Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Senator Lugar

Each Democratic Presidential candidate during the last three elections was asked if he has ever worked with Republicans in a bi-partisan fashion. The answer was the same in each case. All three candidates mentioned working with Senator Richard Lugar. In fact, during the 2004 campaign, Senator Lugar had to hold a press conference begging the Democrats to stop using his name to advance their bi-partisan credentials.

Certainly, Senator Lugar has lots of old friends among the Democrats; Gore, Kerry, Obama are just a few of them. But did you know he has a new group of best friends in Russia? The Russian people call them "oligarchs"; and that is not a term of endearment. Look it up on Wikipedia for the sense of it.

Lugar's new friends are a clear indication of why he should not be re-elected and it is a very simple one. He cannot protect you against the massive encroachment of government into our lives. In fact, he supports those encroachments.

There have been several studies done about the rise of the Nazis in pre-World War II Germany. One of the most perceptive was the analysis made by Classical Economist Ludwig von Mises. What his analysis revealed was the reason why the Nazis had so little opposition during the late stages of the Weimar Republic. In his book, “Omnipotent Government”, Mises wrote:

“We need only emphasize that whoever lacks the courage or the insight to attack these (national socialist) premises is not in a position to find fault with the conclusions drawn from them by the Nazis.”(Parentheses mine)(1)

According to Mises, the Nazi opposition lost because they agreed with the basic premises held by the Nazis.

What were these premises? According to Mises:

1.“Capitalism is an unfair system of exploitation.”
2.“It is therefore the foremost duty of popular government to substitute government control of business for the management of capitalists and entrepreneurs.”
3.“Price ceilings and minimum wage rates, whether directly enforced by the administration or indirectly by giving a free hand to trade unions, are an adequate means for improving the lot of the consumers and permanently raising the standard of living of all wage earners.”
4.“Easy money policy, i.e., credit expansion, is a useful method of lightening the burdens imposed by capital upon the masses and making a country more prosperous.”
5.“All those who deny the foregoing statements and assert that capitalism best serves the masses and that the only effective method of permanently improving the economic conditions of all strata of society is progressive accumulation of new capital are ill-intentioned and narrow-minded apologists of the selfish class interest of the exploiters.”
6.“The advantage derived from foreign trade lies exclusively in exporting.”

In spite of the fact, that each of these six points is wrong, it is worth noting that, with the exception of point 6, the Obama administration holds all of them. In fact, they are central tenets of Obama's world view. And you have to wonder about Senator Lugar. Is he strong enough to disagree with the Obama administration on these points? Does he have the courage to fight a President who may well do to our country what the Nazis did to Germany? Or will the Senator fall by the wayside on Obama's road to tyranny...a weak apologist who barely rated an asterisk in the history books?

I'm certainly no Rhodes Scholar, but you don't have to have an Ivy League education to know that thugs and gangsters are taking over the country. Who's man enough to say it? Do you really think Senator Lugar has the courage to take on the Democrats as they destroy the energy industry in Indiana?

I think Lugar is sleepwalking. While President Obama is violating the Constitution at will, every day, Senator Lugar is still trying to be bi-partisan; he still thinks he can work with the Democrats and bring jobs to Indiana...while the economy is virtually crumbling around him. Does he even notice that it is crumbling? I think not.

It was recently announced that Senator Lugar has “been working with Senator Evan Bayh…to secure federal money for a company that wants to build the next generation of advanced lithium-ion batteries.

The Indiana lawmakers have secured $6.5 million in congressional earmarks for Ener1, Inc., and have talked up the company's efforts to secure a slice of nearly $3 billion in two Energy Department programs offering grants and loans as part of President Obama's stimulus package. “(3)(5)

The factory will be situated in Noblesville, Indiana and it is thought that we’d be gaining 3000 jobs, but “there's one detail they don't mention.

Ener1 has substantial financial ties to Russian industrialist Boris Zingarevich, a wealthy timber magnate and longtime business associate of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Mr. Zingarevich is frequently listed among the powerful and influential businessmen known in Russia as oligarchs.

According to federal records, Mr. Zingarevich is the "provider of substantially all of the funding" for Ener1 and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. The companies he owns, controls or is associated with - including Bzinfin SA, an off-shore firm that holds 66 percent of the shares of Ener1's parent company - have the potential to exercise substantial sway over Ener1's operations, documents filed with U.S. securities regulators state.”(4)

Considering the above, do you really think Senator Lugar is going to do anything to kill this Russian/Noblesville deal, by, for instance, voting against the Cap and Trade Bill? Is this deal a payoff that buys Lugar’s vote for the bill? Is it intended to help Lugar save his job when so many are opposed to the various stimulus packages for which he has voted? What other quid pro quo deals are in the works to help Lugar keep his job?

More than this, why don’t the Russians really put up all the money for this project? Since when did it become common practice for a Russian business man (or any business person for that matter) to get money from the U.S. government in order to build a factory? Is this money a pay off to the Russians to bring their factory to Indiana? How do we know the deal is not another money laundering scheme that will skim tax payer money through grants and send it to an off-shore account? If this factory is such a good idea, why don't we let private entrepreneurs make their own decisions about it using their own money?

Furthermore, how do we know that the American public is going to buy battery operated cars, or that these batteries will be sufficient for our military? How is the government going to overcome the negatives of battery-operated cars when the American public is already sick and tired of these tax payer financed deals? Does Lugar think that we will just look the other way, vote him into power again, and say, “Thanks, Dick, for bringing jobs to Indiana” when we know that this money was taken from us and that millions of jobs have already been lost because of this theft?

What will happen if this business goes bust? The government will have to expend billions of dollars in advertising expenditures just to get us to change our minds about the technology…and if the cars are too expensive, the government will have to subsidize these costs to lower the prices. And since these jobs will probably be union jobs, who is going to lay these people off? Certainly not Obama or Lugar or Bayh; those laid off people are voters. They’ll probably come up with another scheme to steal more of our money…if there is anything left by then.

The fallacy of all these boondoggles is that the government thinks it can use tax payer money to “stimulate” trade and make things better. What Lugar and Obama ignore is that the money comes from us in the first place and we have to produce something in order for them to have money to take from us. For every dollar they take out of our pockets, there is one less dollar that we can spend on the things the government wants us to buy. For every job their deal creates, there are two or more jobs lost in the marketplace. And every job they create will be less productive than the old job they destroyed. When they steal the investment capital of the nation, there will be no money left to invest in future production. Then the factory they built in Noblesville will rot in the clean air.

Put another way, when they take a trillion dollars to invest in new government-approved businesses, where will they get the next trillion dollars once the first round of money has been squandered? You cannot assume that the public will just accept the new products and provide the government with an immediate profit...especially since consumers today have less money to spend. Statistics show that even new private businesses take as long as ten years to become profitable. And, most Americans don't trust government-financed projects. This is the problem with centrally planned business ventures; the government is not good at planning profitable enterprises and the result is a constantly growing drain on the government's budget. In other words, we'll pay dearly to make sure the new factory can stay in business.

You cannot create a vibrant economy through Central Planning. It did not work in Soviet Russia, it did not work in Communist China and it did not work in Nazi Germany. It won’t work here. By the time these factories are built the economy will be so bad no one will be able to afford a car.

Perhaps they will be able to afford a golf cart. I know Dick is good at driving golf carts. But he's not good enough to represent a state that needs leadership.

(1) Omnipotent Government, Ludwig von Mises, Libertarian Press
(2) Ibid
(3) Washington Times
(4) Ibid
(5) I'd like to remind you that this is the stimulus package that President Obama said had no earmarks.

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