You have to give the man credit. Obama seems to know quite a few well placed ladies with a lot of punch above their waist. He’s no slouch on foreign policy either. He knows which nations are our strongest allies and he knows the Philippines and Ireland are not very big. President Bush never made a statement showing he knew that. And one last point, obviously the teleprompter ridicule has been overdone. You could tell by his halting delivery there was no teleprompter in use, and yet with very little hesitation he knew exactly where the Prime Minister of Australia was from.
Seriously, the President’s condescending style stops just short of being insulting, and his guests know it. You can see it in their faces as he speaks. Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and has held political office ever since. Nonetheless, as author Edward Klein observes, after 16 years in government Obama is still The Amateur.
Rush Limbaugh, in one of his anti-Obama tirades, threw out the line “Now he’s on a trip to Ireland. Who knows for what?” Well I know for what. Rush probably knows too. Because, for all his bombast and irreverence, Limbaugh is still worth listening to for the benefit of his insights. President Obama went to Ireland to reshape his image. It was a campaign stop.
Feelings like these expressed by Dorothy Rabinowitz writing for The Wall Street Journal have taken ground.
[It has become evident that] this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans’ leader, a man of them, for them, the nation’s voice and champion.
Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July.
A great part of America now understands that this president’s sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.
Such an image does not bode well for re-election. Obama needs to turn attention away from his Kenyan and Muslim roots. He will have the black vote in any event but cannot afford to lose the votes of other proud Americans. If too many voters agree with Rabinowitz or with Pam Geller’s assessment that Barack Obama is The First Post-American President it could cost him the election. The American people love the Irish. A trip to the Emerald Isle is the perfect facelift. It’s also good for a few extra votes from Irish Americans come 2012.
People react to taxes. That is why a 10% increase in a tax rate does not produce a 10% increase in revenue. Two of the fastest growing states in the Union are Florida and New Hampshire, neither of which levies an income tax. California has the greatest financial shortfall and the highest income tax rate in the nation. These are not coincidences. They are the result of personal and business reaction to relative tax rates.
Ireland is considering raising the Corporate tax rate from 10 to 12.5 percent. Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Merrill Lynch, Intel and Google have all made public announcements that they may locate processing operations elsewhere if such a proposal becomes law. Should just one of them carry through with a move, Ireland could lose more by loss of that taxpayer than it gains from the increase in rates. You can expect not only the companies that expressed their objections, but all international corporations to reconsider any expansion plans they had for within the Emerald Isle.
The loss of manufacturing in the U.S. is not just cheap labor elsewhere; it is also the corporate tax rate. At 35% it is the second highest in the developed world. Those who complain that jobs are being exported overseas should be arguing for reducing the corporate tax rate. More often than not, they are doing just the opposite.