Thad Cochran Showing Early Signs of Desperation


With less than four months until the primary election for US Senate in Mississippi, the political season is now in full swing.  And like clockwork, the long-anticipated attacks against Senator Chris McDaniel by allies of the Thad Cochran camp have begun in earnest, and sadly, in dishonestly, if not downright hilarity.

Finding themselves in what must be an increasingly desperate situation, Senator Cochran and his well-funded surrogates and friends have initiated a campaign of low blows.  This operation of deceit is nothing more than the establishment of the Republican Party, both on the national and state level, rallying around a weakened leader in a desperate attempt to make him look good by tearing down his opponent. Continue reading “Thad Cochran Showing Early Signs of Desperation”

Thad Cochran’s False Leadership


Webster’s dictionary defines leadership this way:  “The power or ability to lead other people.”  A business dictionary defines it as “establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision.”  Can we honestly say this describes Thad Cochran’s time in Washington over the last four decades?  Many conservatives think not. Continue reading “Thad Cochran’s False Leadership”

Ranking President Kennedy


Was JFK a great President?  As the nation marked the 50th anniversary of Jack Kennedy’s tragic assassination, new polling shows that many Americans consider him to be among our very best, ranking higher than any President in the last half century according to the latest Gallup survey.  Two years ago, he rated fourth all time, ahead of such Presidents as Washington and Jefferson.  But is this accurate?

As a historian, it makes little sense to rank a President who served just over one thousand days in office, rather than a full term or even two.  It’s very difficult to judge his more limited accomplishments and what effect they had on the nation and even the world. Continue reading “Ranking President Kennedy”

Exposing Thad Cochran’s Real Fiscal Record


No sooner had Senator Chris McDaniel launched his campaign for the United States Senate, a race pitting him against a six-term incumbent, when the defenders of the status quo came to the aging incumbent Thad Cochran’s defense.  One fearless Cochran guardian, Brian Perry from Madison County, recently wrote in the Laurel Leader Call that without the elder Senator’s presence in Washington there would be Mississippi “counties without hospitals or roads to get to where the hospitals are not.”  Without the tireless work of Senator Cochran, says Perry, we would have closed military bases, fewer police, and smaller universities.  Perry’s inference is clear: if we vote for change and a true conservative in Chris McDaniel, we won’t have any roads, public buildings, police officers, military bases, or schools to attend.  We will immediately revert to the 18th century I suppose. Continue reading “Exposing Thad Cochran’s Real Fiscal Record”

The Constitution and the Income Tax


Americans love anniversaries and this year marks some pretty remarkable ones, most notably the sesquicentennial of the battle of Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg, two events that dealt a crippling blow to the Confederacy in the summer of 1863, and the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.  But 2013 also marks the centennial of another crucial event, the enactment of the infamous income tax.

Pushed by Liberals for decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the income tax was supposed to be the “great leveling,” a policy that would correct the long-festering problem of wealth inequality.  However, there was one problem – the Constitution specifically prohibited the government from taxing the American people directly. Continue reading “The Constitution and the Income Tax”

Prosperity in the Hands of Fools


The richest and wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, counseled us in the Book of Proverbs that “the prosperity of fools will destroy them.” Notice that Solomon did not say prosperity will ruin anyone, but the fool only.  So his wisdom is simple:  If you have wealth, don’t be a fool with it and you will remain prosperous.  If you want wealth, remain wise and not foolish and you will gain it, and hopefully keep it.

Now let us look at that foolish institution called the United States government.

Our great country grew from a late 18th century economic joke into the world’s super economy in a little more than a century, with much of the phenomenal growth coming in a 50-year period from 1865 until World War I.  Using wise policies the United States led the globe in every conceivable economic category as the 20th century began, and all because of free market capitalism.  The government was largely absent. Continue reading “Prosperity in the Hands of Fools”

Why do Americans have to learn the hard way?


It seems we never learn. Every now and then, the American people hand some poor soul, undeserving in many cases, the national levers of power.  And in each and every instance, it has cost us dearly.  There are several historical periods of note.

John Adams, himself a political giant, was imminently qualified for the presidency, at least on paper.  But he had the most unenviable of tasks, perhaps in all of American history.  He had to follow George Washington as president.  And he did a lousy job.

Rather than reverse course from what Washington and Alexander Hamilton had begun, Adams built on it, continuing an oppressive system of taxation and top-down management of the nation’s affairs.  A people who had just fought a war of independence over taxation now saw the imposition of an even more draconian system, one that included direct federal taxes on everything from whiskey and tobacco to land and homes. Continue reading “Why do Americans have to learn the hard way?”

Early Episodes of American Socialism


In last week’s column, I posed the question of whether Barack Obama was a socialist or not, given the current definition of the ideology.  I think the evidence is clear that he is.

Obama likes to boast that we, as a nation, have learned from our history.  But, as he seeks to implement more socialism, have we really learned anything?

In the academic world it is common to hear defenses of the failures of socialism, most notably the oft-repeated statement that “true socialism has never been tried.”  But alas, my dear friends, it has.  As a matter of fact, it has been tried right here in America, during our earliest years, and it is being tried right now. Continue reading “Early Episodes of American Socialism”

A Lesson in ‘Kenyan’ Economics


Is Barack Obama a socialist?  Many on the right say yes; most on the left say no.  It is a major question that has pervaded our politics for the last four years with no definitive answer either one way or the other.  But I think the answer is obvious, if one will only look objectively at the clear signs.

First of all, how do you define socialism?  The historical definition is a simple one: government ownership of the means of production and the central economic planning that makes such an arrangement possible.  Yet in the modern era, it has undergone a necessary re-evaluation.

In 1976, Nobel Prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek, in an updated version of his influential book The Road to Serfdom, re-defined it for contemporary times:  “Socialism has come to mean chiefly the extensive redistribution of incomes through taxation and the institutions of the welfare state.” Continue reading “A Lesson in ‘Kenyan’ Economics”

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