Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 and is filed under Blog
Morale for our soldiers is the lowest it’s been in decades. Instead of providing our troops with the best equipment and a decisive mission, we are sullying them with egregious rules of engagement, the homosexual agenda, sensitivity training, and other social engineering activities. There is one more burden that Obama has added to their list of problems; green energy mobiles!
One of the most preposterous aspects of the sequester is that it randomly cuts the Pentagon’s budget across the board, treating naval ships and green energy programs equally. As Tom Coburn noted in his recent report on the Defense budget, “Department of Everything,” there are numerous wasteful programs within the DOD. Most prominently, Coburn discovered that the DOD ran 116 green energy initiatives in 2010, more than the EPA or the Department of [Green] Energy. Specifically, the Navy and the Air Force have been investing in fueling their fleets with biofuels. All branches have been co-opted into using “green building codes.”
So not only have we foisted the expensive and impotent green regime on domestic activity, we have tied our national security to the success of the failed green regime. Hey, why not take the E15 fuel on the road to Afghanistan and damage the tanks of our combat vehicles, all the while fleecing the taxpayers with the gratuitous cost?
Earlier this year, Senators Inhofe and McCain inserted two amendments into the committee draft of the FY 2013 Defense Authorization Bill. One would limit funds for purchasing biofuels if the costs exceed those of normal fuels; the other would bar the DOD from engaging in green venture socialism by supporting construction of biofuels refineries.
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 and is filed under News, Taxes
Earlier this week, Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) proposed a grand idea. Republicans should muster up the moxie to go and….only extend the Bush tax cuts for those earning less than 250k. In other words, he suggested that we should give Obama everything he wants and allow Democrats to divide up the Bush taxes – ones in which they worked a decade to block. It’s heartening to see that conservatives in the House are rejecting his proposal:
A senior House conservative, Rep. Scott Garrett (N.J.), called Cole’s suggestion “absurd.”
Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), an outspoken freshman conservative, went so far as to suggest that Cole was a member of the Republican establishment that had contributed to the nation’s spending problems in the first place.
“I think he’s wrong,” Labrador said. “I think most of the conference thinks he’s wrong. He’s a good man, who has served here for a long time, but he is also a man who has voted for a lot of the increased spending in Washington, DC. They are the one’s who were here causing all the problems we are facing.”
“When the Democrats come to me with a plan to cut spending, I can come to them with a plan to raise taxes,” he added.
Parting observation: Tom Cole represents a solid conservative district – one in which every county voted against Obama. Yet this is what we have representing districts like this. He scored a -35 on our 2011 Madison Performance Index, one of the worst showings in the House.
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare
It is both wrongheaded and imprudent for the government to pursue any goal towards universal outcomes. Rather it’s the job of government to ensure universal opportunity. Nowhere is this more evident than with the healthcare system.
In the pursuit of universal health insurance coverage, the federal government has driven up the cost of healthcare with market distorting mandates, subsidies, and interventions. Fortunately, the public now understands that the government must focus on lowering costs for everyone, rather than universal coverage – an unattainable goal.
According to a new Gallup poll, a record 54% of respondents believe that universal health coverage is not the responsibility of the federal government. As you can see, that is a record high and a huge reversal from the past, in which most Americans bought into this notion that it’s possible to provide universal coverage without killing the healthcare system and raising costs.
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues, News
Republicans in Washington are looking for ways to change the face of the party following their defeat in the presidential election. However, one thing that will not change is the face of GOP leaders in the House.
Last week, John Boehner stacked the Steering Committee, which is responsible for selecting committee assignments, with like-minded stooges. He also gave himself 5 votes. Not surprisingly, there aren’t too many changes from the array of weak committee chairmen. Dave Camp is still at Ways and Means; Fred Upton is still at Energy & Commerce; Hal Rogers is still chairing Appropriations. The only positive change for conservatives is that Jeb Hensarling will be replacing Spencer Bauchus at Financial Services.
Here are the 2011 ratings for the proposed roster of chairmen. None of the important economic policy committees are chaired by conservatives. Republicans might wish to change the party platform, but it is the face of leadership that needs to change:
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Immigration, News
If you want to get a glimpse inside the problems behind those who were backing Romney, read this Politico story:
Charlie Spies, who helped launch pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future and served as Romney’s 2008 campaign general counsel, tells PI that Republicans for Immigration Reform — a newly filed super PAC for which he’s serving as treasurer — has big plans for the next couple of years.
“It is a super PAC that will support pro-comprehensive immigration reform Republicans, including in primary elections when they are attacked for supporting comprehensive immigration reform,” Spies wrote in an email to PI, noting that the group, which formally filed federal organizational documents last week, hasn’t yet established firm fundraising goals.
On the surface, this is nothing new. There are plenty of Republicans who are running scared and are of the opinion that support for half-baked amnesty will somehow win over the Hispanic vote in a bidding war. However, what is new here is the fact that the man who ran ads bashing Rick Perry on immigration in the primary is now starting a group that is advocating more amnesty than Perry ever supported.
We’ve seen this pattern on numerous occasions. Moderate Republicans find ways to surreptitiously get to the right of their more conservative competitors in the primaries, while dropping those views as soon as they become inconvenient. This is what we’re up against with the Republican consultant class. It’s all scheming and gaming; there are no core beliefs with these people.
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 and is filed under Debt, News
The U.S. Treasury is slated to brush up against the $16.394 trillion debt ceiling by the end of December. But unlike in 2011, when the Treasury was able to employ extraordinary measures to buy almost three more months of time, they will lack those resources this time, according to The Hill.
The real story here is that we burned through $2.1 trillion of the previous debt limit increase in just 16 months, even though the debt limit agreement was supposed to solve our problems. Now we are expected to go along and to it again without enacting a balanced budget. This insanity has got to stop.
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Taxes
There is an uncanny irony that has emerged from the bowels of the tax fight – one that is lost in all the banal details of the pitched battle. Democrats have fallen in love with the Bush tax cuts, which they fought so vociferously to block in 2001 and 2003.
While the Democrats are demanding that we raise taxes on the rich, they are stridently demanding that we extend the Bush tax cuts for the rest of American taxpayers (or non-taxpayers). The irony is that Democrats spent several years during the Bush years protesting how the Bush tax cuts were nothing but handouts for the rich. Now, they are correctly asserting that if we don’t extend the Bush tax cuts, low and middle income earners will be severely hit. Woops!
Democrats will never have the intellectual honesty to give Bush (and Reagan) the credit for lowering taxes (and in some cases, granting negative tax liabilities) for low and middle income families, but the reality is that the Bush tax cuts made our tax code more progressive than ever. Bush lowered rates in the middle and at the bottom, eliminated the lowest bracket, doubled the child tax credit, and fixed the marriage penalty.
Over the years, Republicans have lowered taxes substantially towards the bottom end of the income scale with every tax reform package. In 1981, the first year Reagan was in office, only 19.6% of tax units had no tax liability. In 2009, according to the Tax Foundation, 40.9% of tax filers paid no federal income taxes. A number of households towards the bottom end make several thousand dollars off the tax code, as a result of the expansion of the child tax credit and the earned income credit (and Obama’s Make Work Pay Credit in 2010).
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Foreign Policy
Do you want the United Nations and international bureaucrats to impose their social values on us under the guise of combating discrimination against the disabled? If not, you might want to call your senators today and tell them to oppose any effort to sign onto the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The Senate plans to hold an executive session today considering this international treaty, which will ostensibly have the power to overwrite all of our laws pertaining to persons with disabilities. We already have a number of laws on the books dealing with the issue; there is no need for the U.N. to inject their dreams and aspirations on social engineering into our society, paving the way for lawsuits and special interest laws.
Here’s what the Heritage Foundation has to say about the CRPD:
Monday, November 26th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues
The establishment is agog with excitement over convincing Rep. Shelley Moore Capito to run against Senator Jay Rockefeller in 2014. We will not participate.
We all agree that if there is no better conservative to challenge Rockefeller, then any Republican would be an improvement. However, unless a viable alternative emerges, we will not be wasting resources on the race. Moore Capito has spent her decade in Washington amassing one of the most liberal voting records in Washington of any House Republican. She supports mandates to require insurance coverage for preexisting conditions. It’s bad enough that she uses her powerful positions on the Transportation Committee and the Financial Services Committee to promulgate fiscally liberal policies; she is also a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and Republicans for Choice.
To the extent that West Virginians have been pandered to on fiscal issues for years, there is no reason for West Virginia to elect a social liberal. Moreover, I don’t think that West Virginians appreciate the auto bailouts and the Freddie and Fannie ongoing bailout. There really is not much of a conservative record in Capito’s past.
Again, it’s unlikely that there is any bench from which to draw on for a conservative challenger, but we will not waste any time on her behalf either. The more important thing is for us to find a conservative to fill her House seat. West Virginia is one of the quickest trending red states in the country, yet there are few conservatives involved in state politics. It’s time to harness the anti-Washington spirit that is endemic of the people in WV, and elect one conservative to the state’s delegation. If you are aspiring to run for the seat or have any insights into the district, please feel free to pass on your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 26th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Taxes
For those of us who are not schooled in the ways of Washington, here is a glimpse into the duplicity of the “budget savings” as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations.
House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas has raised hopes that Congress might still be able to produce a multi-year farm bill soon, possibly as part of a package to block impending tax increases and spending cuts.
Lucas says Speaker John A. Boehner has indicated that the billions of savings over 10 years that a farm bill provides makes it an attractive option for legislation to avoid a combination of budget sequester and across-the-board spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The chairman had no details on timing, but people following the legislation say movement would have to occur by the first week of December. (CQ subscription)
Let’s do some rudimentary math. The last farm bill, which was enacted in 2008, authorized $604 billion in spending. The current House bill proposed by Lucas (HR 6083) authorizes $957 billion in spending extrapolated over 10 years. Yet, this 58% increase is considered a cut in ‘Washington speak’ because the phony CBO baseline, which locks in Obama’s food stamp spending, projects $992 billion in spending. Hence, passage of the farm bill, which locks in the record food stamp spending and creates new farm welfare programs, will be scored as a spending cut – to the extent that it can be used for the spending cut side of the ‘grand bargain.’
This is almost as bad as Republicans agreeing to use the war spending – money that will never be spent – as part of budget savings.
When the rubber meets the road at the end of the year, we will wind up with tax increases in exchange for spending increases that are disguised as budget savings. That is why we are so “intransigent” about raising taxes.