December 31, 2012

Hard truths. “When President Obama talks about taxing the rich, he means the top 2 percent of Americans. John A. Boehner, the House speaker, talks about an even thinner slice. But the current and future fiscal imbalances are too large to exempt 98 percent or more of the public from being part of the solution. Ultimately, unless we scale back entitlement programs far more than anyone in Washington is now seriously considering, we will have no choice but to increase taxes on a vast majority of Americans.”


President Obama (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Hard to find a better example than this of the degree to which Democrats are enamored of the political class. “As millions of Americans face smaller paychecks if the government fails to act to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Obama has raised the ire of some conservative critics by quietly handing over pay hikes — estimated to cost more than $1 billion a year — to Congress, high-ranking federal officials, judges and Vice President Joe Biden.”

Hard to say. Is this a threat or a promise from Piers Morgan? “I can spare those Americans who want me deported a lot of effort by saying this: If you don’t change your gun laws to at least try to stop this relentless tidal wave of murderous carnage, then you don’t have to worry about deporting me. Although I love the country as a second home and one that has treated me incredibly well, I would, as a concerned parent first – and latterly, of a one-year-old daughter who may attend an American elementary school like Sandy Hook in three years’ time – seriously consider deporting myself.”

Hard to believe this requires a warning. “Los Angeles officials have warned people against firing guns into the air when celebrating the New Year — anyone caught doing so could face a $10,000 fine.”

Hard to pretend President Obama cares all that much about national security. “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday said he had been told by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that it was unlikely the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal being negotiated would prevent sequester cuts to the Pentagon. . . . ‘He says if we do this, it will be shooting the Defense Department in the head and we’ll have to send out 800,000 layoff notices the beginning of the year,’ Graham said. ‘He is worried to death that if we don’t fix the sequestration, we’re going to destroy the finest military in the world at a time we need it the most. And this bill doesn’t cover defense cuts, on top of the ones we’ve already have.’”

Hard to argue Panetta was exaggerating: “A senior defense official said Sunday that the Pentagon would notify 800,000 civilian workers to brace for furloughs in the new year, meaning the workers would be ordered to take mandatory leave without pay for a certain period. . . . The Pentagon will be forced to cut $55 billion in spending in the first nine months of 2013, a roughly 10% reduction in many of its programs. The cuts would affect more than just the agency’s workforce, as the White House has said the military’s budgets for purchasing aircraft, ammunition, missiles and other items will be cut sharply.” And Joe Biden is getting a raise. Thunk.

Hard to pretend we don’t live in a dangerous world. “Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen is offering a bounty of gold worth $160,000 to anyone who kills Gerald M. Feierstein, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen. According to the Associated Press, the group announced that it will pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country.” We might want to take this threat on an ambassador seriously.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.