CBO: Obama Budget Will Grow Debt, Weaken Economy

Friday, April 20th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy

Today, the CBO published their final analysis of Obama’s budget and the results aren’t pretty.  The Hill reports on the findings that Obama’s deficits will hurt long-term growth:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Friday that President Obama’s 2013 budget will hurt the economy in the long term, arguing the larger deficits it would produce would reduce the amount of capital available to businesses.

After five years, the CBO says, the Obama proposals would reduce economic output by between 0.5 percent and 2.2 percent.

Larger deficits caused by the budget would cause the government to issue more bonds, sucking up private capital to finance its debts and thereby reducing the funds businesses could use to expand and hire, the CBO said. An increased tax on capital gains included in the president’s plan would also tend to reduce private capital, it says.

If his policies were allowed to come to fruition, we would be left with permanent stagnation and nothing to show for it except another $10 trillion in debt.  Anyone want to find out what a second term would look like?

$985 Million in Stimulus Spent for 845 Jobs in NH

Friday, April 20th, 2012 and is filed under Economy, News

From the New Hampshire Watchdog:

New Hampshire has been awarded over $1.1 million in stimulus funds for every full-time job funded under the three-year old federal spending program, according to state and federal reports. The influx of federal cash also led to the creation of 56 full-time and 26 part-time positions within New Hampshire government.

There’s a Keynesian success for you!

AR-4: Beth Anne Rankin Supported Earmarks

Friday, April 20th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Elections

In the race to replace retiring Blue Dog Democrat Mike Ross, we endorsed Tom Cotton.  He is a ‘once in an election cycle’ candidate due to his intellectual grasp and articulation of conservatism, his life story, and his fighting spirit.  I had no negative feelings towards his primary opponent, Beth Ann Rankin, the 2010 Republican nominee.  It was just clear that she was not as strong of a candidate and would unlikely fight leadership the way Cotton would.  Now I’ve come across a report from a debate between her and Mike Ross in 2010, and am even more confident that we made the right decision.

On August 25, 2010, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette filed this report on the debate between then-Republican nominee Beth Ann Rankin and Congressman Mike Ross:

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Mitch McConnell Does it Again

Friday, April 20th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt

There’s got to be some way to create a legislative scorecard on committee votes.

Last month, House Republicans almost unanimously passed the “Ryan” budget resolution for FY 2013.  It established the topline discretionary spending level at $1.028 trillion, just $15 billion below last year’s levels and $19 billion below the cap set in the Budget [Out of] Control Act.  To put that in perspective, the discretionary spending level was as low as $933 billion in 2008 – pre-Obama.  We’re not exactly going back to the last century here.

Yet, even these modest cuts were too much for Obama.  Earlier this week, he threatened to veto any appropriations bill that reflects the spending figures in the Ryan budget as opposed to those working with the $1.047 cap of the BCA.  We would all expect Mitch McConnell to side with the House Republicans and the impregnable Ryan budget over Obama and Reid, right?


Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up an overall spending bill that sets the discretionary caps pursuant to the BCA – just like Obama demanded.  The vote? 27-2!  This from, CQ:

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Breaking The System, the Chamber, Bruning and Stenberg

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

Look, it’s not a secret that the conservative movement is up against a system in Washington, DC. Ironically, those who love the status quo and seek the reinforce The System have no qualms in laying out how they will co-opt any one that the conservative movement sends to Washington, DC (or state capitols for that matter). In spite of his statements after this article saying he was misunderstood, this was no slip of the tongue by former Republican Majority Leader Trent Lott. He meant it.

I think part of the problem for the tea party movement right now is that it believes the campaign rhetoric of candidates who run around and say, “We’re going to go to Washington, DC and change the System!!” Unfortunately, tea party leaders and members don’t realize they are sending folks into a meat grinder where various reinforcing entities latch onto the new Members and force them into the mold of the status quo. Leadership with its PAC checks and committee assignments, lobbyists for Big Business and other entities-you name it, each component reinforces the other which reinforces The System as a whole.

So when I see the Chamber of Commerce endorsing Big Government Republicans like Dick Lugar and Jon Bruning, what do I think? Another example of the collusion between Big Business and Big Government reinforcing The System. As Daniel so ably pointed out with his post on the The Chamber of (Government Run) Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce isn’t there to change The System. It is there to support and help elect more Republicans who will reinforce The System, not change it.

I sensed a shoulder slump by the conservative movement this morning when the Chamber released its endorsement of Jon Bruning in the Nebraska Senate race. Rather than a should slump, we should instead say, “Yeah, that’s exactly what we expected. Of course the Chamber would endorse Jon Bruning-Big Government Republicans flock together.” It should also reinforce the reason why we need to send Don Stenberg to Washington, DC. Having chatted with him several times, this is a man, a conservative, who knows exactly what he believes and why. He’s not going to crumble in the face of Mitch McConnell’s attempts to co-opt him once he gets elected. He’s going to stand with stalwarts like Jim DeMint and Mike Lee.

But that’s why we have to get him elected and once he gets to Washington, DC be there for him, either to pat him on the back and say, “Keep going!” or to smack him and say, “That’s not what we sent you to DC for!”


The Chamber of [Government Run] Commerce

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Economy, Taxes

Recently, some of my friends have expressed shock and dismay over the Chamber of Commerce’s endorsements of big-government establishment Republicans like Dick Lugar and Jon Bruning.  After all, they suggest, isn’t the Chamber a bastion of free-market, pro-growth policies?

The answer is really simple.  It is no enigma.  The Chamber of Commerce is not conservative, pro-free-market, or even necessarily pro-growth.  They support the special interests of big business.  Period.  When those interests intersect or overlap with free-market, pro-growth policies, such as advocacy for tax cuts and lower regulations, they will side with conservatives.  But when those interests require the stewardship of big government intervention, they will side with the forces of statism.  Hence, they are not paragons of free-market commerce; they support government-run commerce, albeit with tendentious policies towards their interests.

Chamber of Commerce Republicans are the embodiment of “big-government conservatism.”  They support lower taxes and regulations, but have no desire to limit the size of government.  In fact, a powerful and officious federal government is part and parcel of their special interest agenda.  When they desire to tilt the playing field towards their special interest, big-government is their friend and the free-market is their enemy.

It is for this reason that the Chamber joined with the AFL-CIO in supporting a massive expansion of federal transportation spending.  Instead of allowing each state to pay for its own infrastructure needs, the Chamber wants unlimited federal funds flowing to contracts with their clients.  In fact, they were even willing to go against their tendency to oppose tax increases, by calling on Congress to raise the federal gasoline tax to do so.

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House GOP Appropriators Continue to Grow Government

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

[Note: This post is being bumped and modified from yesterday to illuminate an ongoing theme we will continue to push: the problem of red state statists]

It’s time we invoke a new rule when discussing the federal budget:  don’t focus on spending cuts; focus on limiting the size of government.  All too often we get caught up in dollar figures of various government programs and agencies, instead of focusing on their imperative to exist in the first place.

The first step in approaching a spending bill is to determine if the given venture is constitutionally sound.  If the answer is no, there’s nothing more to debate.  The second step is to determine if that venture, which is constitutionally sound, is helpful or harmful.  Needless to say, if it is harmful to the public then it should be scuttled.  Finally, once the constitutional rationale and the imperative for the venture are established, we can discuss the funding level of that venture.

The case in point is the Energy-Water appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Energy and parts of the Department of Interior.  There is no reason for the DOE to exist.  Period.  The nuclear program could easily be transferred to another part of the federal government, while we eliminate all of the wasteful programs that have not only failed to increase our energy supply, but encumbered its growth over the past few decades.  Now that Republicans have focused so much attention on merely trimming the DOE budget, it turns out that they failed to cut anything!

CQ reports that the Energy-Water bill passed out of the Energy-Water Appropriations subcommittee yesterday by voice vote actually appropriates $32.1 billion, an $88 million increase above fiscal 2012 levels.  But here is the most egregious part of the bill:

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Democrats’ uphill struggle in state Senate recalls

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 and is filed under News

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

New polls showing Republicans with healthy leads in three of the four state Senate recall fights are sobering for Democrats for a few reasons.

One, they’re a reminder that these races are being fought on Republican-leaning turf, as were last year’s Senate recalls.

Two, the Democratic pollster who did the surveys argues that a small portion of voters unhappy with GOP Gov. Scott Walker don’t approve of the recalls, creating an extra hurdle for Democrats to overcome in flipping these Senate seats.

Three, Walker leads in his own recall fight in these particular districts, according to the polls.

Obama: Don’t You Dare Cut One Penny from My $5 Trillion Debt

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt

How Radical is this administration?  This radical.

Republicans are proposing to cut discretionary budget authority for FY 2013 by $15 billion to $1.028 trillion.  That is still $95 billion above 2008-levels!  Yet, he is pertinaciously threatening a veto.  This, from CQ:

The White House on Wednesday threw its weight behind Senate Democrats fighting to prevent a third consecutive round of federal budget cuts, saying actions by House Republicans to enact deeper reductions violate a bipartisan agreement.

President Obama will not sign fiscal 2013 spending bills if House Republicans stick with their plan to cut annual discretionary spending to $1.028 trillion, down $15 billion from this year’s amount.

The Office of Management and Budget made the threat in a letter to House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., urging him to instead stick with the $1.047 trillion spending cap set in the August debt-limit law (P.L. 112-25).

Keep in mind that Obama has already amassed $5 trillion, and we are on pace to add over another trillion for fiscal year 2013.  Yet, he is refusing to approve $15 billion in cuts.  Anyone who thinks that this man cares about the debt should not be eligible to vote.  It is amazing that he even is doing this well in the polls.

Polling Roundup

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 and is filed under News

Here are some interesting polls that have come out today:

Arkansas CD-4 congressional race

– A new Talk Business-Hendrix College Poll shows Madison endorsee Tom Cotton and 2010 nominee Beth Anne Rankin deadlocked at 38.5%.  This is phenomenal news because Rankin has higher name recognition, and a poll in November showed Cotton with just 3% support.

Indiana Senate Poll

The last Howey/DePauw poll had Lugar up seven, 42 to 35.  Now Richard Murdouk, who us endorsed by the Madison Project, is up 42-41.  He clearly has the momentum headed into the election.

Voter ID Laws

Politico reports:

The vast majority of Americans believe that voter ID laws are necessary to stop fraud, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

Indeed, 70 percent of Americans say they support voter identification measures “to stop illegal voting,” reports Fox News. Only 26 percent said that the laws were “unnecessary and discourage legal voting.”

A majority of Democrats (52 percent), independents (72 percent) and Republicans (87 percent) supported voter ID laws as necessary.

Further, 50 percent of Americans said that they believe opponents of voter ID laws were “trying to steal elections by increasing illegal votes by non-citizens and other ineligible voters,” compared to 45 percent who disagreed.

But respondents to the poll didn’t have the same suspicions regarding the motives of those who supported voter ID initiatives. 62 percent said they did not believe those who backed voter ID laws were trying to “steal elections by decreasing legal votes from minorities,” compared to 34 percent who said the opposite.

Republicans must push voter ID laws to protect the integrity of our democratic process.