Monday, December 24, 2012

"...And to All a Good Night"

You've likely noticed that my posts have been intermittent at best lately.  As I explained back in August and September, I've taken a new job and because of the travel it involves, blogging is difficult at times.

But the real truth is that after almost three years the Sage is simply out of gas.

As my family gathers around me for the holiday, I notice that I'm far more concerned about its well-being than I am the country's.  (Is that a conservative instinct or not?)

While I realize it's not yet the end of the year and, contra the Mayan calendar, certainly not the end of the world, it feels nonetheless like a good time to stop.

So, with many thanks to those of you who urged me to begin the blog, as well as encouraged me along the way, I sign off for the last time on this Yuletide Eve with a heartfelt wish for a "Happy Christmas to all..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"There Will Be Blood"

Such were the words Democratic legislator Douglas Geiss boldly declared on the floor of the state house in response to the signing of the new law that would make Michigan the country's 24th Right-to-Work state: “There will be blood. There will be repercussions.”

And while blood did indeed flow, neither Geiss nor any other apologist for the violence and vandalism we reliably associate with the Left suffered any repercussions.  Nor will they.

Remember this when the Great Reckoning finally unfolds.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


In case you were wondering, the Sage has been on the road without a blogging-compatible computer.

Not that it mattered.

It feels, to me at least, as if all we can do now is wait and see.  The number of conservative-leaning people I have spoken with since the election who are dispirited, or at least resigned, is alarming.  There's no fight in them.  Save, that is, the kind of fight that makes them think they ought to buy guns and ammo, store canned goods and water, etc.

Anxious times.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jump!, cont.

And here I thought even Charles Krauthammer was going wobbly as we approached the fiscal cliff.  I was wrong.

Instead, he sees exactly what Obama and the Democrats are doing:
Ronald Reagan once fell for a “tax now, cut later” deal that he later deeply regretted. Dems got the tax; he never got the cuts. Obama’s audacious new gambit is not a serious proposal to solve our fiscal problems. It’s a raw partisan maneuver meant to neuter the Republicans by getting them to cave on their signature issue as the hold-the-line party on taxes. 
The objective is to ignite exactly the kind of internecine warfare on taxes now going on among Republicans. And to bury Grover Norquist. 
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Norquistian. I don’t believe the current level of taxation is divinely ordained. Nor do I believe in pledges of any kind. But Norquist is the only guy in town to consistently resist the tax-and-spend Democrats’ stampede for ever higher taxes to fund ever more reckless spending. 
The hunt for Norquist’s scalp is a key part of the larger partisan project to make the Republicans do a George H. W. Bush and renege on their heretofore firm stand on taxes. Bush never recovered.
Bush never recovered and neither will the Republican Party if they sign on to a bad or even ambiguous deal with the Democrats.  If they do, and I don't like saying this at all, conservatives will abandon the party.

But Krauthammer is, I fear, wrong about one thing:
Why are the Republicans playing along? Because it is assumed that Obama has the upper hand. Unless Republicans acquiesce and get the best deal they can right now, tax rates will rise across the board on January 1, and the GOP will be left without any bargaining chips. 
But what about Obama? If we all cliff-dive, he gets to preside over yet another recession. It will wreck his second term. Sure, Republicans will get blamed. But Obama is never running again. He cares about his legacy. You think he wants a second term with a double-dip recession, 9 percent unemployment, and a totally gridlocked Congress? (my italics)
I agree, Obama does care about his legacy, just not in the way you might expect him to.

Remember, Obama wants not to recover or restore the country, he wants instead to "fundamentally transform the United States of America."

To that end, he reasons, a new crisis, just like the last one, shouldn't go to waste and he, for one, won't let it.  A double-dip recession, 9-plus percent unemployment, and a totally gridlocked Congress are all near perfect ingredients in a recipe to nourish the still growing Leviathan.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Please Remember This

How we are taxed is a very important issue.  There are more and less efficient and/or just ways for our government to raise the revenue it needs to perform its functions and pay its debts and, therefore, the current debate is critical.

But of far greater importance is how much we are taxed.  That figure, however it's raised, more than any other signals the size and intrusiveness of our government and ought to concern us much more than the size of the top marginal rate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jump!, cont.

If you've paid any attention at all to the debate over what to do to avoid the nation's looming "fiscal cliff", you know that the issue has been framed as essentially one between the House Republicans, who do not want to raise marginal tax rates on anyone, and the White House, the congressional Democrats, the elite liberal media (as well as a growing number of "wobbly"  Republican senators willing to dicker after all), who want to raise them on the wealthiest Americans.

There remains, to this point anyway, little to no word at all about cutting spending.  And, if history is any guide, no matter what the final deal, no spending will be cut, now or ever.

So, how about gambling on this deal instead?  A deal for the GOP and for the Democrats as well, a deal to which both parties have already agreed? 

The Republicans should grab the Democrats tightly ("Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.") and simply step off the cliff.

The Republicans will enjoy the boast of, true to their pledge, not having voted to raise taxes.

For Democrats marginal rates will indeed climb.  True, for everyone not just the rich, but in their heart of hearts, that is what they want anyway.  For liberals, nothing is ultimately yours.  Rather, as they see it, in a more efficient and just society, all wealth belongs finally to the government, to be redistributed by it as necessary.    

But also, and this is key, real spending will be cut as well.

Think of it, for the first time since the New Deal at least, real spending will be cut and smaller government will result.  To be sure, it will be cut with a very blunt instrument, but cut nonetheless.

I say jump.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


As more and more Republicans appear ready to abandon their pledge to the American people (not to Grover Norquist for heaven's sake) by at least considering raising taxes in order to reach some budget agreement with the White House and the congressionbal Democrats, Marc Thiessen offers several reasons why they should not, but should instead call the Democrats' bluff.  If we go over the the fiscal cliff with them he insists, we'll win.

 I find his arguments compelling.  How about you?