A Leader Or Follower Be

Military commanders on the ground say more troops are needed to win in Afghanistan. The President’s advisers (apparently not Secretary of State Hillary Clinton), a flock of doves representing the far Left of his party, want US troops out. Not increased.

Obama's fickle finger of fate.
Checking the wind. Part of the decision-making process.

It’s crunch time for the Obama administration. Not only for how to handle the war, or more correctly, whether to handle the war, but for the message that cutting and running under political pressure sends to our allies and potential allies around the world.

At least under Bush, our allies could count on us keeping commitments and fighting to keep us, and them, safe no matter what the public sentiment was. All that is now put into question under Barack Obama, our new Commander in Chief.

It demonstrates the difference between leading on principle and not leading at all.  Just ask Poland and the Czech Republic.

More Words, Just Words, For Iran?

We’ve heard hollow tough talk like this before. Didn’t work for President Clinton with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and it isn’t going to move Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad either. President Obama’s words yesterday. . .

“Iran’s action raised grave doubts”

They’re not new actions. They’ve been ignored by the UN and Washington for years.

Iran is on ‘a path that is going to lead to confrontation. . . Iran is on notice that when we meet with them on Oct. 1 they are going to have to come clean and they are going to have to make a choice’

As head of the UN Security Council, can we expect at least eight more years of indecision and inaction while Iran comes up with a nuclear bomb to use on Israel, our troops, and its neighbors? Do you mean a confrontation like another meeting full of finger pointing and idle threats? Or do you mean making a choice like Saddam Hussein chose?

We will soon see how effective ‘hope and change’ is on Ahmadinejad. This is where community organizing and world organizing differ.There is no ACORN presence in Iran to help him.

The problem with Obama in real-world foreign relations has nothing to do with his being black. It has everything to do with his being green.

link: Obama warns Iran: ‘come clean’ on nukes

Cash For Clunkers, What A Deal

Democratic Math, OR, how you got screwed without even a kiss.

Look at how hard working Americans got taken to the cleaners.

If you traded in a clunker worth $3500, you get $4500 off for an apparent “savings” of $1000.

However, you have to pay taxes on the $4500 come April 15th (something that no auto dealer will tell you).  If you are in the 30% tax bracket, you will pay $1350 on that $4500.

So, rather than save $1000, you actually pay an extra $350 to the feds. In addition, you traded in a car that was most likely paid for.  Now you have 4 or 5 years of payments on a car that you did not need, that was costing you less to run than the payments that you will now be making.

But wait, it gets even better:  you also got ripped off by the dealer. For example, every dealer here in LA was selling the Ford Focus with all the goodies including A/C, auto transmission, power windows, etc for $12,500 the month before the “cash for clunkers” program started.

When “cash for clunkers” came along, they stopped discounting them  and instead sold them at the list price of $15,500.  So, you paid $3000 more than you would have the month before.  (Honda, Toyota, and Kia played the same list price game that Ford and Chevy did).

So lets do the final tally here:

You traded in a car worth:   $3500
You got a discount of:       $4500
Net so far                  +$1000
But you have to pay:         $1350 in taxes on the $4500
Net so far:                 -$350
And you paid:                $3000 more than the car was selling for the
month before
Net                         -$3350

We could also add in the additional taxes (sales tax, state tax, etc.) on the extra $3000 that you paid for the car, along with the 5 years of interest on the car loan but lets just stop here.

So who actually made out on the deal?  The feds collected taxes on the car along with taxes on the $4500 they “gave” you.  The car dealers made an extra $3000 or more on every car they sold along with the kickbacks from the manufacturers and the loan companies.  The manufacturers got to dump lots of cars they could not give away the month before.  The used car market takes a hit when the clunkers are destroyed. And the hard working American consumer gets saddled with even more debt that they cannot afford.

Obama and his band of merry men convinced Joe consumer that he was getting $4500 in “free” money from the “government” when in fact Joe was giving away his $3500 car and paying an additional $3350 for the privilege.

Oh yeah, they’ll most likely do a good job with your health care too.

H/T Provolone Greg