With know-nothing conservative columnist Ben Shapiro pretending that deficit reduction can easily be accomplished by cutting nonexistent government funding for small art exhibits, it's refreshing to see Larry Elder take a different approach. Unfortunately, Elder's plan seems to involve selling most of Utah, Nevada, Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon, and a significant portion of many other states.
Think I'm exaggerating? Here's Elder:
we need to raise money. How? Fund current and near-term liabilities by selling federally owned land. The federal government owns more than one-fourth of the land in America.
Elder didn't say who he expects to buy up 80 percent of Nevada. China, maybe?
In any case, Elder doesn't stop at auctioning off the interior West. Everything must go. He wants to sell off the Hoover Dam and "government-run nuclear and other power plants," too. Hey, what's the worst that could happen?
And Elder isn't done yet. He also wants to "shut down" the departments of Energy, Education, Labor, HUD, HHS, Interior and Commerce. Oh, and the EPA. And the IRS.
Elder also suggests a constitutional amendment limiting the federal government's budget to ten percent of GDP, which would be about $1.4 trillion -- or just about enough to cover Defense and Social Security and … well, that's it.
Still: It's refreshing to see a conservative media figure spell out exactly what they mean when they say government is too big. It's certainly more useful than Ben Shapiro's inane claims that the deficit can be reined in by cutting (privately-funded) art exhibits.
Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro thinks it's easy to cut government spending:
We know that it isn't tough to cut spending. This week alone, for example, the federally-funded Smithsonian Institution spent cash stocking its National Portrait Gallery with pictures of Ellen DeGeneres clutching her naked bosom, penises, and nude brothers making out -- all of this in order to show America how gays and lesbians "struggle for justice ... [attempting to] claim their full inheritance in America's promise of equality, inclusion and social dignity."
The Smithsonian does not use government money to fund exhibitions. The exhibit in question was funded by private-sector contributions. And even if it had been funded with government money, its total cost -- $750,000 -- would represent about 0.00002 percent of the federal budget. But, again, the exhibit wasn't funded by the government, which means that in arguing that it's easy to cut spending, Ben Shapiro successfully identified an exhibit that constitutes exactly 0.0 percent of the federal budget. With sharp minds like Shapiro's at work, the deficit will be gone in no time!
(In fairness to Shapiro, he does identify one other supposedly easy way to reduce the budget, complaining that the $1.25 billion in funding for "black farmers who were supposedly discriminated against by the Department of Agriculture" was an unnecessary "racial payoff by liberals to a key constituency." But, in fairness to reality, that's dumb. See, that $1.25 billion was the result of the settlement of a lawsuit, so it wasn't entirely optional. And noted conservatives like Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley pushed for it. And even if it was entirely unnecessary, it constitutes about 0.04 percent of the federal budget.)
Syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro takes to Twitter today to say that "Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage":
Shapiro has previously declared that the Obama administration is "openly anti-Semitic," said that President Obama himself "embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader," and compared White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to concentration camp prisoners who worked for the Nazis.
Conservative media outlets have launched another bogus smear on Shirley Sherrod, attacking her participation in a lawsuit charging the U.S. Department of Agriculture with discrimination against African American farmers. In fact, congressional Republicans and a federal judge agree that the USDA discriminated against African American farmers.
From Ben Shapiro's April 28 syndicated column, "An Open Letter to American Jews":
American Jews, I have one request of you: please pull your heads out of your posteriors.
I mean that in all sincerity. Your continued support for Democrats and an administration that is openly anti-Semitic is a disgrace. Your embrace of a party that seeks to hamstring Israel in the name of a wholly fictitious Middle East peace process is contemptible. Your loyalty to a president who consistently sides with Palestinian and Iranian mass murder-supporters is disgusting.
Your backing of a man who has spent his life surrounding himself with the worst anti-Semites America has to offer -- Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalidi (former Palestinian terrorist spokesman), Louis Farrakhan ("I don't like the way [Jews] leech on us"), Samantha Power, Robert Malley, to name a few -- is nothing short of reprehensible. Rahm Emanuel's presence in the Obama cabinet doesn't ameliorate Obama's anti-Semitism -- it just provides it convenient cover. Al Sharpton wrongly called Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell "house negroes"; Emanuel is a kapo.
Dictionary.com defines "kapo" as "a Nazi concentration camp prisoner who was given privileges in return for supervising prisoner work gangs: often a common criminal and frequently brutal to fellow inmates."
Right-wing bloggers and columnists have recently accused President Obama of instigating an "intifada" against Israel through his administration's criticism of Israel's announced plan to expand housing in a section of East Jerusalem or by purportedly "incentiviz[ing] Palestinian Arabs to violent uprising."
From Ben Shapiro's February 10 syndicated column:
The environmentalist frenzy overtaking the Democratic Party and its left allies is just one symptom of a burgeoning anti-democratic wave among liberals. Even as the deep green crowd pushes forward with its anti-technology, anti-liberty agenda, first lady Michelle Obama insists that we now police what inner- city kids eat for dinner. Her "anti-obesity" initiative, spearheaded at LetsMove.gov, suggests that it is our responsibility to "ensure that all families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities."
What if not all families want healthy food? What if they prefer McDonald's? Surely the Food Police follows hot on the heels of the Green Police-already, liberal politicians are floating "fat taxes" as punishments for businesses that market unhealthy products.
The anti-democratic wave continues with the White House's utter disdain for anyone who disagrees with them on foreign policy. John Brennan, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, suggested this week that "Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda." Hey, wait a second-didn't dissent used to be patriotic?
Then there are the White House's media lackeys, contemptible pseudo-intellectuals like Paul Krugman, who put on the soundtrack to "Apocalypse Now" and wrote this: "We've always known that America's reign as the world's greatest nation would eventually end ... The truth is that given the state of American politics, the way the Senate works is no longer consistent with a functioning government." That's the ticket! When the Dear Leader is in trouble, liberals are eager to dump one of the foundational institutions of republican governance.
The left is crying out for a friendly tyranny, whether it springs from the holsters of the Green Police, the Food Police or the Obama administration. Whenever there is backlash against their agenda, their first solution is to dismiss the people.
To that end, we the people are characterized as stupid, angry and easily manipulated. No doubt, we the people are stupid or angry or easily manipulated sometimes. But we are still the people. And we the people aren't made to be ruled by the iron fist of the know-it-all know-nothings who now occupy our nation's editorial boards and highest offices.
From Ben Shapiro's February 3 syndicated column, headlined "Obama's Philosophically Fascist State of the Union Address":
There sure is something different about President Obama. Usually, the State of the Union address is a laundry list of proposals spiced with sycophantic applause and dipped in an admixture of boredom and bravado. It is rarely a statement of basic philosophy. Not for President Obama.
President Obama's State of the Union address was the greatest American rhetorical embrace of fascist trope since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I am not suggesting Obama is a Nazi; he isn't. I am not suggesting that he is a jackbooted thug; he isn't (even if we could be forgiven for mistaking Rahm Emanuel for one).
President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms—not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.
It would be pointless to discuss at length the dictatorial, demagogic nature of much of Obama's address—the attacks on the banking system; the unprecedented personal assault on the Supreme Court justices; the dictatorial demands ("I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay"); the scornful looks and high-handed put-downs directed at his political opponents. It would be even more pointless to discuss the incomprehensible stupidity of Obama's policy proposals. (Export more of our goods? Why didn't anyone else think of that?)
It is worth examining, however, the deeper philosophy evident from Obama's address. From the outset, his speech was an ode to himself.
We are not he. The American spirit is not the Obama spirit. America is not defined by our collective desire to bring about political utopia through abdication of representative democracy to a body of "wise pragmatists." America is defined by Americans—individuals fighting to support their families, to preserve their values and their freedoms. And that Americanism stands in direct opposition not only to the Obama agenda, but also to Obama's vision of himself.
After Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national director Abraham Foxman criticized Rush Limbaugh for his January 20 statement that "a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there" -- remarks Limbaugh later lied to defend -- the right-wing media has rushed to defend Limbaugh and to attack Foxman. Foxman has been smeared as a "terrible Jew" and a "plague on his people," and described as a "disgusting, craven little twerp."
Syndicated columnist Ben Shapiro made numerous false and misleading attacks on the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which he called "a radical and in some cases quasi-criminal group." He falsely smeared former NCLR board member Mari Del Carmen Aponte as "an alleged former spy for Fidel Castro"; falsely claimed that a statement urging Hispanics to "[reclaim] the land of their birth" was a "founding document" of NCLR; baselessly asserted that a proposed federal education funding increase was part of an effort "to funnel money quickly and furiously into NCLR coffers"; and ignored evidence contradicting claims of a "kickback scheme" involving an NCLR affiliate.
In a smear piece attacking the National Council of La Raza, columnist Ben Shapiro falsely described Mari Del Carmen Aponte, a former board member of the group whom President Obama nominated to be U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, as "an alleged former spy for Fidel Castro." In fact, the FBI reportedly cleared Aponte of allegations that she had been recruited as a Cuban spy.
Advancing Glenn Beck's and Andrew Breitbart's aggressive promotion of an August 10 conference call, Fox News' Gretchen Carlson and conservative columnist Ben Shapiro have alleged that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) broke laws against lobbying and electioneering during the secretly taped call. In fact, the transcript of the conference call released by Breitbart's website contains no evidence of illegal electioneering or lobbying by government officials.