Tag Archives: Thomas Sowell

Government Shutdown – Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell offers his take on the shutdown:

Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

ObamaCare is indeed “the law of the land,” as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.

But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies — unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.

Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who — if anybody — “wants to shut down the government.” But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a “clean” bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word “clean” like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.

When Barack Obama keeps claiming that it is some new outrage for those who control the money to try to change government policy by granting or withholding money, that is simply a bald-faced lie. You can check the history of other examples of “legislation by appropriation” as it used to be called.

Whether legislation by appropriation is a good idea or a bad idea is a matter of opinion. But whether it is both legal and not unprecedented is a matter of fact.

Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.

Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that only means that government is not allowed to run up new debt. But that does not mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.

None of this is rocket science. But unless the Republicans get their side of the story out — and articulation has never been their strong suit — the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose.


It is fact that spending bills originate in the House of Representatives.  I would rather have the House vote to allocate enough money to the budget short of the amount required for Obamacare and then let the actors figure out what they wanna cut, but that’s details.

The Liberal War On Black Americans

Thomas Sowell on the impact of the minimum wage as it pertains to minorities in America, specifically black Americans:

Over the years, some of the most devastating policies, in terms of their actual effects on black people, have come from liberal Democrats, from the local to the national level.

As far back as the Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression of the 1930s, liberal Democrats imposed policies that had counterproductive effects on blacks. None cost blacks more jobs than minimum-wage laws.

In countries around the world, minimum-wage laws have a track record of increasing unemployment, especially among the young, the less skilled, and minorities. They have done the same in America.

One of the first acts of the Roosevelt administration was to pass the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, which included establishing minimum wages nationwide. It has been estimated that blacks lost 500,000 jobs as a result.

After that act was declared unconstitutional, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 set minimum wages. In the tobacco industry alone, 2,000 black workers were replaced by machines, just as blacks had been replaced by machines in the textile industry after the previous minimum-wage law.

Fortunately, the high inflation of the 1940s raised the wages of even unskilled labor above the level prescribed by the minimum-wage law. The net result was that this law became virtually meaningless, until the minimum-wage rate was raised in 1950.

During the late 1940s, when the minimum-wage law had essentially been repealed by inflation, 16- and 17-year-old blacks in 1948 had an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, slightly lower than that of whites the same ages and a fraction of what it would be in even the boom years after the minimum-wage rate kept getting increased by liberal Democrats.

Emphasis mine.

And who gains by the enactment of minimum wage laws?

Organized labor union.

Obama and the democrats continue to wage an economic war on a group of people in the most need of our help  in order to win the union vote and its financial gravy train.

The State of the Union

Many many people are becoming more and more upset with our President.  People are beginning to see him in action and aren’t liking what they see.  They feel betrayed and disillusioned.

And this is not Obama’s fault.

Continue reading


I’ll never say that this is the worst economy since the Great Depression.  Never.  But its deep and it is going to be painful for awhile.

Further, I admit that I know very little of what made it that way.  So, I went out and bought some books, did some reading on line and just “followed this stuff” for awhile.  And, after awhile, you begin to get a gist for whats going on.  It begins to make some kinda sense.  You realize that things aren’t the way they are just ’cause.  They are the way they are for very specific reasons.  And when you realize that, you can begin to learn.

And that what depresses me tonight.

This interview has 3,050 views.  This one has 57,577,972 views.  No wonder we elected Obama.

If you want to begin to understand how things work without having to drop the time or cash on a college course, buy this book.