependence between the lifting of the debt ceiling and the budget deficit. In fact, it is my strong opinion that there should be no debt ceiling at all. The American government must honor its obligations regardless of the budget deficit’s size. The debt ceiling should be raised or completely eliminated, since each and every time we approach it, we realize that we have no choice but to raise it yet again. Government spending must be conducted responsibly with an eye on the size of the deficit regardless of the existence or the absence of a debt ceiling. If the ceiling is not lifted or eliminated altogether, the US will bring about a self-inflicted long-term disaster on its economy and on its economic dominance in the world while drowning the rest of the world in the process.
In recent days the rhetoric made use of the term “job creators” when referring to the rich. Is it the proper term or is it misleading?
The real job creators are the consumers. The boss will hire more workers if present business capacity is unable to fully satisfy consumers’ demand for goods and services. The boss will lay off employees if business capacity exceeds consumers’ demand. Taxes have little to do with hiring or firing of employees. The bosses do not create jobs. In their attempts to maximize their profit they act to satisfy demand in response to the real job creators—the customers.
What we need right now is a “Demand-Side” economic policy rather than a “Supply-Side” one.
The US needs a Balanced Budget amendment to the constitution.
Under a balanced budget amendment Government may be paralyzed at times of emergencies when it’s most needed. It will not be able to act quickly and decisively during unforeseen events like natural disasters such as Katrina, man-made disasters such as wars, or economic calamities such as the collapse of the auto industry, the breakdown of the financial sector or both. History has demonstrated that attempts to balance the budget during an economic depression caused more harm than good, and the damage was not confined to the short term. There is no need for a balanced budget amendment, especially now, when the economy is sluggish and unemployment is high. Shocking the economy at this point by forcing massive budgetary cuts in the short term is insane, unless policy makers are nostalgic about the great depression and feel like living through a greater one.
Taxes are too high in the US
Taxes are the lowest they have ever been. Income tax payments this year will be nearly 13% lower than in 2008—the last full year of the Bush presidency. The poor economy is largely to blame for the low tax rate, but the tax code is not an innocent bystander either. It grows each year with new deductions, credits and exemptions. Both rich and poor pay significantly less than they did in the past.
Supply Side Economics is what America needs.
Supply-side economics has never worked. The idea was that lower tax rates would provide strong incentives to earn more income, and as a consequence tax revenues would go up. Even supporters admit that the big supply-side tax cuts of the 1980s and the 2000s did not work as advertised, but those who want to believe in this false theory, despite the historic evidence to the contrary, hold on to their religious conviction in the Supply Side theory. They choose to ignore the fact that the promised boon in tax revenues has never materialized.
Government does not create jobs.
There are two main roles the government plays in the economy. It is the largest employer of the American workforce in addition to being the private sector’s most significant customer. As of March, 2009 Total Federal government employees amounted to over 2.8 million people with monthly payroll exceeding $15 Billion, not including the armed forces. The number of state and local employees was equal to over 5.3 million with payroll for that month equal to a figure exceeding $19.3 Billion.
Government purchases of goods and services including healthcare, education and defense in 2010 amounted to $2.764 Trillion. The figure does not include expenditures for pensions, welfare and interest payments.
Government expenditures are directly responsible for spawning millions of jobs in the private sector. Government expenditures for pensions, welfare and interest provide an indirect stimulus, offsetting some of the counter-stimulus tax burden.
The US Economy is like the Greek Economy
One of conservatives’ favorite talking points these days is that the U.S. is going to end up like Greece if we don’t do something drastic. This statement ignores some basic realities.
Greece’s economy is small and relatively insignificant compared to the US economy. Unlike the US, Greece’s debt is not in its own currency. In fact, Greece doesn’t even have its own currency. Unlike the US, Greece’s fiscal and monetary policies are not coordinated because Greece has no control over its monetary policy.
The US can prevent defaulting on its own debt unless it chooses otherwise. All real economists are in the opinion that a country can always pay its debt when the debt is in its own currency. It can simply print more money and devalue its currency and its debt in the process.
In spite of the Great Recession the US has a vibrant economy. Its production capacity, innovative atmosphere and capital levels, are unmatched in the world. Not a single person can say that about Greece.
The Obama/Bernanke bailouts have been wrong and ineffective
TARP— the Troubled Assets Relief Program, created in October 2008 at the height of the financial crisis has been one of the most prominent success stories of the great recession. Not only most of the $410 billion (out of the authorized $700 billion) is being paid back, but it did hit the brakes on the down spiral of the economy following the Lehman Brothers’ collapse.
Real economists agree that without TARP and the massive quantitative easing (QE) by the Federal Reserve unemployment could have risen to levels matching or even exceeding the levels of the Great Depression. It is a fact that proper government economic policies have been directly responsible for 8.5% unemployment. This figure is high compared to an ideal level, but it is very low in comparison to what it could have been had TARP failed to materialize.
Without TARP the American auto industry would have disappeared forever, taking with it all supporting industries and a great deal of the American manufacturing base. Without TARP banks would have failed, AIG would have failed, taking with them numerous industries, shrinking the money supply to a bottom that prevents any economic recovery while sinking the rest of the US to levels equivalent or lower than levels experienced during the Great Depression.
Claiming that TARP has weakened the economy is like claiming that the CIA (rather than al Qaeda) flew airplanes into the World Trade Center. Go figure…
The Obama Administration created the largest budget deficit ever
This statement is actually true, but it fails to deliver an authentic picture. The Obama Administration had no choice but to save a troubled economy and to support the troops in two wars it inherited. The Administration shouldn’t be blamed for trying to get the economy out of the ditch; it had no choice. And given the circumstances, it was the right thing to do.
The next generation will have to pay for the present government spending spree.
True but distorted, since the statement above is an attempt to place blame on the wrong party. The next generation would have paid much more if unemployment and underemployment reached levels of the Great Depression since parents would not have been able to invest in their children’s future. Government spending is not the only reason for the largest US budget deficit ever. The Bush tax cut is clearly a contributing factor. Still, tax cuts and greater levels of government spending were preferred to balancing the budget during the Great Recession. Running a budget deficit has been a better choice than sliding down the cliff the US was staring at, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Balancing the budget can only be accomplished by reducing spending rather than raising revenue since there is a need to transfer more resources to the private sector away from the government.
As I have argued earlier, there is no evidence favoring Supply-Side Economics. Accordingly, there is no proof that the private sector can, on its own, lift the economy out of the ditch. The private sector is frozen due to lack of demand. The only force that could jump start the economy at this point is an economic force not motivated by profit. Businesses will not invest and will not hire unless they see evidence of renewed economic activity justifying new spending. If we depend on the private sector to jump start the economy we must provide it with a compelling reason. In the absence of one, the recession will only get worse since leaving it unchecked will only cause it to feed upon itself, spiral down the cliff to levels of a Great Depression. Ubiquitous absence of demand generates more of the same, more layoffs, more depression.
The statement above is true only when the economy is healthy, when it fires on all cylinders at full force, when it benefits from full employment. In times of high unemployment when so many resources are underutilized, pulling resources out of an idle pool does not deprive the private sector. On the contrary, it spawns new job creators—more working consumers who are willing and eager to spend their earned income on goods and services produced by the private sector.
Raising the debt ceiling is a Democrat’s Socialist’s idea
When president Obama was a senator, and when Bush was president. Obama objected to raising the debt ceiling. When President Reagan faced the same issue he argued that “Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings the Government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket, instability would occur in financial markets, and the Federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility—two things that set us apart from much of the world.”
Would you still argue that it’s a democrat’s idea consistent with a tax and spend policy?
Conservatives have accused the Obama Administration for following the Keynesian policy of Tax and Spend. Is it really what Keynes advocated?
Keynes advocated an active fiscal policy by the government to balance and repair the economic conditions. In fact, he believed in increasing taxes and reducing spending in times of inflationary pressures while reducing taxes and increasing spending in times of high unemployment. This is the opposite of a straight tax and spends policy.
Dr. Avi Perry, a talk show host at Paltalk News Network (PNN), is the author of "Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering in Wireless Networks," and more recently, "72 Virgins," a thriller about the covert war on Islamic terror. He was a VP at NMS Communications, a Bell Laboratories -distinguished staff member and manager, a delegate of the US and Lucent Technologies to the ITU—the UN International Standards body in Geneva, a professor at Northwestern University and Intelligence expert for the Israeli Government